Topics at AZT

In research projects and studies, AZT's experts regularly examine various issues relating to automotive technology and road safety. The results are used in internal training measures and processes as well as in public publications and campaigns. 

  • Joachim Müller, Management Board Allianz Deutschland, on the right: Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser, Managing Director of the Allianz Zentrum für Technik

    Less sound. eMobility. E-scooters.

    On Saturday, 25th May, the Formula-E racing cars did their laps in Berlin. The Formula-E is a family-friendly event with a large supporting program around the race. Visitors are able to experience the future of mobility and learn about the climate-friendly and sustainable economy. Many large companies are represented off the track on the Tempelhof field. Allianz also presented itself as a partner of motor sports with a stand in the sponsor area. Joachim Müller (Management Board Allianz Deutschland)  and Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser (Managing Director of the Allianz Zentrum für Technik) have already been on site the day before. In discussion with Allianz Corporate Communication, Joachim Müller explained why Allianz is involved in Formula-E: “Sustainability is an extremely important issue for us. We have been climate-neutral since 2013 and are working to ensure that in future. Allianz will also generate all the electricity for all global companies from green electricity. Formula-E supports this goal enormously. The pioneering technology in formula racing will ultimately be seen on the roads later. And that's why we're here."

    This year the E-scooter is the focus of attention in Berlin. E-scooters are allowed to participate officially on the road from 15th of June, in case they are insured. Allianz wants to promote new mobility concepts with low rates. Joachim Müller announced "we will be the market leader for e-scooters". The whole interview with the Tagesspiegel in german language is available here.

  • Isabella Ostermaier (right in the picture) receives the ADAC Young Talent Award from Dr. Andrea David

    Isabella Ostermaier, former master student in accident research at Allianz Zentrum für Technik, was awarded the UFO Young Investigators Price 2019 of the ADAC Foundation for her master thesis on "effectiveness analysis of automated driving functions".

    The price was awarded at the symposium for accident research and road safety on April 2nd  and 3rd , 2019. Her thesis deals with the effects of autonomous driving (SAE Level 3 und 4) on road safety. The accident prevention potential of automated driving functions in the next 20 years is unfortunately not as high as presumed. 


    By supporting young scientists in the field of accident research and road safety, the ADAC Foundation would like to give young researchers the opportunity to present their work to experts. This year's pricewinner was selected by the UFO Expert Advisory Board, a committee of external experts. The award was presented by Dr. Andrea David, Chairman of the ADAC Foundation.


    The former TU student, Isabella Ostermaier, has been project manager in accident research at the ADAC Technik Zentrum in Landsberg since October 2018.


    The AZT team congratulates Isabella Ostermaier!

  • A current traffic safety study by Allianz on the mobility and safety of pedestrians shows which accident situations are most dangerous, how high the distraction potential of smartphones & Co. is and which technology can help to prevent accidents.

    The safety of pedestrians remains an important issue. In Germany, more than 400 pedestrians still die in road traffic every year (2018: 457). Nevertheless, pedestrians are often not considered independently in the context of road safety. According to Allianz, however, pedestrian safety must not be allowed to sink into the broad spectrum of problems faced by "unprotected road users" and pedestrians need their own public image. For this reason, Dr. Jörg Kubitzki, accident scientist at the Allianz Center for Technology, developed the study "Sicher zu Fuß – Mobilität und Sicherheit von Fußgängern".

    Core results of the study are among others:

    • More than half of the pedestrians killed are over 64 years old.

    • Distraction also plays an important role with pedestrians. Listening to music and texting are special accident risk factors.

    • Every fourth pedestrian collision occurs when reversing.

    • Improved pedestrian recognition and automatic emergency braking are also required when reversing.

    • Allianz recommends updating the European Parliament's Pedestrian Charter.

    Further information can be found in the study and the related press release (both documents in German only).

  • In several countries there is a legal requirement that under icy or snowy road conditions dedicated winter tyres have to be used. Therefore motorists know the necessity to change the vehicle tyres. Hence many car owners are forced to transport their car wheels from A to B. Especially with compact cars, transporting the wheels to change the tyres poses a greater challenge, as the wheels cannot be transported lying down in the boot for space reasons. In many cases, the wheels are therefore placed upright next to each other in the load compartment and the rear seat is released in its lock, as otherwise the tailgate cannot be closed.

    As practical as this procedure is, however, it can also be dangerous: The rear bench can fall over and the wheels roll against or between the front seats even in the event of minor unevenness or braking. This is not only an enormous distraction for the driver, it also increases the risk of injury. To illustrate this, the AZT showed recordings of a normal ride as well as of a crash test. You can see the results in the video at the end of the page.

    The transport of unsecured wheels inside a passenger car can not only be dangerous but may also not comply with the legal requirements in your country. At least for your own safety the goods in a vehicle must be secured in such a way that they can’t slip, fall over, roll back and forth or fall down even in the event of emergency braking or sudden evasive movement. The approved technical rules must be obeyed.

     The following points must therefore be observed when transporting wheels in passenger cars:

    • Either you place the wheels in the hold and lash them individually or you place them upright next to each other in the hold and pull a lashing strap through the lashing eyes of the vehicle and centrally through the rims.

    • The securing must be carried out with suitable lashing straps (GS symbol, undamaged, sufficient tensile force).

    • The maximum tensile force of the belts is given in daN (decanewton). As a rule of thumb, the value of the tensile force in daN should be 25 times higher than the mass of the load in kg. An example of the lashing of four wheels: Depending on tyre size and rim, the weight of a car wheel is between approx. 15 and 25 kg. The maximum tractive force of the belt should therefore be at least 1500 daN (= 4 x 15 x 25).

    • Single wheels can also be stowed in the footwell behind the passenger seat, but only if the passenger seat remains unoccupied.

    • In the event of an accident, the seat belts on the unoccupied rear seat can stabilize the backrest in such a way that the wheels in the hold do not additionally endanger the front passengers.

     If these rules are followed, it can be best ensured that the wheels do not injure the vehicle occupants in the event of a rear-end collision.

  • The Ismaninger Schaefflertanz is performed by the members of the Bauerntheater Ismaning. The seven-year rhythm of the Munich Schaeffler is adhered to.

    It is a traditional guild dance of the Schaeffler (barrel makers).

  • A test setup with the following details was tested: 

    • Frontal impact at 50 km/h

    • The roof box was loosely loaded with winter sports equipment (skis, ski boots, ice stick, drink bottles). The permissible load capacity of the roof box was not exceeded. 

    • The load was not secured in the roof box, as is often the case.

    The following results were obtained in the crash test:

    • The unsecured contents of the roof box shifted to the front due to the acceleration forces acting, the skis broke through the front wall of the box almost unbraked. 

    • In addition, the roof box was partially detached from the base carrier because the clamp fastenings, which were open on one side, could not withstand the forces.

    The following video illustrates the consequences of an incorrectly loaded roof box in a frontal collision at 50 km/h. The roof box was not loaded correctly when the frontal collision took place.

    The following recommendations can be derived from the observations described:

    • When using a roof box, check the permissible roof load. These can be found in the operating manual of your vehicle. As part of the test, the weight of the roof box, roof rack and load must be added together.

    • Also check the load capacity of the roof rack, which is specified in its operating instructions.

    • Do not load the roof box beyond its maximum payload. Heavy individual items, e.g. ski boots, should be stowed at the bottom of the trunk and preferably not in the roof box. Bulky items that can be easily lashed down (e.g. skis) as well as lighter items (e.g. clothing, ski helmets) can be transported in the roof box.

    • When attaching the roof rack and roof box, follow the manufacturer's installation instructions carefully. Preference should be given to roof boxes whose fastening elements completely enclose the rail of the roof rack.

    • The roof box should offer good lashing possibilities on the inside with stable lashing eyes and/or brackets to secure the load. These lashing devices should be made of metal. Plastic can become brittle in winter, is generally more sensitive to impact and can be damaged, for example, by hard objects such as ski bindings when loaded carelessly.

    • When driving with a roof box, pay attention to the changed driving behaviour of the vehicle. The higher centre of gravity makes the vehicle more unstable when cornering or braking. The superstructure also changes the aerodynamics of the vehicle and makes the car more susceptible to wind.

    • And think of the changed headroom! This applies especially to higher vehicles such as vans, SUVs etc. when entering underground garages.

    • Also remember to check or adjust the tyre pressure before starting the journey if there is an additional load.

    • The total payload with passengers, luggage and superstructures must not exceed the permissible total weight of the vehicle.

    The AZT wishes you a good and accident-free journey!

  • We have two safety recommendations for the contemplative and wintry season:


    When transporting a Christmas tree on the vehicle roof, make sure that it is securely fastened. Simple clamping rubbers are not enough, as our test shows:

    Video: The Christmas tree was fastened here only with elastic bands. These do not withstand the load.

    The tree should be fastened better with tension belts (pay attention to the CE seal):

    Video: Here the Christmas tree was fastened with neat tension straps and stays safely on the roof.

  • In the first two films, the subjects of buckling up in the car and wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle were discussed, but now the blind spot of a truck is explained. The AZT experts will receive prominent support from Nina Moghaddam, who, together with twelve-year-old Lukas and safety researcher Carsten Reinkemeyer, will provide insights into the dangers of the blind spot and explain to children what they need to pay particular attention to in road traffic.

    Blind spots are areas on cars, trucks or other motorised vehicles that are difficult or impossible to see. Anyone who has ever sat in a truck knows how difficult it is for the driver to see the surroundings. Despite mirrors, pedestrians and cyclists are often barely visible to the driver because they are in a blind spot. According to analyses by the German Federal Highway Research Institute (Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen), almost 700 cyclists and pedestrians are killed or injured each year in accidents caused by the blind spot in a truck turning right.

    An important reason for the accidents is the movement of the truck when turning off. In order not to cut the bend, they first drive straight ahead into the intersection before turning sharply. The rear wheels ride closer to the roadside - e.g. the cycle path - than the front wheels. A cyclist or pedestrian recognizes this too late and can´t leave the danger zone in time.

    That's why cyclists and pedestrians should never overtake trucks on the right and keep an eye on the rear. "Even if the cyclist has the right of way, he should slow down and check by looking over his shoulder whether the way is really free," says Carsten Reinkemeyer.

    In cooperation with the German Road Safety Council (DVR) the DVD is made available to all schools and the police in Germany. Copying and distribution for non-commercial purposes is expressly permitted.

    Further information can be found in the press release (German version) on the subject and in the supplementary material (German version) on the DVD.

    3rd safety film for children: „Schon gewusst? – der tote Winkel“

    Related Videos

    1st safety film: 
    „Willi Weitzel hat´s geschnallt – Kinder: Richtig anschnallen“

    2nd safety film: 
    „Willi Weitzel hat´s geschnallt – Fahrradfahren: Immer mit Helm!“


    At the 6th “Allianz Autotag” at the end of September at the AZT, Allianz board members, AZT experts and representatives of the automotive and mobility industries discussed the topic of "Parking 4.0". The AZT presented a new test standard for actively braking parking and manoeuvring systems, which was developed together with international partners.

    The topic of parking plays a major role in today's traffic: The search for a parking space causes one third of the traffic in European city centres. On average, we spend 41 hours a year searching for a parking space. In Germany, drivers spend an average of ten minutes looking for a parking space, covering a distance of several kilometers (Source: Siemens 2015, Statista 2017). In Munich, 12.5 percent of the traffic area or more than 5,300 square kilometers serve as parking space. This puts Munich at the top in Germany (Source: Ubeeqo 2017).

    The topic of parking is also of great relevance to insurance companies. Almost every second reported claim in motor insurance is related to a parking and manoeuvring accident. For these losses alone, around 3.4 billion Euro are paid out annually to customers and injured third parties in Germany. Consequently, not only the automotive industry is interested in the further development of parking and manoeuvring assistants. A recent study by the German Association of Insurers (GDV) with the participation of the AZT shows that two thirds of all parking accidents could be avoided with the help of actively braking parking and manoeuvring systems. This involves possible savings of about 2.1 billion Euro per year for the insurance industry. Managing Director of the AZT Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser sums it up strikingly: "One of our biggest opponents is the bollard.”

    Current technological developments in the automotive sector as well as in support of parking traffic and their possible effects on motor insurance were discussed with experts from the respective fields in a panel discussion. What it looks like, for example, when a car actively brakes with technical support in parking or manoeuvring situations, was demonstrated live to the audience on site. A BMW was first driven towards a bollard serving as a test object, then towards a "soft vehicle target" in order to demonstrate the automatic, independent braking of the vehicle. These scenarios also served to illustrate the new test standard for actively braking parking and manoeuvring systems, which the AZT developed together with international partners and which was presented to the public for the first time at the “Allianz Autotag”. 

    Further details on the test standard, the recommendations of Allianz derived from it and the most important positions of Allianz on the subject of "Parking 4.0" are summarized in a press release.

    Pictures and Videos

    Summary report on the 6th Allianz Autotag

    Panel discussion on the future of parking with representatives from the automotive, mobility and insurance industries

    Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser, Managing Director of the AZT, explains the new test standard for actively braking parking and manoeuvring protection systems to journalists

    “Soft Vehicle Target" as test object in the context of the new test standard

    Reverse AEB - test with bollard as test object

  • Theft is a relevant topic for auto insurance and leads to high average claims amounts. This results significantly increased claims costs for a large number of vehicle models. 

    For this reason AZT has, amongst other things, been working on vehicle theft prevention for several decades. A significant result in this regard was the introduction of a legal requirement for electronic immobilizers in newly registered vehicles from 1998, which was based on the standards and requirements developed by experts at AZT. 

    Currently the development and integration of electronic components in the automotive industry is entering a new dimension as more and more innovative and networked comfort and customer functions are launched on the market. Among other developments, the first OEMs are now also starting to offer their customers a virtual key as an additional option alongside the conventional physical car key when purchasing a vehicle. So the smartphone is becoming a car key. In future, the driver will use the app to unlock and start the vehicle; the key is going virtual. 

    Virtual keys and other digital after-sale services rely on globally networked systems. The keys bring with them not only an increase in comfort but also new attack vectors on the interfaces between the entities in these networked systems. What about data security for example, what happens when the system is hacked? 

    The technology also leads to many questions for insurance, in particular in the case of total theft. Until now, the customer would present the complete set of keys to the insurer for the settlement of the claim. In principle, this also applies for the virtual car key. No customer will want to send their smartphone to their insurer in the case of total theft.

    To counter these challenges, AZT analyzed the virtual vehicle key system, and looked at the current and potential future risks and attack vectors in order to formulate the requirements for virtual vehicle keys. This resulted in guidelines covering the design of virtual vehicle keys as well as the storage and processing of the respective data. With this, auto manufacturers are given a set of guidelines, applicable to all technologies and manufacturers, that serve to retain or increase the level of protection offered to the customer and their vehicle by the current immobilizers.

    The four most important requirements for the virtual vehicle key

    • The virtual vehicle key must not be able to be copied, and, as with a physical key, the number of keys in circulation must be transparent.

    • A clear, transparent and fixed list of all authorized vehicle users must be available to the customer, and to the insurer in a loss event. In the case of total theft, the customer must also be able to immediately revoke all virtual keys in a demonstrable manner.

    • Authorization to enter the vehicle must be separate from authorization to drive the vehicle, so as to not undermine the existing layer of protection offered by the electronic immobilizer and to ensure the security of future service models such as "Delivery to the car boot".

    • The data environment used to access and store the virtual key must be completely separate from other applications. The processing and storage of all security-critical data, such as authorizations and key calculations, must be confined to a secure storage and execution environment.

    A full description of AZT's requirements for virtual vehicle keys can be found here:

    Requirements for virtual vehicle keys

    Pictures and videos

    Authorization to start engine by means of virtual vehicle key


    Attack vectors on the ecosystem virtual vehicle key



    Ecosystem virtual vehicle key


    The key findings of the tests were:

    • Many standard bike racks available on the market are not suitable for transporting pedelecs due to their heavy weight. The maximum total permissible weight of the rack indicated by the manufacturer must always be observed. This goes for both rooftop racks and models that are attached to the tow-bar.

    • For rooftop racks the maximum roof load of the car must also be taken into account.

    • In the tests, the fastening of the pedelecs to the car failed. This caused damage to the bike and the car, even in every day driving situations. So the key factor is not just the total load on the rack, but also the load on each of the rack's holding rails. If an individual holding rail is overloaded, it will break and not be able to hold the pedelec in place anymore.

    • In a frontal crash test with a rooftop rack, the pedelecs were shot from the roof like bullets, which would pose a serious danger to other road users in the case of a real accident involving pedelecs transported in this manner.

    • Bike racks that are mounted on the rear of the car are recommended because, in the case of a head-on collision, the pedelecs will be pressed up against the vehicle and are therefore less likely to become detached.

    For this reason, AZT recommends that pedelecs be transported on the rear of the vehicle. In addition, you should ensure that the rack and the individual holding rails are designed for the weight of a pedelec before using it to transport them. During any pauses in the journey the rack should be checked to make sure that all fastenings are still intact and that the pedelecs are still securely attached.

    The following film gives more information on the tests and the results.


    Pictures and videos

    Crash test with pedelecs on the car roof on the test sled


    Driving tests (braking and avoidance manoeuvres) with pedelecs on the rear bicycle carrier



    Crash test with pedelecs on the car roof on the test sled


    Driving tests (road unevenness) with pedelecs on the rear bicycle carrier