Research on integrated vehicle safety

TNO is recognized by OEMs and TIERs all over the world as a valuable knowledge partner with unique expertise, tools and facilities. The activities within the research department Integrated Vehicle Safety focus on improving the functional safety of vehicles and prevent human fatalities and severe injuries by developing integrated safety solutions that are robust and reliable under all circumstances. 

TNO has unique automotive expertise, tools and facilities for the development of high level and low level control software for safety related applications, such as:

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

  • Vehicle State Estimation (VSE)
  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Frontal Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
  • Lane Change Assist (LCA)

Automated Driving Applications

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), watch video
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Traffic Jam Assist (TJA)
  • Automated Lane Change / Lane Merging, watch video
  • Collision Avoidance (CA), watch video
  • Fully Automated Highway Platooning, watch video

Cooperative Driving Applications

  • Cooperative Autonomous Emergency Braking (C-AEB), watch video
  • Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (C-ACC), watch video
  • Cooperative Intelligent Bicycle


TNO supports the automotive industry with the development of robust and fail-safe software control algorithms, innovative methodologies and system architectures, using advanced software tools and research facilities. The Integrated Vehicle Safety department is specialized in:

  • Detailed physical based modelling for real-time software applications
  • Model based simulation of multiple real-world scenarios for fast virtual testing
  • Model based control for optimization of safety system functionality and robustness.

For our customers it is important to proof the added-value of our software solutions under real-life conditions. Automotive research at TNO has a strong track record in software implementation on Rapid-Control-Prototyping level, using the preferred hardware platforms and vehicles from automotive OEMs and TIERs. To enable our customers to bring the integrated safety solutions towards production, TNO also provides the required software codes, knowledge transfer, documentation and consultancy services for tailor-made implementation of the software and supports her customers with the step towards embedded software products.

Main fields of expertise

Vehicle Dynamics Estimation & Control

The Vehicle Dynamics, Estimation & Control group has a core expertise in tire and vehicle dynamics modelling and control. The group develops tire models and model-based vehicle state estimators and controllers with a focus on active safety and automated driving systems. The estimators provide a highly reliable and real-time adjusted representation of the vehicle driving capabilities that are crucial for vehicle control algorithms involving braking, accelerating and steering actions, or can feed V2X safety applications. To support and accelerate the introduction of new technologies, the group works towards full vehicle implementation and performance demonstrations in which integrated safety solutions are ready for the public road.

Cooperative Vehicle Systems

Optimizing road traffic with respect to safety, throughput, and fuel efficiency requires an integrated approach, which focusses on the traffic system, rather than the individual vehicle. The Cooperative Vehicle Systems (CVS) group focusses on the area of cooperative driving, which aims to influence the individual vehicle behavior, either through advisory or automated actions, in order to optimize the collective behavior. To this end, wireless communication is employed, allowing traffic participants to obtain information about their environment beyond their own line of sight. More specifically, the CVS group aims to realize novel real-time safety critical cooperative and automated systems, covering fundamental theory, model-based development, simulation, real-time implementation, and experimental evaluation in proof-of-concept demonstrators. The scientific and technological focus is on situation awareness based on fusion of wireless and multi-sensor information, real-time embedded software to support mixed-criticality applications, (networked) control of interconnected systems of vehicles, and on fault tolerance.

Safety Assessment & Methodologies

The Safety Assessment & Methodologies group focusses on the development of predictive human behavior models and applications for design and evaluation of integrated vehicle safety systems, ranging from passive safety systems, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to automated driving applications. The group also develops new methodologies to evaluate the real-world performance of integrated safety solutions, in order to support and contribute to Vision Zero targets in both The Netherlands as well as the rest of the world.

TNO has a strong background and expertise in biomechanics, mathematical modelling, crash test dummies, virtual testing and evaluation methods. For volunteer testing and modelling of cognitive behavior, the Integrated Vehicle Safety department cooperates closely with other research departments within TNO. Our human modelling knowledge has been established in numerical models, simulation tools, and injury criteria databases. In addition, we apply our research and consultancy in other domains, e.g. for improved free-fall lifeboat occupant safety.


TNO research on powertrains

Modern means of transport, from passenger cars to heavy-duty road and waterborne transport have to meet increasingly strict emission regulations and greenhouse gas targets. Read more

Virtual Assessment to enable safe Automated Driving

03 August 2021
TNO, Siemens DISW and Itility have started a TKI project to develop and demonstrate the use of virtual simulations for the safety assessment of Connected Automated Driving (CAD) systems. Case-by-case testing... Read more

Expertise groups

Ir. Bastiaan Krosse