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Testing Driver Assistance Systems

Customer Stories May 15, 2013


Most new car models boast impressive safety features including brake assistance, adaptive cruise control or lane departure warning. The RT-Range from OxTS has now been used by the ADAC, Germany’s leading motoring organisation, in a unique series of tests to reveal just how well these assistance systems work.

Six different car models have been tested and compared at a remote airfield in the south of Germany. The vehicles being evaluated included a Ford Mondeo, Volvo XC60, VW Passat, Honda Accord, Audi A4 and Lexus IS250. The ADAC organisation has been rating the vehicles for their capacity to mitigate the effects of potentially dangerous traffic scenarios. All vehicles were subjected to the same tests and rated against a set of criteria.

The test equipment

The test equipment used for the accurate measurements was supplied by OxTS. The RT-Range measurement systems were developed by OxTS to evaluate and verify the accuracy of sensors utilised by many driver assistance systems. An RT-Range system not only measures the relative motion between two or more moving vehicles but also their position within the lane. The systems output all measurements of a “Hunter” and a “Target” vehicle in real-time on CAN bus and to a PC with high accuracy. The position of the vehicle can be measured with up to 2cm position accuracy and speed measurements are accurate to 0.05km/h, which is essential for testing advanced driver assistance systems.

During the tests at the airfield, the ADAC organisation used the same “Target” vehicle for all tests. The “Hunter” vehicles were the six cars being evaluated and compared in terms of safety. The Target vehicle and the Hunter vehicles were equipped with an RT3002 Inertial and GPS navigation system in addition to the RT-Range boxes.

The data between the vehicles is transmitted over wireless LAN and works – without any obstructions such as trees or buildings – at least up to 200 metres.

Easy installation

The RT3000 systems can be securely and tightly fitted into any vehicle with a unique mounting pole. This mounting strut is easily transferable between vehicles, making it ideal for the evaluation of multiple cars and greatly reducing the installation time.

The test results

All six cars performed very well even at higher speeds. However, each of the six vehicles reacted slightly different when subjected to exactly the same test scenario. Some cars alerted the driver with acoustic, visual or haptic signals, such as sounds, flashing signals on the dashboard, or vibration of the steering wheel.

All six cars performed very well at inner city speeds of 50km/h as well as at speeds of up to 130km/h. The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) function worked well in all six vehicles during the tests. The cars used either a laser setup or used a radar technology that was fitted to the front of the vehicle. This allowed the cars to maintain a pre-set distance from the vehicle in front, decelerating automatically if the vehicle in front slows down and accelerating again to the pre-set speed when traffic allows.

Another driver assistance feature evaluated during the tests was the electronic brake assistance system. This was tested by driving each of the six vehicles towards a parked car in the middle of the airfield at various speeds. The brake assistant is an efficient aid when the driver wants the vehicle to stop as quickly as possible to avoid or mitigate collisions. A sensor recognises the emergency braking situation and immediately applies maximum braking power – saving precious seconds in emergency situations. Some of the cars even apply automatic pre-tensioning of the seat-belts in potentially dangerous situations.

All six cars met the expectations during these harsh, two week long tests. The RT-Range measurement systems from OxTS proved to be the ideal testing partner, giving highly accurate data to objectively assess and evaluate the vehicles’ driver assistance systems. Once set up, the RT-Range provided reliable data and was also easy to transfer between the different vehicles, saving valuable time on the test track.

To find out how the RT-Range systems can help you improve your ADAS testing, click here…

To read how these vehicles have been rated in terms of their safety by the independent ADAC organisation, click here…

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