25 Jun 2024

Software automates Euro NCAP ADAS testing

AB Dynamics’ software automates Euro NCAP ADAS testing

AB Dynamics has announced it has released a major update of its Robot Controller Software, RC 9.4, which is focussed on increasing the efficiency of ADAS testing. Combined with a comprehensive library of preconfigured test scenarios updated for 2023, it enables automated testing of every current Euro NCAP ADAS protocol requiring driving robots. This provides a more streamlined and effective testing process for the industry.

“The quantity and complexity of vehicle tests are set to increase as active safety systems continue to become more advanced,” said Dr Andrew Pick, Business Director, Track Test Systems at AB Dynamics. “Our new software update provides a single environment that seamlessly manages the planning, execution, and review of tests using our robotic track testing products. It enables the majority of the ADAS testing process to be automated and helps operators to increase the efficiency, accuracy and repeatability of their testing.”

AB Dynamics’ new RC 9.4 software has been developed in close collaboration with its customers and provides an end-to-end ADAS testing capability. It is said to be unique in coordinating both robot-controlled vehicles under test and ADAS targets, enabling the test protocol to be fully defined and executed through a single software ecosystem.

The update features a fresh new interface and streamlined ADAS testing workflows designed to simplify and speed up the setup of targets and test scenarios. For example, compared to the previous version, the number of steps to initialise an ADAS test platform has now been halved.

Users can download preconfigured tests (referred to as Special Groups) from the library or use the scenario generation tool to create new complex, multi-vehicle scenarios. The test scenarios are location agnostic and can be overlayed onto aerial photos of the proving ground to help operators visualise and plan the test.

The software calculates the location, trajectory and speed of the vehicle under test and other test objects, such as ADAS targets. The tests are automatically reconfigured to account for different vehicle widths and lengths to precisely control the collision points as per the test requirements. This prevents the need to create new tests for each vehicle model.

The software also automatically runs cross-checks to ensure the test is defined properly according to the specific test requirements. This includes aspects such as data capture rate and vehicle reference points. This is critical as any incorrect specifications will result in invalid data and wasted track time. The post-test processing tool will validate the test data and provide a preliminary real-time pass or fail result.

“We work closely with Euro NCAP laboratories to develop new test protocols using our equipment and software,” said Dr Pick. “This helps to ensure that our products have the capability for current and future test requirements. As our equipment is listed as approved on Euro NCAP’s latest technical bulletin, customers can be confident that any preliminary tests would be representative of official testing.”

There are currently more than 600 different test cases in the Euro NCAP Special Groups library, which includes 150 new scenarios added for the latest 2023 protocol update. The pre-configured tests have been developed by AB Dynamics’ team of software and application engineers. The underlying scenarios can take weeks of development time to create, modify and validate. By using AB Dynamics’ database of test scenarios, operators can save months of track and planning time.

On top of the Euro NCAP protocols, the company has also developed predefined regulatory tests, such as vehicle handling FMVSS126, NHTSA fishhook, dynamic brake support testing and regulation 13H. The Special Groups library also includes several China and Japan NCAP protocols with more currently under development.

“We practice continuous product improvement and this latest evolution of our product has been developed in collaboration with our customers to make it easier to use, remains familiar and is future-proofed for upcoming regulation changes and new testing capabilities,” said Dr Pick. “We are expecting the number of elements in a test scenario to increase, particularly as the testing of autonomous technologies becomes more common. This is one of the reasons why our unique ability to provide two-way communication between the vehicle under test and the other elements in the scene is so important.”

The new RC 9.4 software is now available as standard on all new track testing products. It can also be installed to upgrade appropriate hardware manufactured after 2015, when AB Dynamics switched to its latest controllers. To support its release, existing customers are being invited to attend a webinar being held on the 15th March to learn more about the new software and how to maximise its use.

Company info: AB Dynamics