UK - ADAS and Autonomous Testing news

Testing the functionality of Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) at production facilities sounds impractical, but it could be as simple as driving against a soft target at 15 km/h, to ensure AEB functionality works. 

AEB is a road-safety technology capable of observing the road ahead; it will automatically cause the car to brake should the driver fail to respond to a collision warning. Using lidar, camera, and/or radar to detect obstacles in the road, AEB systems have the potential to avoid a crash completely. In light of this, automotive and ADAS industry leaders have been working closely to test cars with advanced driver assistance systems in order to validate and improve vehicle safety.

As of 2022, AEB will become a mandatory fit on all newly manufactured vehicle models by the European Commission by mid-2022, and all new cars by 2024, therefore ensuring quality validation of GSR UN152 regulation. Although this has a positive impact on vehicle safety, it should be noted that 100% operability is not always guaranteed. This causes us to question should we inspire more action to sample test AEB systems at production facilities?

According to Thatcham Research: “Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is probably the most important development in car safety since the seat belt and could save an incredible 1,100 lives and 122,860 casualties in the UK over the next decade”.

Principal Engineer at Thatcham Research, Colin Grover says, “Modern cars do a huge amount to protect passengers in collisions. Active safety technology has an equally important role to play by intervening to reduce the severity of collisions or even better, avoiding them completely."

It is clear to see that AEB systems are highly advantageous, however, regular safety assessment and testing of both old and new vehicles is necessary to ensure ADAS continues to work and protect as it should throughout the life of the vehicle. Currently, the operability of AEB is not always guaranteed in real-life road scenarios as vehicle-to-target tests are not conducted during car build or post-build.

AEB systems are calibrated at vehicle factories during production, and although the technology itself is effective, system failures have previously been reported due to interference with the vehicle’s sensors, something which calibration cannot foresee. 

For some, this has resulted in serious and somewhat disconcerting media attention due to large- scale recalls. For example, Volvo has recalled approximately 750,000 vehicles worldwide for all vehicle manufactured between 2019 and 2022, with amid concerns of faulty AEB systems. These failures could have been avoided had one simple test have been completed; driving against a soft target at 15 km/h would help to ensure that AEB functionality works. 

As ADAS technology improves and all new vehicle models become technically equipped with AEB systems in 2022, ADAS experts suggest more attention towards testing and validating these systems is highly recommended for conformity of production and to reduce costly product recalls.

With over 17 years’ experience within the industry, Steve Boyle, ADAS expert and Managing Director at Moshon Data suggests, “AEB systems are the future for ADAS, however, quality control departments at all vehicle manufacturers should sample test and validate these systems to ensure quality assurance. Detecting system failures early on, before a vehicle reaches the mainstream, can prove to be more cost efficient.”

“As a result of this, Moshon Data, have put all our resources together to create a quick and simple to use MD-Han’i validation tool - designed specifically for end-of-line production testing.”

Engineers working directly on validating AEB systems, use dummy vehicle and pedestrian soft targets to test AEB functionality. This has shown to be most effective as AEB recognizes these targets as real-life objects. Using a validation tool specifically designed for production line testing could be beneficial for vehicle manufacturers to guarantee the system's operability when testing, for example, every 1 in 50 vehicles. Reliable data capturing and reporting can be obtained in <5 minutes with an instant pass or fail result, saving manufacturers time and cost.

Technical Manager at Moshon Data, Paul Brett says, “All the ‘techy stuff’ normally carried out by skilled automotive engineers has been pre-installed into the MD-Han’i for you by people who have been in the vehicle testing industry for over 17 years. It is our wish to play a small part in helping to make AEB production failures hitting our roads a thing of the past.”

As ADAS industry leaders continue to contribute to improving ADAS technology, providing the perfect opportunity for manufacturers to improve conformity of production and type approval, there’s hope yet for action in 2022 when AEB becomes a standard on all vehicles.

Moshon Data Ltd

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