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Driving robots on the test track

Company News October 24, 2011

Volvo deploys the latest, cutting-edge technology on their test track in Sweden. Instead of human test drivers, a highly sophisticated driving robot conducts test manoeuvres for the Swedish vehicle manufacturer. Volvo is one of many leading car companies in the world to use driving robots for automated test scenarios in order to collect test data. And there are some striking advantages in doing this.

The vehicles are equipped with steering-, braking- and accelerator robots from the world’s leading manufacturer of in-vehicle robots Anthony Best Dynamics (ABD). The driving robot gets highly accurate measurements of position, velocity, acceleration, angular rates, roll, pitch, slip angles, etc. from the OxTS RT3002 GPS-aided inertial navigation system. The RT3002 has a dedicated interface to the ABD robot, providing it with this essential information to enable it to navigate a car around a test track autonomously. Combined, the RT3002 measurement system and the ABD steering-, braking-, and accelerator robots make a world-class path-following and autonomous testing solution.

An engineer can set a specific test manoeuvre or route around a test track which the driving robot will learn. Then the robot can drive exactly the same set path or manoeuvre over and over again – all day long if required. The robot driver can drive this route with maximum accuracy and repeatability, allowing the engineers at Volvo to collect highly repeatable test data. Performing test manoeuvres down to cm accuracy on exactly the same route is essential for comparing the performance of different cars. But also when assessing ride and handling characteristics of new cars, huge amounts of reliable and highly precise test data can be collected by a driving robot. And some tests which are simply too dangerous for human test drivers or tests which could cause damage to the driver’s health in the long run, can now be carried out safely by a robot driver.

To find out more about the RT3002 inertial and GPS navigation systems, click here… or contact our Sales Team.

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