Applus+ IDIADA adopts driverless misuse testing solution

Driving robots improve the safety, accuracy and precision of misuse testing at IDIADA’s Spanish proving ground

Misuse track testing explores how vehicles behave in extreme situations, with tests commonly involving driving vehicles into gravel banks, through potholes, over railway sleepers, into kerbs and over ramps to become airborne. Traditionally, expert test drivers conduct these tests, which can be arduous and generally unpleasant. Repeated tests or unexpected vehicle behaviour could also lead to driver fatigue.

The solution

To solve the problem leading automotive proving ground, Applus+ IDIADA, adopted one of our driverless test solutions. The solution automates vehicles using driving robots (for steering, pedal, and gear control), telemetry, software, a controller, a power supply unit and an inertial navigation system.

Vehicles are remotely managed from a command centre van situated close to the track which includes Ground Traffic Control software, radio base station, server and safety controller system. Our engineers worked closely with IDIADA to ensure the integration of the solution into their vehicle testing operation was seamless. The user-friendly software interface guides test operators through the test set-up and running process. Our support team is also on hand to help with any ongoing installation, technical or
programming issues.

The results

This system completely removes the need for a test driver in the vehicle. Test scenarios are simple to set up using the software and can be saved to build a library of tests. The driverless solution can typically control the vehicle under normal driving conditions to an accuracy of 2 cm, the speed to within 0.5 km/h and steering angle to within 0.5 degrees. This level of precision means robots get the test right, first time, which is particularly important for misuse testing. It also enables extreme vehicle manoeuvres to be programmed that simply can’t be reliably achieved through human control.

In addition to accuracy and precision, safe management of vehicles was a key requirement for IDIADA. The solution features multiple layers of safety functionality including continuous diagnostic error checking, speed and steering limits, geofences, a safety brake system and a remote engine kill system. Operators can remotely stop the driverless vehicle at anytime should a hazard arise.

Applus+ IDIADA adopts driverless misuse testing solution
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