A Blueprint for New ADAS/AD Test Strategies

The Derived Blueprint

Tools, testing, and timing

Current test strategies, which are often heterogeneous and have grown over several vehicle generations, must be viewed holistically and used for vehicle approval. Safety argumentation can only be provided for these software-centric and (partially) autonomous vehicles if testing, verification, and validation are holistically managed, defined, and assessed.

The blueprint shown should be seen as a starting point, enabling the automotive industry to challenge its own established procedures, to adapt them, if necessary, and to consciously use them to ensure safety. Nowhere else offers such a holistic overview. Holism is the core aspect here: right from the early phases of testing, through to the open road, test procedures must be designed to be consistent, analyzable, evaluable, and comparable in order to meet current challenges and fulfill future requirements.

This blueprint is based on current safety standards, established best practices, and important norms. If you look at the data-driven development process previously introduced, it quickly becomes clear that although this brings new requirements with it, it by no means completely undermines a general approach.

If you take Automotive SPICE, for example, and combine the phases of testing required there with data-driven development, it quickly becomes clear that the same requirements also come into play here. We do not have to reinvent the wheel, but the wheel must evolve.

The various test procedures highlighted in the blueprint can also be clearly anchored in the data-driven process. It is important to understand that the phases are no longer strictly separate from one another, but that transitions are smooth and continuous. Iterations and changes between the phases occur constantly and merge into one another. Accordingly, continuity, a procedure that is as standardized as possible, is unavoidable. In order to be able to approve the vehicles at all, there is ultimately no alternative to this holistic approach.

Testing Matrix/Overview
For the creation of the blueprint, we use a classical approach in test strategy development. The necessary test environments are defined in relation to the test methods required for the safety argumentation. The meaningful and efficient combination of test environments and test methods is then further specified and described in more detail in the form of use cases and workflows.
Here, you can see a possible and reasonable combination to fulfill a test coverage for a software-centric and (partially) autonomous vehicle, which is sufficient for release and homologation. The combinations shown here are one possibility; we have described them in more detail in the following sections. In general, it is clear that the individual phases cannot be considered separately, as holistic safety argumentation relies equally on all pillars. The use of meaningful synergies and transitions between test methods and test environments is essential for vehicle safety.
With the complexity of today’s vehicles and the enormous importance of electronics and software, it is no longer possible to do without this type of holistic test strategy.