Due to the large number of driving situations to be tested, simulation will play a central role in the homologation of automated vehicles in the future. The German certification company TÜV Süd, Nvidia and the developer of drive systems AVL GmbH from Austria are starting a cooperation to validate the simulation as a method for vehicle registration. The goal: to define safety requirements, critical driving scenarios and the necessary evaluation criteria and to establish simulation as a testing tool.
In addition to conventional driving tests, simulation will play a central role in the future. For almost every possible driving situation – TÜV Süd experts estimate 100 million situations per fully automated driving function – it must be ensured that the vehicle reacts correctly and safely at all times. In order to master this high number, scalable verification and verification methods are necessary. TÜV Süd, Nvidia and AVL are working together to validate and establish the simulation as a release tool. “Together we are facing the challenge of how digital homologation can look and be implemented in the future,” says Houssem Abdellatif, Global Head Autonomous Driving at TÜV Süd. The findings are to be applied to vehicle development in the future.
AVL has developed a hardware-in-the-loop test rig called Driving Cube for the virtual driving tests. The real electronics of a newly developed vehicle are connected to a computer platform on which the environment is simulated. Nvidia contributes its platform Drive Constellation with the software Drive Sim. At the GTC, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang presented a slightly different configuration – here the vehicle electronics were implemented on a computer platform Drive AGX Pegasus from the graphics card manufacturer. The definition of safety requirements, exemplary critical driving scenarios and the necessary evaluation criteria is TÜV Süd’s task in this context.
Also at the GTC, the car manufacturer Volvo announced that it will install the Drive AGX Xavier computer platform for its semi-automated vehicles in future. Initially, the aim is to achieve driving automation level 2 of the SAE scale. The functional scope goes beyond that of today’s standard Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS); for example, it allows automated driving on four-lane motorways, although the driver must constantly monitor the system. Volvo will develop a camera-based 360-degree all-round perception system, whose input the Nvidia platform will use to make its driving decisions. At the Munich conference, Nvidia showed the computer platform – it is about the size of a shoe box for the time being. Volvo plans to start series production in 2021. Danny Shapiro, Nvidia’s Senior Director Automotive, explained that significant optimizations will be made before then. Shapiro also sees potential for optimization in power consumption – the computer currently consumes several hundred watts; this figure is to be reduced to around 30 watts by the time series production starts.