Where do you mainly test?
Marcus: We use the test track in the EVZ in Wörth or also carry out the tests in part on other, external test sites if we need more space or other framework conditions.
Stephan: In winter, we often drive on test tracks in Spain because the weather there is more stable than in Germany and we can therefore test in a reproducible manner. This means that we can repeat the tests over and over again and thus prove in the event of any errors that these are not caused by the test setup, but lie in the system behaviour. Based on the results, the assistance system can then be optimised in order to run as efficiently and error-free as possible in the customers’ vehicles in the future.
Why do you also test on public roads?
Stephan: The sensors of the driver assistance systems rely on interaction with the real environment. That’s why we capture numerous situations on public roads that allow us to evaluate our systems. Does the system respond correctly? Doesn't it react too early? Or if the system has detected something and triggered it briefly even though a warning or braking would not have been necessary – we then call this “false positive”.
On test tracks, on the other hand, we stress the systems to the physical limits and beyond in order to make the systems as safe and efficient as possible. Here we check the performance of the systems. If the system did not detect an obstacle or did not detect it in time – then we speak of “false negative”
Timo: Of course, we never let our vehicles drive into a dangerous situation in real traffic. A test on a real pedestrian, as we do with our dummies, is never done on public roads.
What are the challenges of your work?
Stephan: The development cycles and times are a major challenge. In the area of driver assistance systems, new functions will be introduced at regular intervals – these are very tight schedules to fully implement everything.
We all carry the vision of accident-free driving within us, which we want to implement despite all the challenges!