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In days to come, automated road vehicles will bring passengers to their destinations in a safe, efficient, and comfortable way – no driver, no stress, no traffic congestions. SET Level is working on simulation technology, which is used in development and approval of such vehicles.
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The Institute of Automotive Engineering at Technical University of Darmstadt (FZD) has next the head of institute Prof. Dr. Hermann Winner and the chief engineer Dr. Norbert Fecher around 20 scientific and eight administrative staff. In addition to the construction of test vehicles and the development of comprehensive test benches, a test track for driving tests is available with the August Euler Airfield.

FZD recognized the challange of proofing the safety of automated driving very early on and developed concepts for this issue. Prof. Winner and a number of research assistants contributed to the White Paper "Autonomous Driving" and the "Manual Driver Assistance Systems" as editors and authors. In the field of safeguarding and validation of autonomous driving functions, FZD was working in the publicly funded projects PEGASUS and ENABLE-S3: Here, FZDs contribution included the development of physical simulation models for active perception sensors (radar, lidar, ultrasound) and was responsible for project-wide coordination of simulation model development in ENABLE-S3.

In the SET Level project, FZD is continuing its research in the field of perception sensors. Different models for radar and lidar are developed based on multiple levels of signal processing. In addition to sensor modeling, the focus is also on the methodology for systematic and objective validation of the models. Research is also being carried out on quality criteria for high-performance environment simulation. These are intended to provide the sensor models efficiently with information about the surroundings of the sensor.

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Ford Research and Advanced Engineering (R&A) Europe is working on future mobility solutions by creating smart vehicles in a smart world. Safety, comfort and wellbeing aspects are being addressed in the areas of new chassis technologies, advanced driver assistance systems, connected vehicles including car-to-x communication, smart mobility solutions, innovative lighting systems, as well as vehicle interior concepts. Most of the R&A team is located in the Ford Research and Innovation Center (RIC) in Aachen, Germany, founded in 1995. In addition, a quarter of the team is based in Ford’s Development Center in Cologne and a few team members in Ford’s proving ground in Lommel, Belgium.

Within SET Level, Ford focuses the definition of reference scenarios and supports the definition of requirements to the simulation and the validation of the simulation architecture in Subproject 1 and 2. Common interfaces for coupling of different simulation models and environments are also in scope of the Ford work for Subproject 2. The joint specification of the simulation architecture and implementation of an exemplary simulation platform are addressed for Subproject 4 while overall proof of concept and feedback on the developed methods are provided via the efforts for Subproject 5.

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descriptions follows

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MAN Truck & Bus SE, based in Munich (Germany), is a TRATON SE company and one of the leading international providers of efficient commercial vehicles and innovative transport solutions. The Corporate Research department EZR of MAN Truck & Bus SE is responsible for research and basic development for trucks and buses. This includes the development of complete vehicle concepts including prototype construction, simulation and measurement methods, mechatronic development, energy-efficient systems and autonomous driving. Development work in the field of simulation methods and processes focuses on the evaluation of new simulation methods and tools and the creation and management of models. The EZRV department also provides the entire company with in-house simulation tools, which, in addition to physical simulation models, also include standardised data supply, result processing and automation. Currently the department EZRV is involved in several international, national and regional funded projects (e.g. EU, BMWi, Bayrische Forschungsstiftung).

In SET Level, MAN is mainly involved in the management of requirements which are specific for commercial vehicles in terms of simulation models, integration architecture, scenario description and their validation for applicability within the project.

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As a global leader in virtual test driving technology, IPG Automotive develops innovative simulation solutions for vehicle development. Designed for seamless use, the software and hardware products can be applied throughout the entire development process. IPG Automotive is an expert in the field of virtual development methods for the application areas of Autonomous Vehicles, ADAS, Powertrain, and Vehicle Dynamics. Together with its international clients and partners, the company is pioneering simulation technology that is increasing the efficiency of development processes.

The focal point of IPG Automotive’s work in Set Level is to demonstrate the feasibility of a simulation-based development process, to participate in standardization activities and to ensure models can be interchanged between suppliers and OEMs. The advancement of simulation-based methods and tools provides the groundwork for an effective testing in the course of development and creates a comprehensive, reliable evaluation of automated vehicles in complex traffic situations.

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As part of the RWTH Aachen University, the Institute of Automotive Engineering (ika) researches the complete vehicle including its systems and their interactions. From the initial idea to innovative component and system concepts to vehicle prototypes, the Institute's staff design the vehicle of the future. The ika makes a recognized contribution to solving current challenges, both in public projects and in cooperation with automobile manufacturers and suppliers. The ika employs more than 135 permanent employees inside and outside and about 200 student assistants.

At the ika, especially in the research area "Automated Driving", the simulative safety assurance of autonomous/automated vehicles is of great importance. In this context, the institute continuously researches simulation models, integration methods and interfaces in order to validate and verify the process of individual components, the driving function in relevant situations and the simulation of the overall traffic system.

Within the context of SET Level, the ika is particularly involved in the development and research of the topics model integration and coupling as well as validation. In addition to working on a harmonized scenario description language, the ika is essentially developing two simulation models. The first is a traffic agent model, which can be used to simulate the traffic around the vehicle under test. Furthermore, an environment model is to be developed which automatically generates virtual routes for the simulation.

In addition, the ika will draw on its extensive experience and participation in other joint projects, such as VVMethoden and PEGASUS. It will also act as an interface to projects at EU level such as L3Pilot, heADstart and other international initiatives in Japan and the USA in order to maximise synergy effects.

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ZF is a global technology company and supplies systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology, enabling the next generation of mobility. ZF allows vehicles to see, think and act. In the four technology domains Vehicle Motion Control, Integrated Safety, Automated Driving, and Electric Mobility, ZF offers comprehensive solutions for established vehicle manufacturers and newly emerging transport and mobility service providers. ZF electrifies different kinds of vehicles. With its products, the company contributes to reducing emissions and protecting the climate.

In order to efficiently develop components and systems for "Next Generation Mobility", simulation methods are used throughout the development process: In the early design phase for the layout of systems, in the later test phase for the validation with SIL (Software-In-the-Loop) and HIL (Hardware-in-the-Loop). As a reliable partner for our customers, we are in a lively exchange of simulation models, so that OEMs are able to simulate our components in their virtual overall systems.

ZF is in charge of the project "System Structure and Parameterization" [MAP-SSP] within the Modelica Association [MA]. The goal of this project is to establish a tool-independent standard that allows a simple but clear description of a virtual system that is composed of several components (e.g. according to the FMI standard) and has separate parameterization. The standard can be used for:

- Tool-independent description of a simulation architecture with regard to signal interfaces and hierarchical system architecture

- Exchange of systems across tool boundaries and different simulation platforms

This work is an important basis for the development of a suitable, standardized simulation architecture. In addition, ZF is also working on the development of such an architecture so that all ZF products can be simulated together within a complete vehicle, taking into account their interactions. A further component are the numerous models that must be created for the virtual representation of all ZF products. In addition, further models (e.g. a driver model for the surrounding traffic) are created and made available to the project.

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The FZI Research Center for Information Technology, with its head office in Karlsruhe and a branch office in Berlin, is a non-profit institution for applied research in information technology and technology transfer. Its task is to provide businesses and public institutions with the latest research findings in information technology. It also qualifies young researchers for their career in academics or business as well as self-employment. Together with professors from different faculties, research teams at the FZI interdisciplinarily develop and prototype concepts, software, hardware and system solutions for their clients. The FZI House of Living Labs provides a unique research environment for applied research. The FZI is the innovation partner of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

In the framework of the project SET Level, one of the main focuses of the FZI is the development of methods for simulation-based testing in work package 2. The focus is set on the development of a consistent integration architecture, solutions for coupling different simulation technologies, quantification of simulations as well as the development of suitable scenario descriptions. Within the scope of work package 3, the FZI is responsible for the development of radar models with reflections, weather models and traffic/environment models. In addition to that, the FZI contributes its experience concerning vehicles for the system function chain and the creation of corresponding models for environmental sensing as well as trajectory planning. The developed solutions will be prototypically integrated and demonstrated in existing systems and solutions at the FZI within work package 4.

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Opel has one of the longest traditions of any automobile manufacturer in the world and is one of the biggest European car manufacturers. Adam Opel founded the company in Rüsselsheim am Main in 1862. The company started building automobiles in 1899 and has been democratizing automotive innovations and making them available to all sections of society ever since. Opel has been part of Groupe PSA since August 2017.

Opel and its British sister brand Vauxhall are represented in more than 60 countries around the globe and produce their passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in several countries. Opel/Vauxhall sold around one million vehicles around the globe in 2019. Every Opel/Vauxhall vehicle is developed in the R&D Center in Rüsselsheim, which has also been awarded important global development responsibilities for the entire Groupe PSA. Opel continuously improves active safety features of its vehicles and increases efficiency of transport systems. Hence, there is a long history of corresponding research activities starting with the European research project Prometheus and various national and European funding projects as e.g. MOTIV, INVENT, AKTIV, SimTD, AI-DE, PreDriveC2X, DriveC2X, UR:BAN, Converge, AdaptIVe, Ko-HAF and IMAGinE. Moreover, Opel participated in the development of methods and scenarios for the validation of automated vehicles within the framework of the public funding project Pegasus. Opel is also engaged in national and international committees of the automotive industry as, for instance, VDA, ACEA and EUCAR, in order to foster the development of a regulatory framework for automated driving. Within SET Level, Opel is particularly focussing on traffic space definition, scenario generation and the development of both methods and scenarios for quality testing of simulation models.

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The department of Vehicle Electronics of the Institute of Control Engineering (IfR) at the TU Braunschweig is headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing Markus Maurer. The team conducts research in the fields of autonomous driving and automotive systems engineering. One of the main focuses of the department is the test and release process of automated driving functions.

A central research question investigated by the team are the capabilities needed by vehicles in order to safely participate in public road traffic with human and technical drivers. With corresponding intensity, the research topics of adequate perceptual and decision algorithms, forms of their internal representation, methods of control and regulation technology, as well as test procedures and test tools are addressed.

The Institute of Control Engineering has been able to evaluate innovative methods in practice in various projects and thus gain valuable experience. These will be contributed to SET Level. The Institute of Control Engineering was involved in the PEGASUS project via subcontracts. In this project the Institute of Control Engineering dealt with scenario generation and validation of sensor models for the domain highway. In the aFAS project, the Institute of Control Engineering created and analyzed scenarios as part of a hazard analysis and risk assessment. The methods and tools for scenario generation and requirements analysis for sensor models developed in the PEGASUS project and the aFAS project will be further developed by the Institute of Control Engineering in SET Level. For transferring the methods to urban environments, the Institute of Control Engineering can draw on its experience from the internal lead project Stadtpilot. In this project, the test vehicle Leonie has been driving automatically on the Braunschweig inner city ring since 2010. A further contribution of the Institute of Control Engineering in SET Level is the conception and implementation of a representation of the performance of the simulation. The Institute of Control Engineering already worked on different test tools in the project UR:BAN, also as subcontractor. Furthermore, the Institute of Control Engineering has its own vehicle-in-the-loop test bench. How the performance of complex vehicle systems can be represented and evaluated was researched by the Institute of Control Engineering in the CCC research group funded by the German Research Foundation. The methods developed in this project have been implemented and evaluated in the institute's test vehicle MOBILE.

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The Volkswagen Group, with its headquarters in Wolfsburg, is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe.

In difficult market conditions, the number of Group vehicles delivered to customers rose to 10.97 million in 2019 (2018: 10.8 million). The global car market share rose to 12.9 percent (2018: 12.2 percent). Group sales revenue in 2019 totaled € 252,6 billion (2018: € 236 billion), while earnings after tax amounted to € 14.0 billion (2018: € 12.2 billion).

The expenditures for R&D came up to approx. €14.3 billion. The Volkswagen Group is thus investing more in future technologies than any other company in the world. The approximately 55.000 employees within R&D account represent about 8,2 % of the total workforce.

The Group comprises twelve brands from seven European countries: Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN. Each brand has its own character and operates as an independent entity on the market. The product spectrum ranges from motorcycles to small cars and luxury vehicles.

The Commercial Vehicles Business Area primarily comprises the development, production and sale of light commercial vehicles, trucks and buses from the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN brands, the corresponding genuine parts business and services. The collaboration between the MAN and Scania commercial vehicle brands is coordinated within the TRATON GROUP. The commercial vehicles portfolio ranges from pickups to heavy trucks and buses. The Power Engineering Business Area combines the largebore diesel engines, turbomachinery, special gear units, propulsion components and testing systems businesses.

In addition, the Volkswagen Group offers a wide range of financial services, including dealer and customer financing, leasing, banking and insurance activities, and fleet management.

The Group operates 124 production plants in 20 European countries and a further 11 countries in the Americas, Asia and Africa. 671,205 employees worldwide produce vehicles, and work in vehicle-related services or other fields of business. The Volkswagen Group sells its vehicles in 153 countries.

Under the new vision "Shaping mobility - for generations to come." the Volkswagen Group with its sharpened TOGETHER 2025+ strategy provides answers to the challenges of today and tomorrow. Our goal is to make mobility sustainable for us and for future generations. Our promise: With electric drive, digital networking and autonomous driving, we are making automobiles clean, quiet, intelligent and safe. At the same time, our core product becomes even more emotional and offers a completely new driving experience. It is also becoming part of the solution when it comes to climate and environmental protection. In this way, the car can continue to be a cornerstone of contemporary, individual and affordable mobility in the future.

Volkswagen AG has been or currently is involved in a wide range of national and European research projects on various automotive topics, from researching new driving concepts to new components in vehicle electronics to the use of innovative manufacturing technologies. Some of these projects are listed subsequently.

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The OFFIS - Institute for Information Technology is an associated institute of the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg founded in 1991 and belongs to the top 5% of research institutes in Germany according to the DFG ranking of 2012. OFFIS is an application-oriented IT research and development institute and sees itself as a "Center of Excellence" for selected topics in computer science and its application areas. More than 20 professors from computer science and computer-related disciplines with currently 300 employees in national and international research projects convert scientific IT and application know-how from computer science into innovative IT concepts.

For more than 20 years, the OFFIS department "Transportation" (about 70 research assistants) involved in SET Level has been researching the application of scientific principles, methods, processes and tools for the development, verification and certification of safety-relevant systems with a focus on assistance systems in the automotive and aviation sector. The core competencies of OFFIS include in particular integrated design and analysis processes for functional and non-functional (real-time, safety, security, robustness, energy consumption, ...) properties of complex systems - from the transistor level via HW/SW design methodology to the cooperative guidance of vehicles. Over the last 10 years, OFFIS has developed these competences in cooperation with more than 180 national and international partners from industry and science in more than 200 R&D projects and a large number of direct orders from industrial partners. OFFIS is a member of ASAM e.V. (Association for Standardisation of Automation and Measuring Systems), the Object Management Group (OMG), the IEEE-SA and Accellera Systems Initiative (SystemC or IEEE1666.1), leads the SafeTRANS working group "Testing and Safety for Highly Automated Driving" and has moderated the creation of the Roadmap Automotive Embedded Systems 2030. OFFIS was and is involved in national and European projects relevant for SET Level: ENABLE-S3, PEGASUS, Digitaler Knoten 4.0, CSE / CSE II, ARAMiS / ARAMiS II, CrESt, ASSUME, SAFE, MBAT.

In SET Level OFFIS will use its expertise to define quality criteria for simulation models and to develop methods for the statistical verification of these quality criteria. In particular, these methods should allow statements about the simulation accuracy (e.g. real time) of coupled simulations.

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Continental’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit develops and produces forward-looking technologies with a 360° view of the surroundings to provide drivers and vulnerable road users with greater safety and comfort while protecting the environment.

On the whole, driver assistance systems make road traffic safer. They are an essential element of the Continental Vision Zero – the vision of accident-free driving. Thus, they are trailblazers for the implementation of automated driving. The vehicle’s surroundings are scanned by camera, radar, and lidar to ensure maximum safety and comfort. These systems do two main things. First, they assist the driver in everyday situations, such as parking and driving in flowing traffic. In the future, they will become even more automated, reducing the burden on the driver even more. Second, they are available in dangerous situations and can intervene in driving when necessary. By doing this, they play a crucial role in avoiding accidents, thereby helping to save lives.

Continental's Advanced Driver Assistance System business unit will further develop the architecture for simulation models based on its experience with the development of sensors and their simulation models within the framework of TP2. In this context, the focus is particularly on the implementation of the special requirements of automation levels 4 and 5 compared to PEGASUS. In addition to the functional requirements, the area of non-functional requirements, especially with regard to interchangeability and IP protection, will be addressed in TP3. The goal is a universal exchange process for simulation models based on standardized model interfaces (TP4). Based on the results of PEGASUS, the extension to so called raw data interfaces, which will be necessary for Level 4 and Level 5 models according to the current state of knowledge, will be carried out. The Continental business unit Advanced Driver Assistance System plans to subcontract PMSF IT Consulting for the processing of the above mentioned work packages, since PMSF IT Consulting has proven expertise in the field of standardization (e.g. FMI - Functional Mockup Interface, openSCENARIO).

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In SET Level, dSPACE is involved in various subprojects to make the vision of autonomous driving come true faster. dSPACE contributes its know-how in demand analysis, simulation-based testing, model development, and tool chain instantiation. The consortium also supports the project with its expertise in software-in-the-loop (SIL) and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing.

In addition, dSPACE provides its integration and simulation platform VEOS as well as ModelDesk for scenario modeling and MotionDesk for 3D animation. dSPACE actively participates in various project-relevant standardization committees such as FMI, SSP, OSI, OpenDrive and OpenScenario, and supports the implementation in ADAS/AD tool chains.

About dSPACE:

dSPACE develops and sells integrated hardware and software tools for developing and testing ECUs. As a full-range supplier, dSPACE is a sought-after partner and solutions provider in many current  areas of development in the automotive industry, from electromobility and automotive networking to autonomous driving. As a result, its customer base includes almost all well-known automotive manufacturers and suppliers. In addition, dSPACE systems are also successfully used in the aerospace industry and other industrial sectors. With more than 1,700 employees worldwide, dSPACE is represented at its headquarters in Paderborn, with three project centers in Germany, and by national subsidiaries in the USA, Great Britain, France, Japan, China, and Croatia.

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ETAS GmbH has been founded in 1994 as subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH. ETAS provides innovative solutions, engineering services, consulting, training, and support for the development of embedded systems for the automotive industry and other sectors of the embedded industry. Security solutions in the area of embedded systems are offered by the ETAS subsidiary ESCRYPT. ETAS is represented with international subsidiaries and sales offices in 12 countries in Europe, North and South America, and Asia.

In SET Level, ETAS focuses on providing a tool chain for SiL-based verification and validation of HAD / AD systems. ETAS consistently uses a modular approach that supports the interchangeability of tools, simulation models and other artifacts via open, standardized interfaces. This also natively supports the heterogeneous tool landscapes that will be created as part of a cross-manufacturer cooperation for the simulation-based development of level 4/5 functions.

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Founded in 1938, the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF became part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in 1962. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Tobias Melz is director of the institute since 2016. The staff counts four hundred persons working in business units Structural Durability, Smart Structures and Polymers. The institute possesses versatile infrastructure including extensive data processing, simulation and computing hardware and more than 7.000 square meters laboratory space. Being a lead player in methods development for the prognosis and evaluation of functional safety and reliability of vehicles and mechatronic systems LBF conducts the simulation and virtual assessment of complex interacting structures and systems as well as experimental examination. The institute supports the development of electrified and autonomous mobile systems – starting from single components up to entire systems during the complete development process and product lifecycle.

Within the Project SET Level, LBF supplies methods development and implementations of basic model components for the assessment of the robustness and safety of automated driving functions. The scope of LBFs activities includes modelling and simulation of different subsystems, for example trajectory planning and driving dynamics on the vehicle level. The scientists also create models of control systems and actuators of the drivetrain, breaking system and steering including failure conditions to evaluate the impact on driving safety. On top of that, LBF supplies extensive expertise for interface design for simulation integration. LBFs scientists develop improvements of the simulations of the vehicle behavior in critical situations for criticality- and effectiveness analysis as a part of the virtual assessment methodology of SET Level.

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Validation of HAD systems requires robust use of scenario-based simulation and broader interactions between manufacturers and suppliers to set up simulation at the overall system or component level. SET Level will provide strong concepts, implementations and standardization proposals that will be core contributors to procuring the necessary modularity, quality and interoperability of simulation tool chains.

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BMW contributes based on the experience in assisted driving systems by scenario based testing approaches and by providing knowledge about simulation architectures. BMW has an active role in providing usable simulation platforms for criticality analysis and for virtual testing of various configurations.  BMW will use project results for effectiveness analysis, for the safety argumentations, and for the usability of the approaches integrating systems for verification and validation. BMW is convinced, that using OEM wide standards for the virtual testing of automated driving functions are needed. This is essential for the interfaces with components from suppliers, and by the end to deliver automated driving functions also into urban environments.

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Autonomous driving is of strategic importance for digital transformation of the automotive industry. PROSTEP AG is therefore actively participating in the key innovation projects for the validation and verification of autonomous driving functions V&V and SET Level. These projects are funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Here, PROSTEP supports the project partners from industry and the research community regarding testing and industrialization of project results and develops the demonstrator for a traceability solution.


PROSTEP AG is the leading, vendor-neutral consulting and software company for any and every aspect of product lifecycle management (PLM). With sites in Germany and the US, PROSTEP provides customers from automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding and other manufacturing sectors with support for their digital transformation and help make them fit for Industry 4.0. Our strengths include PLM strategy consulting and process optimization, system selection and implementation, PLM integration and migration.

PROSTEP’s strategic partners include leading CAx and PLM providers, like Adobe, Altair, Ansys, Dassault Systèmes, IBM, PTC and Siemens PLM. This allows the direct access the interfaces of relevant systems. PROSTEP provides customers with support when it comes to automating data exchange, integrating PLM, ERP and ALM, migrating and converting data, integrating partners and optimizing their collaboration processes. Over 200 international customers apply its products, e.g. OpenPDM and OpenDXM / GlobalX, incl. Bockchain Technology.

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The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is the research center of the Federal Republic of Germany for aerospace. Its research and development work in aviation, aerospace, energy, transport and security is integrated into national and international collaborations. The work of the DLR Institute of Transportation Systems in the automotive domain ranges from driver assistance systems to fully automated driving. With several simulators and research vehicles, newly developed functions can be tested and evaluated, e.g. in studies with test persons. The large-scale research facility Application Platform Intelligent Mobility (AIM) is a digital test field for researching driving assistance and automation systems, including their effects on the driver and traffic as a complete system. Since the beginning of 2020, the Test Field Lower Saxony has extended AIM's inner city routes by connected sections of motorways and federal and state roads. In the SET Level project, the DLR pursues a variety of activities. These range from fundamental work on methodology, use cases and procedures of simulation to the definition of scenarios and simulation tasks. A further thematic focus of the DLR is quality assurance. Besides the definition of criteria, the DLR develops a reference implementation of the modular simulation environment. With the reference implementation, components such as sensor models can be tested to check whether they can be smoothly integrated into a simulation environment. In addition, the reference implementation can be used to plausibilize results of simulations calculated with other implementations.

These activities form one building block within the broader context of the VDA's lead initiative "Autonomous and Networked Driving". In addition to the SET Level project, DLR is also involved in the projects VVMethoden, KI Absicherung and KI Data Tooling.