Bavaria invests in research for safe autonomous driving

Jan 22, 2021
Weigert: “Securing the technology leadership of our manufacturers and suppliers in the future topic of autonomous driving”

MUNICH/INGOLSTADT°° Connected and autonomous driving is one of the key technologies for the mobility of the future. At CARISSMA, the Research and Test Centre for Vehicle Safety at Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI), research is being conducted specifically into the road safety of self-controlled vehicles. Bavaria is supporting this research field through technology funding, which is now being extended to the new VorSAFe-Plus (Predictive Safety Systems for Automated Driving) project. A safety system for predictive accident detection and accident mitigation for highly automated vehicles is to be developed in the CARISSMA Institute of Safety in Future Mobility (C-ISAFE) research project funded with 2.3 million euros.
Bavaria’s State Secretary for Economic Affairs Roland Weigert emphasised while presenting the funding decision: “The automotive industry is the backbone and innovation driver of the economy in Bavaria. We want to secure the technology leadership of our manufacturers and suppliers in the future topic of autonomous driving in the long term too. We are providing research funding of over 20 million euros for this.” The funds will flow into the four regional networks for autonomous driving that have been established in Ingolstadt, Dingolfing, Kempten and Aschaffenburg.
Weigert: “The regional network and cutting-edge research at the Technical University make Ingolstadt a leading region for the smart digital mobility of the future. In addition to VorSAFe-Plus, the Ministry of Economic Affairs is funding three other sub-projects in the field of safe automated driving at THI for a total of five million euros. In doing so, we are not only investing in the competitiveness of the Bavarian automotive industry, but also strengthening Ingolstadt as a centre of science.”  
VorSAFe-PLUS is part of a large-scale research project consisting of four sub-projects. The focus is on research into safe automated driving. The researchers at THI were able to secure a project volume of over eleven million euros for the Ingolstadt region for this purpose. All sub-projects are supported by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs within the framework of technology funding.
VorSAFe-PLUS is designed as a cooperation project between science and industry and is scheduled to run for three years. Project partners include BMW and Continental, as well as AKKA DSO and ANavS, a Munich-based start-up specialising in high-precision localisation systems. The project is being led by Prof. Christian Birkner (expert for vehicle systems and their control), Prof. Thomas Brandmeier (head of C-ISAFE and founder of CARISSMA) and Prof. Lothar Wech (CARISSMA spokesperson and specialist for test methods in vehicle safety). As part of VorSAFe-Plus, environment sensor systems are being trained to provide exact data on other road users even shortly before a collision and to reliably detect an accident situation. Active steering and braking interventions and intelligent airbag systems that are triggered moments before a collision prevent accidents or minimise their consequences. Extensive tests in the indoor rain and fog facility at C-ISAFE guarantee the reliability of the technical solutions even in bad weather.
With the specially equipped test vehicles from VorSAFe-Plus, THI is expanding the existing test facilities at the CARISSMA research and test centre. The new vehicles form the technical basis of a mobile innovation laboratory for automated driving. With the obtained data on a wide variety of driving scenarios, the project creates additional synergies that further strengthen the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt as an AI mobility hub in Bavaria.