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IAA Cars 2005- Bug-free Automobile Soft- and Hardware08.09.2005 - (idw) Universität des Saarlandes
Computer scientists prove for an automatic car-emergency call "eCall" that soft- and hardware are guaranteed to be free of design errors - theme of the 2. Saarbrücker IT-Dialogue "The 100% secure car made in Saarland" at the International Motor Show (IAA) Cars 2005 in Frankfurt
Modern cars have more and more electronic components, a lot of them implementing security mechanisms like airbags or ABS. Unfortunately, the number of errors in these systems rises exponentially with the number and complexity of these components. According to the General German Automobile Club (ADAC), a third of all breakdowns result from deficiencies in the electronics, out of which about 80 percent are software errors. To avoid the difficult and expensive search for those errors by testing, scientists in the Verisoft project under the management of Wolfgang Paul, computer-science professor from Saarbrücken, start before the actual production begins. They show that the soft- and hardware used in vehicles satisfy exact consistent mathematical specifications. By these means, the absence of logical errors in the design of hard- and software can be proven with maximum reliability. Currently no manufacturer or supplier can give a comparable kind of guarantees for any of their products. In order to show the feasibility of their approach, the scientists are investigating an exemplary yet representative setup: eCall is an automatic emergency call, which can save time and lives in case of an accident. eCall has been proposed by the EU Commission to become mandatory from 2009.
In case of an accident the car automatically calls an emergency service and sends the coordinates of the scene as well as further vehicle data. This distributed system comprises a real-time operating system and a fault-tolerant bus. Not only the components have to be proven free of errors, but also all components have to collaborate in a fault-free way.
The latest results of their research will be presented on September, 16th at the International Motor Show (IAA) 2005 in Frankfurt within the scope of the 2. Saarbrücker IT-Dialogue "The 100% secure car made in Saarland".
A provably correct system is called verified, and formally verified if the methods used to obtain the results are based on mathematical reasoning. The methods for the formal verification of complex computer systems comprising soft- and hardware are being developed or enhanced to suit industrial applicability by scientists in the scope of the research project Verisoft. Verisoft was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for two years. Due to the success after the first two years, the grant has been renewed for another period of two years and with a budget of 7,3 Mio. Euro.
In case of an accident the car automatically calls an emergency service and sends the exact coordinates of the place of accident as well as further vehicle data. For this to work as planned, not only scores of electronic systems, like processors or cell phones, must function correctly on their own, but also the programs running in these systems must collaborate in an error-free way. For the car emergency call eCall the computer scientists working with Prof. Paul demonstrate that the system's reaction is quick enough and that an emergency call is only sent when an accident has really happened. In order to achieve that aim, the system is divided into four layers, for which separate properties are shown. The layers are the FlexRay bus (the communication system of future vehicles), the processors, the operating system, and the application programs.
"So far the industry spends too much time to test computer systems and find mostly small errors. You can compare this with looking for needles in a haystack. With the help of our method we can find any tiny needle in the haystack as early as the construction stage", says Wolfgang Paul. The verification has enormous advantages for the industry. New systems could be developed faster and cheaper. Besides, car manufacturers could avoid expensive call-backs concerning problems with the car's electronics.
Professor Wolfgang Paul from the University of Saarland as well as Professor Manfred Broy from the TU Munich head the research project Verisoft. The academic partners are the University Koblenz, the Technical Universities in Darmstadt and Munich, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science in Saarbrücken, and the Oldenburg Research and Development Institute for Information Technology, Tools, and Systems (OFFIS). Industrial partners are Infineon Technologies AG, T-Systems International GmbH, BMW Group AG, and AbsInt Angewandte Informatik GmbH.
For more information visit http://www.verisoft.de.
The head of the project management of the BMBF-Research Project Verisoft, Tom In der Rieden, will introduce the "Verification and Guaranteed Reliability" on the 2.Saarbrücker IT-Dialog Automotive Industry at the IAA PKW 2005 (Congress Center Messe Frankfurt ) on September, 16th at 11.15. His talk will be complemented by Dr. Christian Ferdinand, the CEO of AbsInt Angewandte Informatik GmbH, who will talk about "Is your program always fast enough". You can get more information at the community stand (Hall 4.1, Stand E15). For an appointment in the run-up to the IAA call 0681/302-3585.
The 2.Saarbrücker IT-Dialog "The 100%-secure car made in Saarland" is also about photorealistic visualization of automotive models, communication, and driver assistance systems and, further on, about control and regulation of active carriage components. For a detailed program of the symposium with experts from science and industry visit http://www.informatik-saarland.de/001.AktuellTop/.
For further information contact:
Verisoft Project Management
Tom In der Rieden
Friederike Meyer zu Tittingdorf
Kompetenzzentrum Informatik an der Universität des Saarlandes
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