CAN Newsletter magazine
No doubt ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) testing is important. But simulation only is not sufficient, real-world driving studies complement them.
This article originally appeared in the September issue of the CAN Newsletter magazine 2018. This is just an excerpt.
The range of ADAS is growing – and not just since connected cars and autonomous driving has come increasingly to the fore of the automotive industry. Using sensors, ADAS detect the vehicle environment, interpret these, and aim to support drivers while traveling as well as improve driving comfort. Because ADAS (still) do not independently contribute to vehicle safety, it is particularly important that they do not jeopardize the safety of the driver by distracting or disrupting them. Before such systems are adopted in the vehicles, they should be tested under conditions that are as realistic as possible.
For several years now, renowned automakers have already been testing their ADAS using behavioral observation – before their products are launched. Frequently, a simulator is used to carry out such behavioral observations. A simulator provides most characteristics of an auto cockpit, such as a dashboard with a steering wheel, and it has high validity because experimental scenarios can be repeated on a 1:1 basis, delivering good possibilities of comparison. However, these results can only be transferred to the real world in a limited way, as the driver environment is only displayed on one screen.
These limitations include in particular the driving dynamics, because driving characteristics and the driving impression in the simulated world does not correspond to those in the real world, and thus, the actual reaction of the driver may differ under certain conditions. A useful addition to the simulation studies is therefore so-called real-world driving studies, which present a method for driver behavioral observation in a real-world driving environment. In doing so, drivers sit in a real car and are on the road in everyday traffic. Their behavior during the journey is monitored by experts as well as specialized technology, which records and analyzes interaction between the driver and ADAS.
Ergoneers specializes in the development of hardware and software for behavioral research. The company has therefore developed the Vehicle Testing Kit (VTK), which features several hardware components and provides the modular D-Lab software platform to facilitate the execution of real-world driving studies. This specially designed tool minimizes work during real-world vehicle studies: So far, an enormous effort has been required in terms of technology, time and thus finances, to install the entire test equipment for test series in a suitable vehicle. VTK provides a cost-effective solution: It is portable, easy to manage, and can be integrated effectively into various vehicles. Data are then structured and systematically collected, and can then be evaluated from various perspectives using the measuring and analysis software D-Lab.
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