September saw the launch and kick-off of SUNRISE – a new project under ERTICO’s Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility (CCAM) focus area – co-funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe Programme. The project, whose full name is Safety assUraNce fRamework for connected, automated mobIlity SystEms, will develop and demonstrate a commonly accepted and extensible Safety Assurance Framework for the testing and safety validation of a varied range of CCAM systems.

Safety assurance of CCAM technologies and systems is a crucial factor for their successful adoption in society. Today, one of the biggest challenges for CCAM is demonstrating its safety and reliability in every possible driving scenario. Furthermore, certification initiatives worldwide struggle to define a harmonised approach to enable massive deployment of highly automated vehicles. In answer to this need, the SUNRISE project aims to develop and demonstrate a commonly accepted, extensible Safety Assurance Framework for testing and safety validation.

SUNRISE will define, implement and demonstrate the building blocks of this Safety Assurance Framework through harmonised and scalable safety assessment methodologies, procedures and metrics. The project Consortium will work on tailored use cases, a federated European Scenario Database framework and its necessary data interfaces, and a commonly agreed simulation framework including tools and interfaces. SUNRISE will work closely with CCAM stakeholders such as policymakers, regulators, consumer testing and user associations.

SUNRISE will see the Consortium partners work together for the next 36 months – until August 2025 – and build upon HEADSTART, a previous project on Harmonised European Solutions for Testing Automated Road Transport that ended in 2021. The project is coordinated by IDIADA and the Consortium includes AVL, BASt, Continental, CHALMERS, ERTICO, ICCS, Infineon, ika, RISE Institute, Renault, Renault Espana, Siemens, Toyota Motor Europe, TNO, VEDECOM, VICOMTECH, VIF, UNITN, CRF, CVC-CERCA, DEEPEN, the University of Warwick.

Kick-off in Brussels

Consortium members came together in Brussels on 20-21 September for the official kick-off meeting. Project Coordinator Stefan de Vries of IDIADA believes SUNRISE will converge the decade long debate in scenario-based assessment into a common basis. This common basis will be a CCAM Safety Assurance Framework, paving the way for safe large-scale deployment of automated vehicles on European public roads.

The meeting in Brussels represented an opportunity for Partners to align on scope, harmonise approaches and goals, and inspire each other while illustrating their work plans. Representing the European Commission, Pedro Alfonso Perez Losa, Project Manager at CINEA, and Suzanna Kraak, Policy Officer at DG RTD, opened the meeting by expressing their vision and expectations for the project: a long lasting and future-proof validation framework to help CCAM stakeholders validate technologies. The European Commission seeks concrete impact on society and on the wider public from the application of the project’s results.

According to Dr Stephane Dreher, who will lead ERTICO’s participation in the project, SUNRISE represents a great opportunity to develop on the work carried out in the HEADSTART project and engage further the international CCAM stakeholder community to ensure that the developed Safety Assurance Framework is commonly accepted and endorsed.

Stay tuned to know more about SUNRISE’s latest developments! The project’s communication channels and website will be launched in the coming months.

The SUNRISE project is co-funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement no. 101069573.