DIN and SAE present new terminology standard for automated vehicles

SAE International and the German Institute for standardization (DIN) announce the new specification DIN SAE SPEC 91381 “Terms and definitions related to testing of automated vehicle technologies”. For the first time, DIN and SAE International have teamed up to develop a bilingual (German/English) specification on automated vehicle technologies. As Automated Vehicle (AV) research and development intensifies and nears projected commercialization, various industry stakeholders have expressed the need to establish a common language and understanding among industry stakeholders, particularly with regard to the latest technological developments around AV testing. In the current discussion on automated driving, specific terms such as “controlled environment” or “scenario” are frequently misrepresented or used in multiple contexts. Terms also differ among countries and even within them. The DIN SAE specification contains terms and definitions related to the testing of automated vehicles. The industry benefits from the standard by having unambiguous terms and definitions for simulating and testing automated vehicles.

Input for the specification was provided by the European research project L3PILOT and by the German national research project PEGASUS; both of which installed a terminology group, that also discussed various terms and developed new definitions, which this consortium appreciated, adopted, or build upon. At the time of its publication, there are no internationally recognized standards covering the terms and definitions in this document within the scope and context of AV testing. Therefore, this specification provides a meaningful example of successful transatlantic cooperation with the shared goal to advance new technologies. In a time, where standards as technical barriers to trade are under scrutiny in trade negotiations, this could serve as a blueprint.

More than 50 partners, including OEMs, test track operators, research organizations, tier-one suppliers participated in the development of the standard.

To learn more about this new standard, or to download it free of charge, visit DIN’s publisher, Beuth, at








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Andrea Schröder

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