Automated driving (ADAS)  |  News

Cooperative project METAVI takes off – MX on board as a collaborative partner

Benningen. The kickoff meeting for the three-year METAVI cooperative project took place at the new location of MX research partner Adrive Living Lab in the industrial park in Benningen near the “Allgäu Airport”. The project is funded by “Bayern Digital”, an initiative of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy promoting human-centered technologies and development methods for automated driving. The University of Applied Sciences Kempten, with its Institute for Future Mobility (IFM) and the associated Adrive Living Lab, is the consortium leader of the 5 million euro project. In addition to MdynamiX, the partner network consists of vehicle manufacturer AUDI AG, automotive suppliers Continental and Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG as well as the technology company AB Dynamics Europe GmbH.

Automated driving represents the future of mobility. People expect it to bring them more individuality and safety. They want to use and enjoy their travel time, whether to relax, work or have fun driving and being driven. The potential of this technology is enormous but requires putting a great deal of effort into research and development. Bavaria’s high-performance automotive industry is seeking to establish a technological leadership role in this field internationally, and to differentiate itself with its products in a brand-typical manner. Will automated driving really feel pleasant, comfortable and safe in the various driving scenarios? The Adrive Living Lab has already conducted numerous subject studies on this question. As people hand over more and more control to the vehicle, driving experience, sense of safety, trust and, therefore, the acceptance of the new technology are key. Ultimately, the success of automated driving will be decided by a positive user experience – in other words, human and technology in harmony. At the same time, developers are confronted with enormous complexity, which in the future will only be manageable with simulation. This also means that engineers lose touch with the real user experience. The late recognition of deficits and potentials can lead to lengthy and expensive development loops and thus reduces competitiveness.

This is precisely where the collaborative project between the University of Applied Sciences Kempten and the Bavarian based industry partners come in. The focus is on the following questions: What user experience, sense of security and trust do people want, how can this be measured and what target values should be aimed for? How can new technologies and automated functions be made tangible at an early stage for engineers and users alike in a virtualized development environment? How can this bridge the gap between simulation and the real driving experience? The Adrive Living Lab’s new dynamic driving simulator plays a very central part in this. “The advantages are clear. Technologies and functions can therefore be experienced and evaluated at a very early stage. In addition, they can be tested more cost-effectively and with less risk. At the same time, the tests can be repeated as often and identically as desired. People’s feedback can be incorporated into optimization at an early stage and brings more certainty to development decisions,” says Prof. Bernhard Schick, CEO of MdynamiX AG.

The consortium is versatile and well equipped

A powerful consortium of internationally operating Bavarian companies and a research institution has been brought together for this research project. Expertise in the areas of automated driving functions, steer-by-wire technologies, measurement and evaluation methodology, driving simulators and simulation as well as subject studies are being brought into the project as core competencies. As a kickoff activity to the three-year project, an extensive subject study was launched. In the course of the study test subjects as well as experts tested, evaluated and compared the latest driving functions of various vehicle manufacturers in real traffic , also all journeys were measured in detail. Extensive surveys will provide additional insights. In the next step, it is planned to transfer the subject study onto the simulator.

The regional reference plays a significant role for “Bayern Digital” to support the project with a funding amount of more than 2.5 million euros. With concrete measures, the “Bayern Digital” strategy sets clear priorities on important key topics of digitization, including the human being as the center of the digital world.

In recent months, the University of Applied Sciences Kempten moved into a new research building on the test site in Benningen – not far from the new location of the MdynamiX HQ. In addition, the new dynamic driving simulator was inaugurated at the University of Applied Sciences Kempten by the Bavarian Minister of Science Bernd Sibler in March of last year. The advanced Vehicle Driving Simulator (aVDS) from AB Dynamics is currently still located in Kempten but will also be moved to Benningen to the Institute for Future Mobility (IFM) mid-2021.

This provides the best conditions for human-centered development methods for engineers to make automated driving functions more powerful and attractive for the end customer – a significant potential for Bavaria as a business location.

Photo credit: University of Applied Sciences Kempten