To reduce the number of traffic accidents and to increase the drivers comfort, the thought of designing driver assistance systems rose in the past years. Principal problems are caused by having a moving observer (ego motion)
in predominantly natural surroundings. In this paper we present a solution for a flexible architecture for a driver assistance system. The architecture can be subdivided into four different parts: the object-related analysis, the
knowledge base, the behavior-based scene interpretation, and the behavior planning unit. The object-related analysis is fed with data by the sensors (e.g., vision, radar). The sensor data are preprocessed (flexible sensor fusion) and evaluated (saliency map) searching for object-related information (positions, types of objects, etc.). The knowledge base is represented by static and dynamic knowledge. It consists of a set of rules (e.g. , traffic rules, physical laws), additional information (i.e., GPS, lane-information) and it is implicitly used by algorithms in the system. The scene interpretation combines the information extracted by the object related analysis and inspects the information for contradictions. It is strongly connected to the behavior planning using only information needed for the actual task. In the scene interpretation consistent representations (i.e., bird's eye view) are organized and interpreted as well as a scene analysis is performed. The results of the scene interpretation are used for decision making in behavior planning, which is controlled by the actual task. The influence of behavior planning on the behavior of the guided vehicle is limited to advices as no mechanical control (e.g. , control of the steering angle) was implemented. An Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) is shown as a spin-off for using this architecture.