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This EU/ECSEL-project paved the way for accelerated application of dependable highly automated and autonomous systems in the domains automotive, aerospace, rail and maritime and health care through provision of appropriate and efficient test and validation methods.

Highly automated and autonomous cyber-physical systems (ACPS) are the next major technological evolution, enabling a huge number of new applications, business models and major commercial opportunities for European high-tech companies in many essential industry sectors. For instance, highly automated driving functions will increase traffic safety, reduce traffic jams, increase passenger comfort, and enable disabled or elderly people to live independently. Automated vessel navigation systems will avoid collisions and groundings, protect the environment, reduce bunker consumption, and improve the maritime traffic flow as well as intermodal transportation. Robots used in medical interventions will improve medical care because complex surgeries can be offered not only in specialized clinics. Unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAV) can perform heavy and dangerous tasks in harsh environments, like maintenance services on airplanes or underwater constructions.

While the development of ACPS already is technologically challenging, demonstrating dependability (reliability, robustness …) Is the key challenge. However, demonstrating the reliability, safety and robustness of the technology in all conceivable situations, e.g. in all possible traffic situations under all potential road and weather conditions, has been identified as a key challenge and is today the main roadblock for product homologation and certification and thus commercialization. For instance, more than 100 Mio km of road driving would be required for the thorough validation of an automated car, compared to a few million test kilometers of automated cars on public roads already in use. Thus, existing VVT-methods (validation, verification, testing) are considered insufficient for ACPS due to their complexity, flexibility and adaptability.

With an excellent consortium of more than 70 partners from 15 countries, ENABLE-S3 tackled this challenge by complementing today’s cost-intensive validation and verification efforts by virtual and semi-virtual testing and verification, coverage-oriented test selection methods and standardization. 12 industrial use-cases – e.g. automated left-turn at intersection crossing, automated railway command and control systems, shore-based bridge/navigation centre incl. secure data exchange (maritime), X-ray imaging automation – with more than 40 demonstrators showed the success of the project’s approach: at the final event in Graz, the most important project results were presented to project partners, the ECSEL JU appointed reviewers, the project officer, guests and visitors with highly positive echo.

Besides achieving important quantitative project goals such as reducing test environment set-up efforts by 50%, ENABLE-S3

  • developed a scenario-based methodology for testing and validating ACPS, describing respective processes and strategies with more than 20 so-called solution patterns (https://vvpatterns.ait.ac.at/),
  • established a generic test architecture (GTA) for ACPS,
  • contributed to standardization, e.g. to the upcoming “Opens Simulation Interface” (OSI),
  • established a data-base of relevant test-scenarios from real data.


Project duration: May 2016 – May 2019

Coordination: AVL List GmbH(Austria)

Budget: 43,7 M€

Funding: 14 M€

Partner (i.a.)

  • Industry: AVL, Airbus, DLR, IBM Ireland, Hella Aglaia (DE), Thales, Magneto Marelli S.P.A., Magna Steyr, NXP, TTTech Computertechnik AG, TTControl GmbH, Valeo
  • SME: BTC-ES (DE), Cavotec Germany GmbH, Ixion (ES), Nabto (DK), NAVTOR AS (NO), Vires (DE)
  • Academia: Aalborg University, TU Denmark, FZI Karlsruhe, INRIA (FR), JKU Linz, TU Eindhoven (NL), TU Graz, Uni Las Palmas, Uni Modena (IT), ViF (AT), VTT (FI)