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Reporting period: 2020-07-01 to 2021-12-31

The HEADSTART (Harmonised European Solutions for Testing Automated Road Transport) project is an EU funded project which started on the 1st of January of 2019 and will last for 3 years. The project consisted of 17 partners, under the coordination of IDIADA and Mr.Álvaro Arrúe. The HEADSTART project aimed to define testing and validation procedures of Connected and Automated Driving functions including key technologies such as communications, cyber-security and positioning. The tests were done in both simulation and real-world fields to validate safety and security performance according to the key users’ needs (developers, consumer testing associations, type approval stakeholders).

Connected and Automated driving (safety) assessment is a complex topic that needs to be addressed from very different perspectives. These differences produce a certain fragmentation on how to deal with safety assurance and consequently minimize potential worldwide harmonisation. New paradigms, like scenario based validation methodologies are very promising in terms of reducing the gap, but they need to be compatible with current and future needs from the stakeholders.

The HEADSTART project brought together the consortium with other European and national CAD stakeholders to cluster the most relevant existing initiatives, developed methodologies, procedures and tools and drive in a harmonized European solution for testing and validation of automated road vehicles. Within the lifetime of the project, relevant stakeholders were able to join the experts’ network so as to configure together the methodologies used and also promote the project results’ adoption.

The main project objectives achieved are the following:
Objective 1 IDENTIFY: A dynamic catalogue was created including existing methodologies, procedures, tools for testing, validation and certification considering multi-stakeholder requirements.

Objective 2 HARMONISE: Harmonisation of existing testing and validation approaches taking into account other industries and domains.

Objective 3 DEFINE & DEVELOP: Define and develop test, validation and certification methodologies and procedures for CAD functions building upon existing initiatives.

Objective 4 DEMONSTRATE: Demonstrate the developed methodologies, procedures and tools through the testing of relevant CAD use cases.

Objective 5 REACH CONSENSUS: Reach consensus by creating and managing an expert network of CAD testing to promote adoption of the project results considering multi-stakeholder needs.
Objective 1 IDENTIFY
• Within WP1, and based on multi-stakeholder and multi-project inputs, a comprehensive catalogue of methodologies was created. D1.1 made an assessment of existing initiatives and approaches. D1.2. focused on interviews and questionnaires sent to relevant stakeholders and its assessment. D1.3 focused in State-of-the-art regarding KETs and its associated testing/assessment requirements. D1.4 made a study on requirements associated to use cases and from them, HEADSTART project requirements were derived.

Objective 2 HARMONISE
• WP1 performed a gap/overlap assessment of existing initiatives on testing, validation and certification. A harmonised methodology was created, overarching the various methodologies collected under Objective 1
• WP2 developed the HEADSTART methodology which, built from WP1, fused different scenario-based validation methodologies and integrated KETs (communication, positioning and cybersecurity).
• Within WP3 a procedure specification and harmonisation for the target user groups (Technology Development, Consumer Test and Type Approval) has been developed and documented in the Deliverable D3.1.

Objective 3 DEFINE & DEVELOP
• Objective 3 will be achieved through WP3 and WP4 activities which take place in the project second period. A promising detailed process for safety validation has been crafted and will be elaborated in the remainder of WP3
• During the first period, based in D1.4 requirements together with D2.1 and D2.2 methodology, Task 2.3 has chosen the HEADSTART use cases. These use cases have associated linked projects that will be used as reference to develop a testing tool chain and will be the basis for the demonstration activities in the second period.

• Inventory started on use cases and ‘linked projects’ to be able to demonstrate the developed methodology.

• In WP1, the needs of external stakeholders and target groups were identified and taken into account in the prioritization of use cases.
• The procedure developed in T3.1 is under critical review und will be continuously improved by presenting and discussing it with dedicated experts at several events.
• WP6, within its communication and dissemination activities has 1) Defined and implemented a Communication strategy and plan, 2) Set up the main communication channels and 3) Disseminate technical results and findings
• WP5 has setup the Expert Group and its 6 subworking groups. This group has organised several physical workshops during the first year and transitioned to a virtual approach during the pandemic. These workshops and webinar followed a three fold approach: 1) Elicit stakeholders needs 2) disseminate project results and 3) Steer activities within the tasks
• The consensus activities are planned to continue in the second period, improving the participants in the expert group and increasing the interaction with other ongoing initiatives on CAD validation in Europe and overseas (Mainly but not limited to Japan and US).
During the first period the main technical result are the HEADSTART Methodology and the Procedures. These 2 elements, build on the previous study of current state-of-the-art will allow the project to get to the next (practical/demonstration) level.

For this purpose, and linked to the chosen HEADSTART use cases, a dedicated toolchain will be integrated, adapted and/or implemented (when required) in order to fulfil the project objectives. These tool-chains will include different test-methods, including virtual and physical testing and will demonstrate the validity of the developed methodology. The adaptation of existing tools will be focused in providing the necessary interfaces or middleware that guarantees compatibility between tools and data sources/outputs within the project.

Among these activities it is also important to highlight that the project will have access to different existing scenario Data Bases. This allows us to effectively integrate the scenarios in the scenario based validation approach in an agnostic, independent way.

Key Enabling Technologies have also a relevant role in these activities in 2 ways: integration of dedicated tools for KET assessment and enhancement of existing scenarios to include the necessary information to run through the harmonized methodology.

The validation of the HEADSTART methodology is an important milestone towards the final objective of a harmonized methodology for CCAM. The extension of its scope from developers towards other stakeholders as regulation/legislation bodies and consumer testing associations enables a streamlined approach to the final objective of safety assurance of CAD functions. This is a paramount to accelerate CCAM deployment, aligned with current and future traffic laws and international policies as well as increase the confidence of its users in the technology.