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“Soft car” collision avoidance testing reaches motorway speed

29 November 2018

Compact servo drives from Elmo Motion Control are providing the driving force for AB Dynamics’ (ABD) fastest, most robust test rig yet. This enables the company, which specialises in testing systems for the automotive industry, to increase the speed and versatility of its Guided Soft Target (GST) vehicle.

The human-assisted and fully automated collision avoidance systems currently being developed by the motor industry require multiple tests to mitigate collisions from any direction at any speed. ABD’s internationally adopted GST allows vehicle manufacturers and test houses to gather extensive data from highly repeatable experiments that are used to improve vehicle safety and reduce accidents.

The GST comprises a 125mm high flat platform that carries a foam car body which has the visual and radar appearance of a real car. Upon collision with a conventional vehicle under test, the GST’s foam body safely breaks apart on impact, allowing data to be gathered on the performance of the test vehicle’s sensors, and collision avoidance and mitigation algorithms. 

The platform has sloped sides and air-filled suspension to further reduce its vertical profile to the equivalent of a small speed bump. This ensures no damage is done to either the GST or the test vehicle, and that the GST comes to a quick stop when driven over.

Read the full article in the December issue of DPA

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