The increasing variety of test configurations and requirements has encouraged the Passive Safety
Department to carry out tests of greater complexity. These advanced crash tests usually involve vehicle trajectories which are not straight and cannot be performed with the usual testing system. In order to increase the testing capabilities, a new guiding system was developed to satisfy the abovementioned requirements.
Several requirements for the desired system were established:
- High reliability and robustness: to guarantee repeatability and durability in crashes.
- In-vehicle system: to avoid the modification of the structure and without interfering in the mass distribution.
- Electrically compatible: no electrical interference should be added in the vehicle.
Based on these requirements a new vehicle guiding system was designed and developed. An in-loop processing of the images filmed by a camera enables the vehicle to follow a path marked on the floor. An algorithm for image processing through color filters was developed to identify the position of the line marked on the floor. Based on this input the steering wheel is rotated by an electric
motor which receives the input of the electronic software
After a first phase of development, the system satisfied all the established requirements, being able to identify the marked line on the floor and control the angle of the steering wheel to maintain the desired trajectory. However, the robustness must be increased. Additionally, a Remote Station should be developed to have a graphic interface that allows to remotely control the test, as well as monitoring different parameters of interest.
For these reasons, a second phase was defined to implement improvements that will enable the systems to perform additional tests and also include GPS input. The system has been developed in a modular and scalable technological platform to develop future automated driving tests and research projects.