Harmonized European Solutions for Testing Automated Road Transport

The HEADSTART project is a European project to develop and define a harmonized validation methodology for Connected and Automated Driving (CAD) functions. There are several countries all over Europe by 17 partners involved, including Germany, Spain, France, Sweden, Belgium, Greece and the Netherlands. To find a harmonized European solution for testing automated road transport, the HEADSTART project will define testing and validation procedures of CAD functions including its key enabling technologies (i. e. communications, cyber-security, positioning) by cross-linking of all test instances such as simulation, proving ground and real world field tests to validate safety and security performance according to the needs of key user groups (technology developers, consumer testing groups and type approval authorities).

[Image: Headstart]

HEADSTART brings together a large representation of stakeholders across the value chain leveraging the knowledge from European and national activities on CAD testing. The consortium and associated stakeholders will cluster the most relevant initiatives, develop the specific procedures and tools missing and harmonise the whole approach to reach a harmonised European solution for testing, validating and certifying automated road vehicles. This will be achieved through international cooperation with industry, academia and policy makers participating in dedicated working groups of a managed expert network during the whole project duration.


[Image: Headstart Concept]

The concept of HEADSTART includes all aspects of validation of CAD functions in its overall methodology. However, most relevant for HEADSTART is the rollout of scenarios on proving grounds and into simulations, since projects like PEGASUS, MOOVE and many more are already focused on the creation of scenarios. The eight different aspects, Headstart tries to tackle are the following:

  1. Integration of positioning, communications and cyber-security in CAD test scenarios
  2. Comprehensive procedure for the allocation of test cases per testing platform
  3. Selection criteria and specification for proving ground test scenarios taking into account criticality
  4. Proving ground testing and evaluation
  5. Correlation between simulation and proving ground results
  6. Harmonized, open result compilation and sharing
  7. Field trial test methodology description
  8. Cyber-security principles and integration in the testing methodology

Five Test Centers are involved

There are test centers for proving ground testing involved, all over Europe, including Germany, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands. These test centers are key to profound proving ground tests.



Timo Woopen M.Sc.
Manager Research Area
Vehicle Intelligence & Automated Driving
+49 241 80 23549

Project duration

01/2019 – 01/2022

Project partner

IDIADA, 4activeSystem, BAsT, CRF, ERTICO, ICCS, ika, PildoLabs, RDW, Chalmers, TNO, Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek, Valeo Vision SAS, VEDECOM, Vicomtech, ViF, IVECO, Toyota Motor

Supported by

[Logo: Europäische Kommission]

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Institute for Automotive Engineering
RWTH Aachen University
Steinbachstraße 7
52074 Aachen · Germany

+49 241 80 25600

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