AB Dynamics demonstrate their swarm testing simulation
Experts at AB Dynamics have tested a range of common overtaking manoeuvres in a bid to strengthen on-board car technology. AB Dynamics warned the complexity of testing autonomous vehicles has increased as the industry moves closer to having driverless cars on the road.
The latest research has used a scenario testing method and using a swarm of vehicles to develop vital technology.
The cars were all driven down a runway to obtain data before this was fed into a digital programme to see how this would work on a real road environment,
The research will assess the ability of autonomous cars to interpret the behaviour and intentions of other drivers in close proximity.
Scenarios tested include merge-ins, lane closures on dual carriageways and cut-ins as drivers try to desperately get into lane.
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These are all situations where autonomous vehicles may need to make instant decisions to save drivers from having an accident.
These include braking, accelerating or performing evasive manoeuvers to avoid a shunt.
Jeremy Ash, Sales Director at AB said the research would help bring next-generation technology to the market “more efficiently” than before.
He said: “Thousands of tests are required to establish an autonomous vehicle’s ability to safely navigate such scenarios.
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“The use of a single toolchain enables the bulk of these tests to be conducted in simulation – reducing test track costs and the reliance on engineer time.
“Using the same software that controlled the simulated world, test parameters are essentially lifted to conduct the same tests on track.
“This correlation provides the necessary confidence to accelerate simulated testing and bring next-generation technology and functionality to market more efficiently.”
Mr Ash added: “Swarm testing is very complex and can involve the precise choreography of eight or more test items.
“Our solution enables customers to run thousands of iterations of tests virtually and then confidently replicate a sample of these in the real world for correlation.”
More pressure has been placed onto manufacturers of driverless cars in the past few weeks after a new ruling from the Law Commission.
Experts say drivers should not be prosecuted for careless or dangerous driving while behind the wheel of a driverless car.
Instead, the Commission said responsibility for issues should fall on the developer or manufacturer of the hardware behind the technology.
Directors could then be left with corporate liability for accidents which could leave firms being issued punishments.
This means many manufactures are unlikely to send out cars with automated technology before they could be assured of safety.
Nicholas Paines QC, Public Law Commissioner said: “As the UK prepares for the introduction of automated vehicles on our streets, it’s vital that the public have confidence in this technology.
“Our proposed legal framework will ensure that this technology can be safely deployed, whilst the flexibility built into the rules and regulations will allow us to keep up with advances in the technology.”
“We look forward to hearing views on how we can improve on our proposals.”
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