Airbags and other passive safety systems such as belt tensioners can save lives. The reliable detection of an accident is a basic requirement for the timely activation of the safety systems. A precise setting of the onboard sensors is carried out mainly in extensive test runs directly on the concerning vehicle. Vehicle manufacturers have developed partially different test maneuvers for this purpose. However the best known are the following:
- half side driving over a ramp with only one vehicle lane or with full coverage
- driving through a gravel bed with 80 km/h
- simulation of a wildlife accident by a frontal impact on a 50kg heavy sandbag with 85 km/h
- driving the test vehicle into a heap of gravel
These types of tests are summarized under the term "Misuse Test". In the above scenarios the vehicle's onboard sensors have to detect that it is not a life-threatening situation and that the airbag must not deploy.
Despite the dangers and the extreme physical stress these tests are performed today still primarily with test drivers.
Using the VEHICO CO.REMOTE system it is possible to perform these tests without an in-vehicle test driver. For this, the test vehicle is equipped with our driving robot systems for the steering wheel and pedals. A special radio communication allows to control the driving robot using a remote control. The user has the choice between a classic lever remote control, a remote control gun or a steering wheel and pedal system. Additionally, the operator can get information transmitted from inside the test vehicle, such as the current vehicle speed or a video broadcast from the driver's perspective. The driving of the test vehicle can be done easily from either a stationary point on the test track or from a alongside driving support vehicle.
Misuse tests generally require no very high lateral accuracy, so that a remote-controlled steering of the vehicle is quite sufficient to hit a sandbag or gravel heap. Our driving robots are quickly installed and easy to use. An expensive GPS/INS sensor is not needed for CO.REMOTE. With CO.REMOTE a commercial vehicle can be converted into an unmanned remote-controlled test vehicle in a short time and at minimal cost.
In case the maximum lateral accuracy of the remote controlled vehicle is not sufficient, a VEHICO CO.DRIVE system can be upgraded easily. Here, the entire maneuver can be programmed and then driven automatically and with maximum precision.