Description language measures safety of autonomous driving

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

M-SDL is described as the first open language to address the numerous vulnerabilities of today’s formats, languages, methods and metrics for vehicle safety verification and validation.

In addition to disclosing the situation description language, Fortellix has made its language concepts available to the standards committee of the Association for Standardization of Automation and Measuring Systems (ASAM).

Furthermore, the company announced a partner program that provides a mechanism for industry feedback and further improvement of the M-SDL. Members of this program include vehicle development and verification companies including AVL List GmbH, the Volvo Group, Unity Technologies, Horiba Mira Ltd, TÜV Süd, Automotive Artificial Intelligence (AAI) GmbH, Metamoto Inc., VectorZero Inc., the Trustworthy Systems Laboratory of the University of Bristol and the Advanced Mobility Institute of Florida Polytechnic University.

According to experts, safety methods and metrics based on the number of kilometres tested in simulations and road tests, the number of human interventions or traditional methods are inadequate, not scalable and difficult to share or reuse.

In addition, the autonomous and thus uncontrollable behavior of AVs and traffic means that developers cannot be sure whether their tests simulate the desired scenarios or evaluate the data as planned. Ultimately, none of these methods offers adequate mechanisms to identify hitherto unknown, dangerous extreme situations or to summarize measured variables of all virtual and real test platforms, argues Foretellix.

With the opening and deployment of the M-SDL, tool vendors, suppliers, and developers can use a common, high-level, human-readable language to facilitate the capture, reuse, and sharing of scenarios. They can also monitor and measure autonomous function data, which is critical to demonstrating AV security and independence from tests and test platforms.

Version 0.9 of the M-SDL, an overview of M-SDL and the M-SDL Partner Program are now available for download at


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