German Aerospace Center

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt

Among other research activities the Institute of Transportation Systems of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) provides test infrastructure for automated and connected mobility.

the company

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is the national aeronautics and space research center of the Federal Republic of Germany. The center conducts extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, energy, transport, security and digitalization. With the Test Bed Lower Saxony the DLR Institute of Transportation Systems provides a research infrastructure for the development and testing of automated vehicles. The tools of the Test Bed Lower Saxony offer to conduct various simulations which also enable, in particular, hardware-in-the-loop/software-in-the-loop, driver-in-the-loop and vehicle-in-the-loop investigations.

the challenge

The DLR reached out to atlatec with the following challenge: the research center aimed to create a “digital twin” of the Test Bed Lower Saxony (Testfeld Niedersachsen) that would allow partners of the automotive industry to conduct development and multiple tests of their autonomous vehicles by taking real-world data into simulation. The goal for atlatec was to provide high-accuracy HD road maps of the test bed that would allow the testing at large scale, low cost, high precision, and not having to bring the vehicle onto the real roads. 

the result

After agreeing on the details of the project (the route, annotated objects etc.), atlatec started the data acquisition. Since the company does not own any vehicles and the hardware is easy to transport, the process of data collection could start immediately. The camera hardware (atlatec sensor pod) can be placed on top of any car available.


atlatec maps are compatible with various software frameworks: the digital twin of the Test Bed Lower Saxony can be used by anyone who is engaged either in the research or production of automated vehicles and/or produces sensors for automated vehicles. Further use cases for the usage of the generated HD-map are the provisioning of map data, i.e. certain areas of interest or general road layout information for the oncoming roads by V2X communication or the test and evaluation of local dynamic map services.

“The Test Bed Lower Saxony combines the best of the digital and the real world. One can speak of a reference test bed from simulation through to real world, which is constantly developing.”

– Prof. Katharina Seifert, Director of the Institute of Transportation Systems, DLR