Advanced Vehicle Technology Can Detect and Evade PedestriansApril 11, 2019
Thanks to the advanced safety technology available in today’s cars, more and more vehicles are equipped with accident avoidance technology like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warnings. Another example of an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) that is currently being tested is pedestrian detection and avoidance.
To aid with testing these systems, AB Dynamics has created the Soft Pedestrian Target, or SPT, which is a moving dummy that simulates the movements of a pedestrian. These dummies were created to test the pedestrian avoidance systems in today’s cars, in order to make sure that they work in any scenario where a pedestrian or a cyclist might be at risk of being hit by a car.
AB Dynamics is a supplier of automotive test systems, including SPT, that helps manufacturers test ADAS. They created the SPT so that they could test different ADAS and ensure that they are safe and effective. If a vehicle does not react quickly enough, the SPT takes the hit, allowing manufacturers to figure out what needs to be changed or fixed, so that they can take the necessary steps to change, repair, or improve the technology, so that actual pedestrians are less likely to be injured.
How Dummy Pedestrians Help with Safety Technology
These blue-clad human-looking dummies fill in for real humans in a range of traffic scenarios as a way to test ADAS, which is what enables today’s vehicles to automatically brake, swerve, or change lanes in an emergency situation.
Because these systems are manufactured in many different countries, organizations, like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States, are responsible for ensuring that companies follow an established set of rules. Said rules are relating to factors like speed, impact location, and lighting.
The SPT is placed on a pad or platform, which is equipped with a control system that synchronizes the SPT with the test vehicle. This technology ensures that the SPT arrives at the same spot, in front of the same car, at the same speed, every single time, no matter how many tests are carried out.
An SPT was set up perpendicular to a subject vehicle, which was testing its protocol for when a child runs from between two parked cars and into the street unexpectedly. This particular test determines whether the ADAS will react quickly enough to avoid hitting the child.
The subject vehicle must drive in a specific way, so a driving robot is used to ensure that the speed is maintained, and the vehicle is following the correct path without variation. When the test vehicle reached the exact distance from the point of impact, the SPT system engaged, causing the platform to move.
Unless the vehicle automatically brakes to avoid the dummy, the impact point will be that which was described in the protocol.
According to a senior project engineer at AB Dynamics, the SPT dummies help keep pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists safe.
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