DEKRA experts contribute to ITC conference in Geneva

Detailed insights into technology for decarbonization of transport sector

Feb 28, 2024 Vehicle Inspection / Future Vehicle & Mobility Services
  • Hydrogen truck featured in a side event for high-ranking officials
  • Commitment to exploring innovative solutions for sustainable transport
  • New method for ADAS testing in PTI shown for the first time

Transport experts from all over the world, including more than 20 ministers, have gathered in Geneva for the annual conference of the Inland Transport Committee, the highest decision-making body of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on transport. The central topic of the 86th session is the decarbonization of the transport sector. Therefore, in a side event, DEKRA experts offered a technical demonstration to the high-ranking officials, showing a modern hydrogen-powered truck. In the combined demonstration, a new suggested method for testing advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in the periodical technical inspection of vehicles (PTI) was also shown for the first time.

Walter Nissler, Chief of Vehicle Regulations, Road Traffic Safety and Transport Innovations Section, in the UNECE’s Sustainable Transport Division, said, “The technical demonstration by the DEKRA experts showcasing a hydrogen truck fittingly complements our discussions on decarbonization and provides participants with detailed insights on the technology. This highlights further our commitment to exploring innovative solutions for sustainable transport. We also need to have tools like periodical technical inspections in place to be able to verify the safety and environmental performance during all phases of the lifecycle of these technologies.”
DEKRA CEO Stan Zurkiewicz welcomed the participants to the demonstration, stating: “We are proud to not only showcase cutting-edge technology, but to reaffirm our collective commitment to sustainability. And I want to thank the ITC for its efforts to serve as a catalyst for action, turning aspirational visions and targets into concrete action and outcomes.”
The Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell truck is one of the first hydrogen-powered heavy commercial vehicles in Europe. It can be fueled with 31 kg of hydrogen which results in a range of up to 400 km. Refueling takes roughly 15 minutes. DEKRA experts demonstrated, among other things, the refueling process as well as safety features surrounding the hydrogen powertrain. “The vehicle technology is ready for the market, as our cooperation with pioneering rental provider hylane in Germany has been proving”, said Christoph Nolte, Executive Vice President of DEKRA Group and Head of the Service Division Vehicles. “Hydrogen refueling infrastructure is becoming more capable. To really make hydrogen trucks an everyday feature on roads across Europe, however, we need to take some further steps – as shown by the fact that it needed quite some planning beforehand to drive the truck to Geneva.”

New method for testing assistance system in PTI

Alongside the demonstration of the hydrogen truck, the experts also showed a new method for testing advanced driver assistance systems in PTI which DEKRA has developed with partners Rohde & Schwarz and AVL DiTEST. “For the mobility of the future, it is essential that the relevant electronic systems work safely and reliably. Being able to test them quickly and thoroughly as part of PTI is therefore one of the key challenges. This could be achieved with the method we have developed”, said Christoph Nolte.
The method uses a test device for radar sensors and integrates it into a comprehensive process with a corresponding software solution. An object to be detected is simulated to the vehicle. At the same time, the on-board diagnostics interface is used to read out what the vehicle detects - parameters include the distance and angle to the object as well as the relative speed.
The method is a functional test of the various radar-based assistance systems. In the future, it could also be adapted for testing of camera- and lidar-based systems. The test is carried out on a stationary vehicle, requires little space and time and is therefore very efficient.
“The method is very well suited to being integrated into existing vehicle inspection processes. Following the demonstration at the ITC conference, we will now show our proof of concept to other relevant stakeholders”, said DEKRA expert Nolte. There is one important prerequisite, however, if the method is to be introduced: Vehicle inspectors need regulated access to vehicle data – in relation to the few parameters that the radar sensors measure regarding the simulated object. “If this access is ensured, our new method could be an important milestone for road safety through tomorrow’s PTI.”