Fault-Tolerance by Graceful Degradation for Car Platoons

Authors M. Baha E. Zarrouki, Verena Klös, Markus Grabowski, Sabine Glesner

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Author Details

M. Baha E. Zarrouki
  • TU Berlin, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, 10587 Berlin, Germany
Verena Klös
  • TU Berlin, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, 10587 Berlin, Germany
Markus Grabowski
  • Assystem Germany GmbH, Gutenbergstraße 15, 10587 Berlin, Germany
Sabine Glesner
  • TU Berlin, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, 10587 Berlin, Germany

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M. Baha E. Zarrouki, Verena Klös, Markus Grabowski, and Sabine Glesner. Fault-Tolerance by Graceful Degradation for Car Platoons. In Workshop on Autonomous Systems Design (ASD 2019). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 68, pp. 1:1-1:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


The key advantage of autonomous car platoons are their short inter-vehicle distances that increase traffic flow and reduce fuel consumption. However, this is challenging for operational and functional safety. If a failure occurs, the affected vehicles cannot suddenly stop driving but instead should continue their operation with reduced performance until a safe state can be reached or, in the case of temporal failures, full functionality can be guaranteed again. To achieve this degradation, platoon members have to be able to compensate sensor and communication failures and have to adjust their inter-vehicle distances to ensure safety. In this work, we describe a systematic design of degradation cascades for sensor and communication failures in autonomous car platoons using the example of an autonomous model car. We describe our systematic design method, the resulting degradation modes, and formulate contracts for each degradation level. We model and test our resulting degradation controller in Simulink/Stateflow.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Computer systems organization → Embedded and cyber-physical systems
  • Computer systems organization → Availability
  • Software and its engineering → Software design engineering
  • fault-tolerance
  • degradation
  • car platoons
  • autonomous driving
  • contracts


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