Autonomous vehicles must be able to master all critical driving situations in order to obtain approval. Testing their behavior on the road alone would be far too risky and time-consuming. Therefore, the driving functions must be validated digitally. That is why major carmakers and automotive suppliers such as Audi, BMW, Continental, Ford, MAN, Opel, Robert Bosch, VW and ZF Friedrichshafen are developing uniform methods and tool chains for the digital validation of highly automated (Level 4) and autonomous (Level 5) vehicles in urban environments together with leading German research institutes and software companies within the framework of the funding projects V&V and SET Level4to5.
PROSTEP will be playing a key role in both projects, which have a total volume of 77 million euros. As an intermediary between the research community and industry, we will assume the task of ensuring the industrial applicability of the project results and promoting their industrial implementation. Specifically, we will provide the project partners with support for industrial testing, requirements definition and feedback of the test results into the respective subprojects. The project team I have the honor to lead will also contribute its comprehensive process and integration know-how to the design of the data models and simulation environments.
In addition, we will be developing the demonstrator for a traceability solution based on its open, standards-based software tools within the framework of the project. Among other things, the demonstrator will make it possible to verify when which simulation models led to which results and decisions, using which software and hardware configuration, and subject to which constraints and requirements.
The reason behind the demonstrator is the fact that there is currently no neutral system available on the market for this "baselining" of simulations in a heterogeneous IT landscape. Once the project has been completed, we will develop the demonstrator into a commercial product and market it under the name OpenCLM. The knowledge gained in the projects will also be incorporated in consulting projects with customers.
PROSTEP sees autonomous driving as a key future technology and a promising market for their wide range of consulting and solution offerings, and one that the company will be expanding into a strategic business segment, as Dr. Bernd Pätzold, our CEO emphasizes. In recent months, we have rigorously expanded our know-how in the areas model-based systems engineering (MBSE) and electrical/electronic (E/E) and software development to ensure that we are able to tackle the new topics in a professional manner, among other things by acquiring the consulting firm Bartscher & Hasenäcker Consulting, which specializes in PLM for E/E.