Software-defined vehicles and functions for autonomous driving increase the complexity of testing dramatically and require a radical change of the test methods and new concepts for comprehensive vehicle validation. Highly automated driving cannot be accomplished without tools that work across manufacturers and domains and without an intensive exchange across all subdomains. 

In February 2021, the United Nations Economic Commissioner for Europe (UNECE) introduced the New Assessment/Test Method for automated driving (NATM). This is a multi-pillar approach that should be understood as a framework and potential pioneer for new test methods. However, the test methods still need to be created and standardized. To drive this process forward, a transdisciplinary network of experts from all areas of the automotive industry has been established under the umbrella of ASAM e.V., the ASAM Test Specification Study Group.

Proving the Safety of Functions for Autonomous Driving

The ASAM Test Specification Study Group has now provided a comprehensive overview of the test and standardization landscape. In addition, it has developed a draft for a test method, which comprises the UNECE multi-pillar approach, which is required for proving the safety of functions for autonomous driving.  The results are a potential foundation for future standardization, but also an invitation to all stakeholders to shape the future of testing together. The report of the ASAM Test Specification Study Group documents the results achieved so far and aims to define a valid basis for subsequent activities and projects. The main goals of the ASAM Test Specification Study Group:

  • Overview of the test methods in ADAS/AD
  • Development of a foundation for future tests (test strategy blueprint)
  • Detailed use cases for the implementation of a test strategy
  • Comparison with current standardizations
  • Recommendations for stakeholders and suggestions for further standardization

A Blueprint for the Test Strategy

Based on the experiences of experts who worked together during the ASAM Test Specification Study Group project, a concept was developed to meet the challenges of testing. It is a comprehensive best-practice approach that can be tailored to specific requirements in other projects but still meets the regulatory, legal, and technical requirements. The blueprint is therefore to be seen as an invitation to use it, develop it further, and to critically engage with it. The various test procedures and test environments can also be clearly anchored in the data-driven process. It is important that the phases are no longer strictly separated from each other, but that the transitions are smooth and continuous. Iterations and changes take place constantly between the phases and merge into one another. In the following graphic, a possible test combination is shown that achieves sufficient test coverage for the release and homologation for a software-centered and (partially) autonomous vehicle.

A classical approach in test strategy development was used to create a blueprint. For this, the necessary test environments in relation to the test methods required for safety were defined.

Let’s talk about solutions:
Jann-Eve Stavesand, Head of Consulting at dSPACE GmbH

Let’s talk about solutions:

“The implementation of new test strategies is a complex task. Therefore, we have defined specific workflows and identified the need for unified test data management. Furthermore, we offer initial solutions so that users are not left on their own. Although we were unable to analyze and highlight all aspects, we were able to provide concrete recommendations for action and follow-up activities. Today’s test strategies, which are often heterogeneous and have grown over several vehicle generations, have to be considered comprehensively and also be used for vehicle approval.

To support you in bringing the idea of autonomous driving to the road and to ensure the validation of software-defined vehicles, dSPACE offers comprehensive solutions and services for data-driven development, simulation, and validation. dSPACE solutions offer an open and integrated development and test environment – from data acquisition to the development of serial software and homologation, sensor tests, and aftermarket.

If you need a sparring partner for your challenges, you've come to the right place.”

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Courtesy of ASAM e. V. Source: – Published August 2023 

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