PhD Position for Automatic Testing of Autonomous Vehicles

Closing Date
WorkplaceMünchen, Bayern, Germany

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Technische Universität München

23.05.2022, Wissenschaftliches Personal

The research group Cyber-Physical Systems of Prof. Matthias Althoff at the Technical University of Munich offers a PhD position in the area of automatic testing of autonomous vehicles. The Technical University of Munich is one of the top research universities in Europe fostering a strong entrepreneurial spirit and international culture.

Expected Starting Date: 01 August 2022-01 November 2022

Closing Date for Applicants: 10 July 2022

Duration: 3 years with a possible extension.

Project and Job Description

It is apparent that one cannot rely solely on physical test drives for ensuring the correct functionality of autonomous vehicles. Since physical test drives are costly and time-consuming, it is advantageous to accompany them with computer simulations. However, since most traffic scenarios are not challenging, even simulations are often too time-consuming. The goal of this project is to provide methods and tools for automatically synthesizing challenging test cases for motion planning of autonomous vehicles. This can be seen as a driving test for motion planning algorithms that needs to be passed in order to be used in real vehicles.

To solve this problem, we propose an approach that creates automatically critical driving situations, i.e., situations with a small solution space for avoiding traffic rule violations and collisions. Our approach combines reachability analysis for determining the size of the solution space with optimization techniques to shrink it. The solution space is reduced by shifting the initial states of traffic participants as well as their inputs over time, demanding an immediate and correct action of the vehicle under test.

Our developed methods will be evaluated by numerical experiments using our motion planning benchmark suite CommonRoad (?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> To evaluate the criticality of the generated scenarios, we additionally plan to conduct user studies in our driving simulator to compare measures like the subjectively perceived risk as well as the realism of our synthesized scenarios. Furthermore, real traffic will be recorded to evaluate how realistic the synthesized traffic scenes are. This work will be carried out within the EU project i4Driving with other European partners.

Previous Work

An example of our previous work on automatic test-case generation of autonomous vehicles can be found here: ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">

A previous approach on reachability analysis of autonomous vehicles is described here: ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">

Job Specifications

  • Excellent Master’s degree (or equivalent) in computer science, engineering, or related disciplines (typically mathematics, physics).

  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required.

  • Good programming skills in at least one programming language, e.g. MATLAB, C/C++, Python.

  • Highly motivated and keen on working in an international and interdisciplinary team

  • Applicants with strong background in the following fields are preferred:

    • Model-based testing

    • Motion planning

    • Logics

    • Robotics

    • Autonomous vehicles


The applicant will be directly advised by Prof. Matthias Althoff ( ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> ). Besides excellent skills for conducting innovative science, the candidate should also be talented in implementing research results within the CommonRoad framework and lead teams of students.

Our Offer

PhD remuneration will be in line with the current German collective pay agreement TV-L E13 (around 4300 Euros/month). Technical University of Munich is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity. We explicitly encourage women to apply and preference will be given to disabled applicants with equivalent qualifications.


International candidates are highly encouraged to apply. Please submit your complete application (in English or German) via our application form: ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> . Fill out all mandatory fields (*) and kindly use "Automatic Testing of Autonomous Vehicles" as the "Title of Position". Please do not include a cover letter.

Further similar job offerings will be announced on ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> .

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In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 175197.

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