TACHELES in Karlsruhe - Successful Launch of a New Expert’s Conference Series on Automated and Connected Driving

The inaugural TACHELES conference, organized by the FZI Research Center for Information Technology, commenced with great success, attracting over 100 participants at the CyberForum in Karlsruhe. The primary focus of this initial event was to address pertinent issues related to the validation and approval of Level 3 and Level 4 systems. Held under the auspices of the transport ministry of Baden-Württemberg, the conference featured keynote speeches, informative sessions, a demonstration tour, and various workshops, catering to industry, scientific, and political attendees.

Recognizing the ambitious claims and numerous ongoing projects and initiatives, it has become evident that meeting the high expectations of stakeholders, including users, mobility providers, and politicians, will require substantial time and effort. Achieving autonomous driving remains an arduous endeavor, necessitating a fresh perspective on automated and connected driving and a transparent approach towards the existing challenges. Thus, the concept of "talking Tacheles," a German expression signifying candid and forthright discussions, was adopted for this new conference format. The intention was to initiate open conversations, critically assess the progress made thus far in the field of automated and connected driving, and present a realistic path towards the future. The single-day conference sought to avoid making exaggerated promises, instead prioritizing clear and honest dialogue while embracing a shared vision for an automated and connected mobility future.

Expert presentations by prominent industry players such as Bosch, AVL List, TÜV Süd, Cariad, DIN and DLR shed light on the key topics pertinent to the homologation and approval of L3- and L4-systems and vehicles. The German and European approach, emphasizing safety-oriented automation, was juxtaposed with the developments in the United States and China; it remains to be seen which approach will lead to long-term market success and viability. During a demo tour across the ‘Test Field for Automated Driving Baden-Württemberg’ in Karlsruhe, the participants got a glimpse at the possibilities of testing and validating within a real laboratory environment.

The TACHELES workshops centered on the secure deployment of artificial intelligence and the comprehensive discussion of critical and infrequent traffic scenarios. Winfried Hermann, the transport minister of Baden-Württemberg, actively participated in the workshops and engaged in discussions. The positive reception of the new conference format by both the participants and the host and organizer, FZI, became evident during the closing panel. As a result, plans for the next TACHELES conference in the following year are already underway, demonstrating the commitment to continuity.

EICT, on behalf of and with the participation of the FZI Research Center for Information Technology, played a pivotal role in developing the new conference format, including content planning and event organization, as part of their comprehensive service package.

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Photos: FZI Research Center for Information Technology, photographer Paul Gärtner