In a major milestone, AB Dynamics has delivered its 1000th robot system to the American Center for Mobility (ACM) based in Michigan, USA - a national facility for connected and automated vehicle (CAV) research, testing, product development, validation and certification.
The occasion was marked by a handover ceremony attended by key staff members from both companies.
ACM is based at the historic Willow Run aircraft manufacturing location, where Ford built the B-24 Liberator bomber during the second world war. On this site, Henry Ford signed off the 5,000th B-24 in 1944, so today’s milestone has strong historical echoes.
AB Dynamics has been supplying robots for more than twenty years, with some of the first steering robots supplied still in use today. Since then, the product range has broadened to include a variety of models designed for more complex testing within vehicle dynamics, durability testing and ADAS development along with some that exceed the requirements for tests such as the NHTSA Fishhook, FMVSS 126 / Reg13H sine-dwell and many other industry standards.
ACM has purchased a suite of test equipment from AB Dynamics including the Guided Soft Target platform and a driving robot system comprising the SR60 Torus steering robot and CBAR600 pedal robot. According to Jeff Rupp, Chief Technical Officer at ACM, the equipment will allow the company to deliver testing and research both for internal use and on behalf of its customers.
“We chose AB Dynamics' products because of its strong reputation for supplying robust, reliable and easy to use equipment with the intention that it will make testing simpler and more efficient. Our customers identified the GST and driving robots as high-priority items, having successfully used AB Dynamics equipment elsewhere. We set out to offer cutting edge facilities at ACM and so the package from AB Dynamics was a great fit” said Rupp.
Officially opened in December 2017, ACM is building a wide range of test environments including a 2.5 mile high-speed loop, 1.5 mile urban arterial road, a 700' tunnel and an urban canyon. The Center's pillars of focus are testing, validation and education. The equipment purchased will be available to ACM customers for rental with track booking.
Jeremy Ash, Sales Director at AB Dynamics said: "The redevelopment of Willow Run and the work that is being done there will make a huge contribution to 21st century mobility. We are delighted to work with ACM and we love the historical resonance of our 1000th robot system being used at Willow Run. Our ADAS platforms and driving robots have become the industry standard for research and testing of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV). We believe that there will be a major increase in CAV testing being done in controlled environments, to back up that which is done on public roads, and Willow Run will be a key center for this.