Based on sensor data acquisition, machine perception, and robotics, autonomous systems are conquering previously unimagined fields of application. Autonomous systems are not just robots, but also vehicles or virtual assistants. Autonomously operating nursing robots can support people with physical or cognitive constraints. Mobility and logistics systems can become safer and more efficient. Autonomous systems can replace humans in dangerous environments.Moreover, digitalization is accompanied by a decentralization of control and monitoring tasks and the associated spread of local intelligent systems which autonomously manage subtasks.The importance of "autonomous driving" is well known and has been in the focus of industry and politics for several years. Even if the first autonomous vehicles are already being tested in public road traffic, fully autonomous vehicles represent an enormous technical challenge. A key problem is the interpretation of the traffic situation in the area surrounding the autonomous vehicle. Autonomous systems will solve subtasks independently and will be networked with other autonomous systems directly or via a security-critical IT infrastructure.