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Driverless Testing Autonomous Vehicle Track Testing Systems

Driverless testing in a Toyota

Driverless testing in an Audi A8


The Driverless Test System (DTS) builds upon the proven technology used in ABD's range of driving robots to allow accurate and high-speed test driving with no human driver in the vehicle.

Driverless testing is used by ABD customers around the world to perform tests where there is a risk of injury to a human test driver. Applications include aggressive vehicle dynamics testing, ADAS development, vehicle mis-use testing and durability.

The Driverless Test System can be specified with any of ABD's range of steering robots, together with the combined brake and accelerator robot (CBAR). The Gear Robot and Clutch Robot can be added for use in vehicles with manual gear-shift or to operate sequential automatic gearshifts.

The DTS also includes ABD's Path Following system, enabling the robots to guide the vehicle along a pre-defined path with the vehicle's position, speed and time along the path all precisely controlled. The vehicle's position feedback is provided by a 2cm-accurate GPS-corrected motion pack. ABD's Duramon software can be used to monitor the vehicle's condition. High-speed wireless telemetry enables the user to supervise the vehicle from a suitable base-station beside the track.

A safety system monitors all of the critical system elements at high frequency and can apply a secondary brake actuator rapidly in case of a problem (even a total electrical failure), to bring the vehicle safely to a stop. Users can also stop a vehicle from the base-station.

Base station

The base-station is normally located within line-of-sight of the test track (although this may not be possible for durability testing). The base-station can be installed in a building or even in another vehicle. The base-station software displays real-time information about the vehicle’s position, speed and heading. When multiple vehicles are being tested simultaneously, their relative positions and velocities are also available.

Tests can be configured and run from the base-station and the data uploaded immediately afterwards for analysis. Video and audio data channels can also be sent from the vehicle in real-time, allowing the users to check for vehicle problems.

Remote controls (a steering wheel and pedals, right) may be used to drive the vehicle from the base-station. An E-stop button allows the vehicle(s) to be stopped quickly in an emergency.

By taking the human driver out of the vehicle, ABD’s driverless system enables the most dangerous and arduous vehicle tests to be performed accurately, repeatably and without risk of driver injury.

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