Driving Robots & Automated Test Drivers
Whether you're developing a prototype vehicle or involved in an accident investigation, there are times when the maneuver that needs to be performed could put human life at risk or necessitate the creation of a repeatable test. Driving robots can offer valuable assistance in vehicle performance testing and investigations. Driving robots can safely and accurately put vehicles through different dynamic maneuvers to create a measurable connection between a driver’s actions and the eventual outcome.
Types of Driving Robots
While humans can be in the car with a driving robot, one of the key benefits is that they don’t have to be. Combinations of hardware and software can be integrated into just about any type of vehicle to simulate a driver’s contribution to an accident or other events. The robot controls the vehicle while simultaneously performing data acquisition about its specific actions.
These robots can perform many different actions to represent how a driver impacted a situation:
- Speed control to maintain a constant speed or an acceleration profile
- Brake pedal position or brake force control to control deceleration profiles
- Path following to perform accurate and repeatable steering maneuvers
- Data acquisition to collect specific vehicle movements and identify visual dashboard alerts
Benefits of Driving Robots
One of the most significant benefits is that these robots help keep humans out of harm’s way. This allows vehicle test engineers to collect data by driving vehicles in a manner that would otherwise be far too dangerous. Beyond that, robots can also perform most tasks much more accurately than a human driver would be able to, providing repeatability.
Robots are the perfect solution for running similar tests repeatedly, creating the ability to control all variables. The margin of error is so small that it’s easy to isolate how small differences can lead to different outcomes. These robots serve as valuable tools that allow vehicle dynamics engineers to perform complex testing scenarios and run them with nearly perfect accuracy.
Robots can repeat the same set of actions time after time in a way that human drivers cannot. Engineers can tweak different variables to create scientifically accurate tests. For example, a robot can go through the same winding road course with the same steering and speed inputs, but with two different sets of tires. In that scenario, any differences in the result can be attributed to the difference in the tires.
Driving Robot Services
S-E-A builds, sells and utilizes some of the most advanced driving robots available. We can also provide professional engineering support to perform testing. The result is accurate testing and reporting for our clients to use. Contact [email protected] to inquire about driving robots or testing services.
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