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. 


  • 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. 




    Allianz demands for transparency and uniform standards for data stored in the car and further details on the subject can be found in a published press release (in German only).

    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.

    Pictures

    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.

  • A day at the paint shop.


    At the AZT, young people regularly take the opportunity to gain an impression of the practical application of automotive technology and to contribute their knowledge in form of internships or working student activities. It is an enrichment for both sides.


    Following Vincent states about his time within the Allianz:

    I decided to do this internship as I have always been interested in cars and the crash track of the AZT.


    Monday, 15th of July 2019

    At first I was warmly welcomed by my supervisor Mr. Kitzmann. I introduced myself to the colleagues throughout the day. The tasks of the AZT were illustrated with the help of lectures and presentations. In exchange with employees the function of the crash track was explained and I was able to learn detailed information about the course of an accident reconstruction. At the end of the day I was taking part at a guided tour of the building where I have received further information about the AZT.


    Tuesday, 16th of July 2019

    I spent the day in the paint shop and had the opportunity to watch the professionals how to repair car parts. For the preparation of a paint job the following was done: Every single step is documented, even the removal and putting on of the protective clothing. I was able to take a lot of information from the repair shop. In between I helped my colleagues to scan documents.


    Wednesday, 17th of July 2019

    On Wednesday I have looked over the expert's shoulder when investigating hail damage. The damage is calculated with the assistance of a computer program. First the affected car drives into the hail scanner. The number of scanned dents is then displayed on the PC and the damage can be calculated. The analysis of the hail scanner is verified by hand with a dent mirror.


    Dent mirror for the detection of hail damage.


    Thursday, 18th of July 2019

    Today the work from Tuesday was finished. In the paint shop the colleagues first mixed the colour - already determined for the bumper- out of ten different colours. In the next step they painted and assembled the bumper. The colour of the painted bumper corresponded perfectly with the one the car. At the end of the day an employee explained the high-speed cameras of the crash track.


    Friday, 19th of July 2019  

    The last day of my internship I spent on the huge Allianz Campus in Unterföhring. There I have learned a lot about the office work of the colleagues who send the experts home to the customers. A special computer program is used in order to inspect the damage there. Alternatively the damage is examined via livestream.


    Conclusion: In the end, I have to say, I have learned a lot about painting, repairing and assembling car parts. I have also learned a lot about the crash track. I was particularly surprised by the latest technology which the AZT´s team work with efficiently. The content of my internship was great and I have enjoyed the week within the Allianz. 

  • Hail scanner: The vehicles of the affected Allianz customers are inspected with the latest technology.


    12th of July, 1984 shortly before 8 p.m.: A bright yellow sky announced the hailstorm disaster in Munich. A ghostly backdrop. Minutes later an inferno broke out: huge ice grains up to the size of a tennis ball pelted on people, animals, houses, cars, fields and gardens. 

    The result: Three dead, more than 300 injured, over 200,000 damaged cars and further property damage amounting to more than three billion marks within 20 minutes - the largest loss event in the history of the German insurance industry to date. At that time, the dent repair technique was not yet known, so every dent was knocked out, smoothed and painted. The vehicle repair costs for most motor vehicles were higher than the current market value, so that a total loss was incurred. In 1984 there were no laptops yet, so that an expert opinion for the experts in the AZT was much more time-consuming and costly than today. All dents, on average between 50 and 250 per vehicle, were counted and recorded manually.


    A newspaper advertisement of Allianz in 1984. It says: "Allianz to all customers: We pay."


    On Whit Monday 2019, 10th of June, a similar storm has happened again in the Munich region. Hail grains with a diameter of up to six centimetres crashed through car and window panes during the night on Tuesday and caused numerous other damage to buildings.

    Many cars resemble a lunar landscape. They are covered with dents caused by hailstones. Allianz is currently expecting up to 20,000 damage cases. The total expenses for cars and the other property insurance is estimated at around 190 million Euro. For the insurers, this means peak period.


    The damaged vehicles are inspected in the AZT workshop.


    Allianz has set up eight hail inspection centers - one of them at the Allianz Center for Technology (AZT) - to process the large number of claims quickly, efficiently and in a customer-oriented manner. Since June 17th, 2019 several automotive experts have been responsible for inspecting hail damage to the cars of Allianz customers here. The special feature: A modern hail scanner, which enables the fast, automated recording of hail damage to vehicles following mass damage events caused by storms, supports Allianz colleagues in their work.  In addition, the AZT workshop offers the perfect infrastructure to ensure the best possible organizational process. As early as 2018, the AZT was working on a scientific project on hail damage. The laboratory test deals with an analysis of different carbon fibre reinforced plastics (e.g. carbon) regarding hail resistance.


    Further information on the practical test can be found in our topic "Hagelschaden" ("hail damage" - in German language only).



  • In cooperation with international institutes (RCAR), the AZT has further developed the virtual key requirements, published in Germany last year, into a globally applicable standard. "This is the first global standard for IT security in the theft protection of motor vehicles which can be used uniformly in all markets as a basis for developers and as a basis for the regulation of total theft by insurers," says Jochen Haug, member of the Allianz Board of Management responsible for claims.


    The requirements for virtual vehicle keys, according to the international RCAR standard, can be downloaded here.


    Further details on the virtual vehicle key can be found in our current Allianz press release (in German language only).




  • "Despite good successes in recent years, there is still considerable potential for improvement in the area of pedestrian safety. 4,000 injured and in some years up to 70 killed pedestrians in Austria cannot and must not simply be tolerated".

    This statement by Xaver Wölfl, board member of Allianz Austria, illustrates the international relevance of pedestrian safety.

    On Wednesday, 22 May, the Allianz Pedestrian Study was presented to the Austrian press in Vienna. Xaver Wölfl and Dr. Jörg Kubitzki, traffic psychologist from AZT and author of the study, presented selected results and answered journalists' questions.

    The report of Allianz Austria and the corresponding press release in German language can be downloaded here.


  • 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!“