Autonomous Systems

Autonomous systems have enormous potential to contribute decisively to the solution of the current ecological, social, and economic challenges. With its “Autonomous Systems” program, Fraunhofer IESE is making a significant contribution to fully exploiting the diverse potential.

The application fields are very broad and range from autonomous driving via autonomous manufacturing lines to medicine and nursing care: 

  • Autonomous systems make it possible to design road and rail transport in a more ecological, safer, and more efficient way.
  • By using them, companies can make work and production processes more flexible and more efficient.
  • In agriculture, they can lead to higher yields and, at the same time, reduced use of fertilizers, and can thus contribute to better alignment between ecology and economy.
  • In the energy transition, energy management can be optimized with the help of the cognitive capabilities of autonomous systems.
  • They can counteract the shortage of skilled workers in many areas such as construction, freight and passenger transport, medicine, and nursing care, despite the demographic change.

Autonomous systems – safe and dependable even in digital ecosystems

The experts and researchers of Fraunhofer IESE offer application-specific solutions as well as general concepts to drive the market launch of autonomous systems.

For many tasks such as vehicle guidance or the control of production processes, dependability is the decisive criterion for market launch. Particularly in the areas of Safety and Security we pave the way to enable market launch and to adapt the standards to the state of the art. The flexible control and monitoring of data flows across system boundaries is a topic that we deal with in our research area Data Usage Control. With MYDATA Control Technologies, we offer the appropriate technical solution. In doing so, we do pay special attention not only to user interaction, but also to User Experience, because the users must not only be able to interact safely with the autonomous system, but must also feel comfortable doing so.  

Autonomous systems are mostly open, collaborating systems and part of a digital ecosystem. In this context, dependability also means that these autonomous systems do not unbalance the digital ecosystem. In order to achieve this kind of dependability, our program builds on the core competencies of Fraunhofer IESE in systems engineering for digital ecosystems: Processes, Requirements Engineering, Architecture and Data Engineering. It extends systems engineering with solutions for autonomy and provable dependability. Because system quality is top priority for Fraunhofer IESE.

In the context of “Autonomous Systems”, industrial production and mobility represent two of the research and application foci at Fraunhofer IESE. 

Selected projects in the area of Automotive and Commercial Vehicles


SICK AG Success Story


Hitachi Ltd. Success Story: Safety Engineering for vehicles of higher automation levels


Bosch: Safety Considerations of a Cloud Service

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