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. 

  • Source: AZT


    Modern vehicles are computer networks on wheels. Millions of lines of software code, control units and sensor technology, enable new mobility concepts, extra comfort and increased driving safety. They are paving the way to automated driving.

    However, computer networks are constant targets of cyber-attacks and such attacks on vehicles can not only cause financial damage but can also put lives at risk. 

    In a panel discussion experts of the automotive industry, science, authorities and Allianz will discuss about cyber risks of modern vehicles, suitable prevention measures, and appropriate insurance cover.

    Due to the current situation of the Corona pandemic, this year's Allianz Motor Day will take place as a digital event in English and streamed online throughout Europe for the first time. Extensive information will also be available to download.

    The event targets press representatives who can place their questions via Live-Chat and sign up via the following link

  • Source: AGCS


    One mobility trend is the increasing electrification and the new forms of mobility resulting from it. Among other things the spread of electric cars is expected to increase rapidly. The drivers for this include consumer demand and current political efforts to combat climate change.

    In addition to the opportunities offered by electromobility, new challenges are also emerging for manufacturers, suppliers and insurers. Allianz's industrial insurer, AGCS, has addressed these issues in a comprehensive report that provides a general overview of the current market situation in the field of e-mobility and the current assessment of the resulting risks, especially for manufacturers and insurance companies.

    The AZT has been working on the subject of electric vehicles, their technical specifications and special features as well as their crash behaviour for many years. Some of the AZT's findings have therefore been incorporated into the AGCS report. The complete report in English can be downloaded here.


  • The regular exchange with users of the AZT paint calculation system has shown several times that there is potential for optimisation in the use of the AZT paint calculation system despite the detailed and freely accessible system description.


    The AZT team was repeatedly approached about identical aspects, particularly in the context of paint time and material studies. In order to minimize potential false interpretation and the resulting inconsistencies the forced pause in time and material studies caused by the corona pandemic has now been intensively used to comprehensively revise the system description in recent weeks, making it more precise in numerous places and supplementing it with case studies.

     

    As usual the updated system description is available to download for free in German and English.

     

    All the additions and clarifications that have now been incorporated will certainly not be the last changes to the system description of the AZT paint calculation.

    With the completion and evaluation of the time and material studies, the system description will also be updated again, and ideas for user-friendly adjustments are already available. A contribution describing the procedure for the time and material studies can be downloaded here (in German language only).

     


  • "Every classic car is much more than just an automobile. It's a piece of art that happens to drive (Ing. Richard Kaan).“

     

    Which heart of an automobile fan doesn't beat faster when a well-preserved classic car with an interesting history is standing right in front of him? And it is not only among classic car enthusiasts that these vehicles cause enthusiasm. Many people who are not otherwise very much involved in the subject also like old cars that are already visually striking and arouse childhood memories and other emotions.

     

    The AZT, with its almost 50-year history, has examined various vehicles in various research projects over the past decades which in the meantime have long been classified as classic cars. A classic car is a car that was first registered for traffic at least 30 years ago.

     

    However these vehicles are not only art objects or collector's items, so-called "garage gold". Even if they are rather rare in the overall vehicle market there is nevertheless a not inconsiderable number of classic cars. Today, according to figures from the German Kraftfahrtbundesamt, there are about 750,000 cars on our roads in Germany that are over 30 years old and which are occasionally involved in accidents, so that they also play a role in the damage caused. The AZT has already addressed this issue in an earlier evaluation of claims

     

    Due to the rarity of these vehicles and their special features very specific challenges arise for the experts who assess damage of a classic car. Which spare parts are available on the market? What is the right repair method to preserve the substance of the vehicle as much as possible? What is the overall value of the vehicle to be assessed? When assessing the value of the vehicle, other factors play a role than in the case of modern passenger cars. For example, the history of the vehicle must also be taken into account. These are only a few questions to which the expert should have answers ready in individual cases.

     

    General information and special training on the subject of classic cars are therefore an important part of the training of experts. AZT´s experts  are starting a longer-term project to the subject of classic cars and will prepare 2 vehicles for training purposes over the next months. Various disciplines of automotive engineering will be involved in this project and will work together. From body repair and painting to electronics and vehicle mechanics. In addition, these vehicles, which have been selected according to defined criteria, will be used to graphically illustrate developments in automotive technology over the past decades.

     

    A first vehicle has already been bought for this purpose, a mint-green BMW E21 type 318. The E21 series was the first BMW 3 series and was built from 1975 to 1983.


    Our vehicle is from the production year 1975 and has a 4-cylinder gasoline engine with 72KW/ 98hp. The BMW was in first ownership until 2006. We were able to purchase the vehicle from the third owner who had held it since 2013.



    Volker Wulle, head of the classic car project at AZT, reports on the plans with the vehicle in the near future:

    "First of all we will take care of the technical aspects of the vehicle. There are oil leaks in the engine and transmission, the carburettor has to be reset and the clutch will probably need to be replaced. The BMW will be registered and will be moved once in a while to avoid damage to the car and to check repairs. In order to be able to demonstrate the excellent condition of this vehicle at our expert training courses, we plan to have the underbody blasted with dry ice and then professionally preserve the result. Otherwise, the BMW will remain as far as possible as it now presents itself. The modified chassis with the two-tone aluminum rims from BBS is absolutely contemporary and we believe that such modifications are worth preserving just as much as absolute original conditions. The body and the interior of the vehicle present themself in the unrestored original condition which we would like to preserve as far as possible".

     

    For further training purposes for our motor experts, the purchase of a second vehicle is planned, a Mercedes of the series W123. Extensive repair work on the bodywork of this vehicle will be carried out.

     

    We will report on the further progress of the project and the further history of our classic cars on our website at regular intervals in the upcoming period.

     

    It's worth taking a look!


    Almost completely preserved engine compartment details

    Historical sticker of the ADAC

    Contemporary rim from the company BBS

    Classic compact rear light with original badging

  • One of the test candidates: Dog dummy waiting for his cue


    As a matter of fact, dogs are regarded as cargo in the sense of the German road traffic regulations and must be secured during the journey. The market offers various systems for this purpose and the Allianz Center for Technology AZT has tested samples for their practical suitability and crash safety using dog dummies. In most cases, the different securing systems are more uncomfortable for the dog owner in terms of handling than for the dog itself.

    A safety system not only helps the dog to find a safe and comfortable position in the vehicle during normal driving manoeuvres, but also during emergency braking or evasive manoeuvres. Thus most dogs get used to it quickly to stay more relaxed during the journey. Hence the driver is also less distracted by the dog. An unsecured dog, however, can move freely in the vehicle, cannot find a secure foothold, can obstruct the driver's view and distract him dangerously.

    Finally, in the event of an accident, an unsecured dog is not only considerably endangered itself, it also precipitates a serious risk of injury for the occupants due to its mass and the enormous physical forces. After an accident, an unsecured dog in a frightened, possibly injured state, can endanger helpers and other road users. And also a dog trying to protect the owner can become a danger for helpers and car passengers.


    The crash tests performed by AZT have impressively shown that dogs must be secured according to their size and weight. Dog owners should consider the following references:

    • The securing system (whether belt, harness or box) must bear a test certificate for crash safety according to ECE R17.

    • The securing system must be designed for the weight and size of the dog.

    • Read and understand the manufacturer's instructions on the safety system and how to use it appropriately.

    • The safest place for a dog is in a lashed and firmly closed dog transport box in the cargo area.

    • The box must be secured with suitable lashing straps and must not load the backrest of the rear seat bench during normal operation.

    • The seat belts of unoccupied rear seats can be additionally fastened in order to absorb loads on the backrest in the event of an accident.

    • Only smaller dogs up to a maximum mass of 7 kg can be buckled up on the rear seat with  special belt and harness systems, because harnesses generally provide too much freedom of movement and can be harmful for the dog due to an excessive jerk when tightened in an accident.

    • For dogs up to medium weight and size there are crash-proof transport boxes for the rear seats available. These boxes can also be secured with additional straps or even better using Isofix mounts.

    • Drive carefully and with foresight.


    Taking these AZT tips into account, your dog will hopefully be happy to accompany you in the vehicle as long and as safe as possible.

    The AZT wishes you and your pet a safe journey!


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  • UNECE WP.29 faces significant challenges in formulating UN regulations for the approval, homologation and operation of automated and autonomous vehicles. Out of 13 important safety issues that need to be regulated in detail, one main topic is the recording of accident and incident data to clarify accidents involving automated vehicles in mixed traffic. In addition the basis for the clarification of traffic offences is to be created. 

    An informal IWG EDR / DSSAD working group is currently working intensively on the definition of an Event Data Recorder (EDR) for conventional vehicles (mandatory in the EU from 2022) and an EDR for automated vehicles. As a member of the informal working group, the Allianz Center for Technology contributes the position of Allianz and the perspective of the insurance industry.

    On the one hand, this paper presents the relevance and the need for EDR data based on real insurance claims on German highways. On the other hand, it examines which data an EDR should record in the future to ensure objective accident investigation within a reasonable amount of time.

    The research work was technically supported by the University of Technology Ingolstadt (THI), the European Association for Accident Research and Accident Reconstruction (EVU) and the TÜV Süd.

  • Example of a tool for front radar calibration


    Especially in the last few years the market penetration of these driver assistance systems has risen significantly. The assessment and repair of damages is more complex as the additional technology is installed in these vehicles.
     
    Under the lead of the AZT, a joint resolution on damage repair for vehicles with driver assistance systems was therefore elaborated together with representatives of vehicle manufacturers, body and paint associations, assessors and insurance companies. The aim of this resolution is to establish a common understanding for all parties involved in the claims process with regard to a technically correct approach to the assessment and repair of driver assistance systems. The annual meeting of the German Committee for Standards in Paint and Bodywork (Deutsche Kommission für Lack und Karosserieinstandsetzung) took place at the AZT on March 3rd 2020. One of the outcomes was the adoption of “the resolution on damage repair for vehicles with driver assistance systems“.
    A free copy of the original resolution in German language can be downloaded here.
    An English translation of this document is also available.

  • In times of increasing automation and connection these data become more and more extensive. Since vehicle assistance systems today do not prevent every accident but can certainly have a significant influence, event-related data from the vehicle has become absolutely essential for accident investigation. In Germany, the amendment to the Road Traffic Act (§ 63a StVG) has for the first time regulated data processing, including data recording in the sense of a driving mode memory (DSSAD), for highly and fully automated vehicles. However the data elements defined therein are not sufficient to clarify the causes of accidents and the associated liability issues. The General Safety Regulation of the EU, revised in 2019, requires the storage of event and driving mode data from 2022 onwards. However the specification of this data by a UNECE regulation is still pending. 

    Allianz SE has taken a position on this issue and is claiming for the storage of a standardized minimum set of data following an accident as well as the transparent handling of this data. 

    Enclosed is a short video interview with Dr. Lauterwasser on the storage and use of data, especially in automated driving:

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    Principles of the data custodian procedure

  • Source: CES®

    DVR delegation at the BMW stand of CES, from left to right, Clemens Klinke, DVR Vice President, Member of the Board of Management DEKRA SE; Dr. Johann Gwehenberger, Deputy Chairman of the DVR Board of Management Committee for Automotive Engineering, AZT; Prof. Dr. Walter Eichendorf, President DVR, Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser, Managing Director AZT; Prof. Kurt Bodewig, DVR Vice President, DVW President; Patrick Fruth, CEO TÜV Süd Auto Service GmbH; Prof. Klaus Kompass, BMW Head of Vehicle Safety 


    The CES (formal known as the Consumer Electronics Show) is one of the world's largest trade fairs for consumer electronics. Due to the increasing merging of automotive engineering, mechatronics, electronics, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, robotics and information and communication technology, the show has become one of the most important industry meetings for the automotive industry for about a decade, especially with regard to electromobility and automation. This is partly because german and international manufacturers and suppliers have shifted many developments relevant to automated driving to the USA and China. 

    The main objective of the DVR delegation was to view and realistically assess the current developments and innovations in the field of road safety worldwide. In a tight program and many presentations, e.g. at the booths of Audi, Bosch, BMW, Continental, Mercedes and Valeo, the DVR delegation members discussed the safety potential and possible implementation scenarios of automated driving functions with the experts. In this context, it became clear that since the still rather rudimentary developments with full-bodied announcements in January 2016, there are now often functions for automated driving that are ready for series production. At the same time the estimation of future developments has become much more realistic. The focus has changed from fully autonomous driving to cooperative driving as well as partially and fully automated functions in defined areas (so-called Operational Design Domains). This development is promising for road safety on the way to "Vision Zero". In particular the discussions showed the increasing performance of the systems through further developed sensor technology, networking and powerful data processing in the coming vehicle generations.


    Source: CES®

    Elaine Chao, US Secretary of Transportation, presented for the first time the new report of the US government on the technology of automated driving ("Automated Vehicles 4.0").

  • When transporting a Christmas tree on the vehicle roof, make sure that it is securely fastened with lashing straps (see picture). Simple rubber expanders are not sufficient.

  • One of the points to consider when buying: wheel size


    E-Scooters are right on trend. More and more people are discovering the small electric scooters for themselves. What should you consider when buying these devices with electric motor?

    Since June 2019, electrically powered scooters have been permitted in Germany and are offered in large quantities as rental equipment. Matching the Christmas business, e-scooters for private use are now also available.

    For carefree enjoyment, the e-scooter must first be insured and the license plate obtained must be affixed. This is because anyone who goes into public traffic without insurance is committing a criminal offence for driving without insurance cover. Furthermore, the driver must be at least 14 years old.

    Experts at the Allianz Center for Technology have looked into the question of what to look out for when making a choice. The focus was on safe installation and operational safety, but the legal regulations governing the operation of e-scooters were also taken into account. The AZT experts provide the following advice and information:

    • E-scooters are motor vehicles, not toys, and two people may not ride on the device.

    • A General Operating License (ABE) with type plate, vehicle identification number and a factory plate must be available.

    • The insurance must be taken out by the owner.

    • E-scooters are limited to 20 km/h and may only be driven from the age of 14.

    • An alcohol per mille limit of 0.3 ‰ and 0.5 ‰ applies as for the car. Since e-scooters are motor vehicles, the driving licence can be withdrawn if the limit is exceeded, as with a car.

    • E-scooters must be driven on the cycle path or, if this is not available, on the roadway.

    • E-scooters must not be used on sidewalks and in pedestrian zones, even with the engine off.

    • E-scooters may not be used in public parks, unlike the bicycle/pedelec.


    So that you can travel safely with your e-scooter and enjoy it for a long time, the technical construction should meet certain requirements, some of which go beyond the legal requirements:

    • Watch out for large wheels, smaller wheels have more unstable driving characteristics.

    • Pneumatic tyres are preferable because of their better handling characteristics.

    • Make sure that one of the two prescribed brakes is on the front wheel, because the rear brake increases the braking value considerably.

    • Energy recovery (recuperation) cannot be considered as a brake as it may not be available when the battery is fully charged.

    • All folding mechanisms should be robust and free from play and should not be able to release while driving - ensure that they are securely locked.

    • Eliminate additionally attached lights from the bicycle accessories. An integrated light can be switched centrally and can be powered from the drive battery at any time.

    • While observing the maximum load, also consider your backpack.

    • For theft protection, there should be a fixed eyelet for locking.


    After purchase, most e-scooters still need to be assembled. This should definitely be done by a specialist to ensure safe operation. "At the AZT, we found defects in the e-scooters under consideration which clearly required expert rework, for example, axles mounted at an angle and fittings which were not engaged, tensioned brakes, non-adjusted folding mechanisms and unsecured screw connections on the handlebar grips as well as incorrect air pressure," says Reinkemeyer.

    However, even as a user, you should regularly check all externally accessible screws for tightness - these can come loose during normal riding, as the test samples of the AZT showed. As the name e-scooter suggests, electrical safety also plays a major role. Many models are operated with the common Li-Ion batteries, which react sensitively to incorrect handling and mechanical stress and can then also catch fire. Therefore the following safety rules apply:

    • Li-Ion batteries may only be charged with the supplied charger!

    • Special care must be taken after hard blows to the battery housing or after its deformation. Then the e-scooter may no longer be used or charged and should be checked at a specialist dealer.

    • Damaged cables must be repaired or replaced immediately, including the charger.

    • Totally important: Always use the dust cover of the charger connection, or replace it immediately after loss to avoid short circuits when charging!


    Allianz recommends

    • Watch for a sturdy design with big wheels and front brakes.

    • Let a professional install the e-scooter.

    • Check the condition of your e-scooter and charger regularly.

    • Respect the safety rules for handling the charger and battery.

    • Practise driving and manoeuvring before driving in traffic.

    • Drive only with lights and helmet.



      This information can also be found in our press release (in German language only).

    Pictures

    lock-up option and drum brake at the front

    sturdy folding mechanism

    larger wheels are usually also wider and therefore safer, e.g. when driving over manhole covers

    rear disc brake and insurance number plate

    built-in lighting

    dust cover for the charging connection

    pneumatic tires with valve

  • Presentation of Repair & ADAS functionality by Dr. Lauterwasser


    As representatives of the AZT, Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser and Carsten Reinkemeyer have participated the conference. This is the first time that the RCAR annual conference was held in China, and according to Haimao Jia, president of CIRI, it is a great honor for the institute to host this event and welcome RCAR members and their partners to Beijing.

     

    42 experts from the insurers' research institutes dealt with the following significant topics, among others:

    Jaewon Lee (KART) from Korea now leads the ADAS working group which deals with the effects of the repair methodology on sensor technology; calibration methodology and diagnostic equipment.

    In relation to electromobility the current damage of batteries and its effects on the insurance industry were discussed with regard to a) the manufacturer's regulation and b) the reduction effect of insurers.

    Exchange on the current status of autonomous and connected vehicles & cyber security.


  • The e-mobility experts from Cleanelectric discussed, among other things, the special properties of electric vehicles and their influence on crash behaviour, their relevance from the insurance point of view and the future of e-mobility. The result is an interesting podcast that can be downloaded from https://www.cleanelectric.de/azt/ and from the current streaming platforms such as Spotify and Deezer under "Cleanelectric".



  • In order to provide a fair and correct explanation of accidents, even in modern vehicles, Allianz is calling for better transparency and uniform standards for data stored in cars. At the 7th Allianz Autotag on September 19th , 2019 at the Allianz Center for Technology, Allianz board members and experts discussed digital accident reporting with representatives of the mobility industry.

    Allianz Germany CEO, Dr. Klaus-Peter Röhler, who gave insights on the future of mobility and the role of the insurance industry in his welcome speech. Afterwards the cooperation between ADAC and Allianz, within the framework of ADAC auto insurance, was presented and Frank Sommerfeld, board of private property insurance business, informed about current developments of E-scooters and BonusDrive. 

    After the keynote of Joachim Müller, Management Board Allianz Deutschland, experts from Allianz, the automotive industry, science and the authorities discussed the main topic of the day - digital accident clarification for modern vehicles. The relevance of this topic was illustrated by a live crash of a car on a pedestrian dummy initiated by the AZT team on the court of the Allianz Center for Technology. 


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    The requirements of the Allianz regarding transparency and uniform standards for data stored in cars and further details on the subject can be found in a published press release.

    Allianz's key positions on digital accident reporting:

    • Allianz calls for more transparency on the vehicle data stored in the vehicle in the event of a traffic accident. Vehicle owners must be able to easily and uncomplicatedly obtain information about the data stored in their cars.

    • The standards currently being developed by the EU for future accident data memories and driving mode memories must be suitable for solving traffic accidents involving modern vehicles. A short frame of a few seconds before and after the accident is sufficient.

    • In particular interventions by driver assistance systems must be stored if they are closely related to an accident. This is necessary because driver assistance systems are increasingly influencing the outcome of accidents. 

    • In the case of damage of property it should be up to the person concerned to decide whether his vehicle's data should be used for accident clarification. If people are injured or killed, or if it is a criminal offence, the public interest in clarifying the question of guilt prevails. In this case the data may also be used against the will of the person concerned.

    • Allianz recommends an independent trustee to whom the data required for accident clarification will be transferred for highly automated and fully automated vehicles. No interested party should have exclusive access to this data - neither one of the parties involved in the accident nor the vehicle manufacturer or insurer.

    Bilder

    Opening speech by Allianz Germany CEO, Dr. Klaus-Peter Röhler

    Frank Sommerfeld , board of private property insurance business , provides information on new trends in road traffic and their impact on road safety

    In the panel discussion Jochen Haug explains a model for the transparent, standardised and fair handling of data in the context of accident clarification

    Key Note of Joachim Müller, Management Board Allianz Deutschland,  on the use of data to clarify accidents

    Crash test with pedestrian dummy PRIMUS breakable from CTS

    Dummy diagnosis after the crash

    Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser (Managing Director of the AZT) together with the moderator FeroAndersen at the crash vehicle

    Sach Privat-Vorstand Frank Sommerfeld informierte über neue Trends im Straßenverkehr und über die Auswirkungen auf die Verkehrssicherheit.

    Panel discussion on digital accident clarification

    Participants of the panel discussion (from left to right): Gundolf de Riese-Meyer (Police Headquarters Düsseldorf), Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser (Managing Director AZT), Jochen Haug (Claims Director Allianz Versicherungs-AG), Dr. Michael Weyde (Expert for Accident Reconstruction)

    Representation of the AZT - Event Data Recorder (EDR)

  • DeTomaso - Test of braking performance, picture: Andreas Kronthaler


    Owning and maintaining classic cars has always been an emotional hobby: the vehicles remind of old times and offer a highly individual driving experience. In addition classic cars are real eye-catchers - 42% of all Germans are happy when they see a vintage car.

    According to the IfD Allensbach Oldtimer Study around 22% of all people in Germany (around 15 million) are interested in classic cars and motorcycles.


    Today there are about 750.000 cars on our roads in Germany which are more than 30 years old and unfortunately are occasionally involved in accidents.

    With that in mind, the AZT, together with other partners carried out an up-to-date analysis of KH and VK collision damage. In cooperation with the Graz University of Technology the structure of classic car accidents as well as the causes and consequences of accidents were analysed in detail. In this context a comparison of the brake delays for selected vintage cars and newer vehicles was carried out as a very useful addition to the activities of the analytically active expert.


    The key finding of the study is that the incidence of accidents in vintage cars differs significantly from that of current vehicle generations. This is due in particular to different driving dynamics characteristics and the maintenance condition of the vehicles. For example, sudden vehicle damage was often observed as the cause of accidents in vintage cars. In addition, the use of classic cars - rarely as everyday vehicles, often as hobby and leisure vehicles - has an impact on accident typology. The brake deceleration measurements also show how clearly the performance of classic car brake systems is inferior to that of today's vehicle models. This also contributes to the typical accident occurrence of classic vehicles and must be taken into account by the vehicle expert in individual cases, e.g. in accident analysis and accident reconstruction.


    The complete results of the study can be found in the following article (in german language only) which was published in the VKU.