In the future, we will increasingly encounter autonomous systems in our work environment, but also in our private lives. One reason for this is that the networking of previously separate systems will create such large, open, heterogeneous “systems of systems” that humans will often be overwhelmed with their manual control. On the other hand, we expect a certain increase in comfort from their use, for example by being able to use the time spent in the car for more meaningful activities than driving the vehicle. There are, however, still many unresolved technical challenges, such as the aspect of functional safety. And this is exactly where Fraunhofer IESE comes in with Safety Engineering, which aims at avoiding hazardous situations or managing them in a controlled way.
Overall, all the steps in the development of autonomous systems must be re-assessed and put to the test again in light of the special requirements. We therefore need systems engineering that is adapted appropriately. That is why, as a software- and systems engineering institute, we have dedicated the cover story of this annual report to autonomous systems. Find out about the opportunities and risks these systems entail, and discover with concrete practical examples how we support our customers on their way towards an autonomous system.
Further focal areas of this Annual Report of Fraunhofer IESE include: