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. 

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    AZT wishes all visitors of our site a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!




    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.


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    Allianz's new safety film deals with the topic of the blind spot and is particularly aimed at children between the ages of 6 and 14 and their parents.

    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!“

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    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

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    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

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    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