July 01, 2020 to June 30, 2023
In aviation, there are high requirements for hardware and software quality, which must be proven by means of certification. The components used are safety-critical and are therefore subject to high quality standards, as errors can have fatal consequences. Although solutions of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have gained importance in many economic sectors in the recent past and promising application areas have also been identified in aviation, they cannot yet be used there: Current Certification approaches cannot be applied to AI solutions. The KIEZ 4.0 project will, therefore, examine and formulate the technical, but also the ethical and legal requirements and implications for the use of artificial intelligence in aviation.
The goal of the KIEZ 4.0 is to understand the demands placed on artificial intelligence solutions in aviation as comprehensively as possible. In addition to the technical challenges, the moral-ethical and legal questions of the use of the new technology will also be researched. Already, a number of AI solutions are being developed in aviation, such as the simplified command inputs using voice recognition or even concepts of completely electronic co-pilots. As current certification approaches are based on deterministic systems, the data-based and not necessarily deterministic AI methods cannot be approved with them. The project will, therefore, provide the groundwork for possible future certification concepts. This includes the advancement of standardization measures for AI-based systems.
The work in the KIEZ 4.0 is divided into five work packages in which the project partners make contributions according to their expertise. The work packages deal with the following topics:
- Work package 1 Concepts: Gathering knowledge about certification schemes and possible approaches to AI
- Work package 2 Applications of AI: Analysis of potential fields of application of AI in aviation and analysis of their potentials
- Work package 3 AI Demos/Use Case: Concrete implementation of the fields of application worked out in work package 2
- Work package 4 Analysis: Concepts for testing procedures, methods for verification and certification of AI
- Work package 5 Cross-sectional issues: Analysis of the ethical, legal and economic questions related to the use of AI
Fraunhofer FOKUS will provide its expertise in the areas of certification and testing of hardware and software components in the working packages 1 and 4.
The structure of the research consortium is a special feature of the KIEZ 4.0 project. In addition to Fraunhofer FOKUS, the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics (FKIE), the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS), the University of Stuttgart and the Munich-based research institute fortiss, as well as the engineering association IILS are also involved on the technical side. The Faculty of Theology at the University of Eichstätt conducts the research on the questions of ethics. Airbus Defense and Space acts as the project lead. Additionally, the German air navigation service provider (DFS), the German Aerospace Center (DLR) as well as the European Union Agency Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are part of the project.
KIEZ 4.0 receives funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The project starts on 1 June, 2020, and will have a runtime of three years.