Guided Soft Target vehicle for enhanced ADAS and autonomous testing
AB Dynamics has launched its next-generation Guided Soft Target (GST) vehicle. The new lower platform has a drive-over height of 100 mm (3.9 in) and is designed for use in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicle testing. The lower profile is intended to further reduce the risk of damage to the test vehicle and provide precise positioning, speed control, and test vehicle synchronization to generate repeatable, dependable test results.
The latest generation GST is the result of ongoing collaborative development between AB Dynamics and Dynamic Research Inc. (DRI) and features AB Dynamics’ Path Following and Synchro control technology. The aluminum ultra-low-profile chassis (ULPC) features retractable wheels that recede in the event of being driven over, minimizing shock input to the test vehicle’s suspension.
“ADAS are becoming more widespread and increasingly complex as the automotive industry moves towards incorporating more autonomous functions, so the ability to precisely test these capabilities in a repeatable environment is of vital importance,” explained Andrew Pick, Business Director for Track Test Systems, AB Dynamics. “Just as the technologies move forward, so too must the enabling test systems that are used for development. The new GST combines all the benefits of the previous generation platform with reduced risk of damage to the test vehicle.”
The Mk2 GST features a 3.5-kW·h battery that is capable of sustaining a full day’s testing on a single charge, but if necessary can be quickly recharged or topped-up at the track-side via the built-in battery management system. Additionally, the lithium iron phosphate battery is formed from six identical packs that can be easily removed for safe shipping. It powers electric motors that can accelerate the GST to velocities over 80 km/h (50 mph) and all while being precisely controlled. AB Dynamics’ TrackFi radio shares position data with other AB Dynamics controllers via the Synchro interface, which allows its motion to be precisely synchronized with the test vehicle and other ADAS targets.
The GST is fitted with a foam paneled body (the Soft Car 360—designated the harmonized Global Vehicle Target by EuroNCAP and NHTSA) that can be reassembled in 10 minutes following impact. The entire vehicle weighs 315 kg (694 lb), depending upon specifications, and can achieve 0.2 g longitudinal acceleration with a foam body fitted and 0.8 g maximum deceleration.