Center for Automated Driving and Service Technology (CAST)

The Center for Automated Driving and Service Technology (CAST) is a teaching and research laboratory that offers the best conditions for teaching, learning and research. Our focus is on the areas of automated driving, service technology and automotive diagnostics.

Location: City Campus Esslingen, building 3


Areas of activity


Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Automated Driving (AD):

  • Ego-vehicle sensors
  • Environmental sensors / machine perception: ultrasound, radar, lidar, mono/stereo video.
  • Sensor data processing (point cloud data, image processing, etc.)
  • Sensor data fusion and tracking
  • Localization and Mapping (SLAM)
  • Action planning
  • Architectures, functions and systems
  • Verification and Validation
  • ODD (Operational Design Domain), SOTIF (Safety Of The Intended Functionality)

Service Engineering:

  • Innovative repair techniques
  • Main inspection
  • Wheel alignment
  • Workshop equipment and special tools
  • Service-oriented design
  • Maintenance strategies
  • Quality audit
  • Electric vehicles in service

Automotive diagnostics:

  • Self-diagnosis
  • On-site and over-the-air diagnostics
  • Diagnostic strategy
  • Diagnostic training with the online tool Electude
  • Diagnostic practice with Audi/VW, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Bosch etc.
  • Vehicle network
  • Diagnostics of high-voltage vehicles and components
  • Diagnostics engineering
  • Data management and analysis with machine learning methods
  • Predictive diagnostics solutions
Laboratory exercises and projects



Historic vehicles are carefully prepared and repaired at the CAST by the team of the Rallyestall of the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences. The aim is to make them fit for exciting rallies, such as the 4L Trophy and the Europe-Orient Rally. Not only are important project management and teamwork skills learned, but expertise in vehicle technology is also expanded.

Research and teaching in theory and practice

At CAST, research takes place in close interaction with teaching as well as with partners from industry and the public sector. The focus of the applied research areas lies in the following fields:

  • Automated driving

One focus is the experimental automation of the racing team vehicles for an extension of Formula Student towards Formula Student Driverless (FSD). Here, all elements of the signal processing chain of modern AD systems are applied: lidar sensors, video sensors, processing of PCD and image data, training of deep neural networks (DNN, CNN), etc.

Another activity is the construction of a 1:14 scale model traffic landscape, where realistic traffic scenarios are recreated with model vehicles to test and validate autonomous driving functions. In addition to purely sensor-based environment detection, information from a V2X interface can also be integrated.

  • After sales for electromobility

Many questions regarding the maintenance and repair of battery electric vehicles and those with fuel cells have not yet been widely tested or are answered very differently by the various market participants.

Other research topics such as the diagnostic possibilities and reparability of traction batteries are being investigated in the long term and regularly lead to contributions at conferences such as the EVS (Electric Vehicle Symposium).

  • Innovative maintenance and repair concepts

Various combinations of materials, composites and joining techniques are presenting service operations with increasingly diverse challenges in the accident repair of vehicles. In addition to cost-effectiveness, sustainability is increasingly coming into focus, which has an impact, for example, on the selection and implementation of modern maintenance strategies.

  • Automotive diagnostics of the future

For the connected vehicle of the future, the further development of diagnostic technology is of crucial importance. The use of high-performance computers is significantly changing the electronic vehicle architecture and requires new communication and diagnostic concepts. By constantly networking the vehicle with the outside world, large amounts of data from the vehicle can be analyzed in the backend (cloud) using machine learning methods (AI). Predictive maintenance and repair concepts are being researched here, and the actual troubleshooting is also taking place through over-the-air software updates if possible.


Laboratory equipment


The CAST is equipped with modern tools, test and diagnostic equipment necessary for conducting laboratory exercises, projects and vehicle tests.

In addition to university-owned applications, the CAST also offers various possibilities for use to external educational institutions, institutions and industry. Events with event character, seminars, congresses, meetings, vehicle examinations, car clinics and much more: a wide range of services is available.

Head of Laboratory and staff

Interested? Apply now! for the wintersemester 2024/2025