Leading automotive test system supplier AB Dynamics has launched its next-generation Guided Soft Target (GST) vehicle. The new lower platform has a drive over height of just 100mm and is designed for use in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous vehicle testing. The new lower profile further reduces the risk of damage to the test vehicle and provides precise positioning, speed control and test vehicle synchronisation 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 aluminium Ultra Low-Profile Chassis (ULPC) features retractable wheels that recede in the event of being driven over, minimising 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,” explains 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 class leading 3.5kWh 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 inbuilt 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 in excess of 80km/h and all while being precisely controlled. AB Dynamics’ proprietary TrackFi radio shares position data with other AB Dynamics controllers via the Synchro interface, which allows its motion to be precisely synchronised with the test vehicle and other ADAS targets.
The GST is fitted with a foam panelled body (the Soft Car 360 – designated the harmonised Global Vehicle Target by EuroNCAP and NHTSA) that can be reassembled in just 10 minutes following impact. The entire vehicle weighs just 315kg depending upon specifications and can achieve 0.2g longitudinal acceleration with a foam body fitted and 0.8g maximum deceleration.
“AB Dynamics is constantly looking for ways to develop its technologies to ensure that we remain at the forefront of vehicle testing and the preferred supplier to major vehicle manufacturers globally,” concludes Pick. “The new GST is a vital tool for testing and proving emerging ADAS technologies, helping to accelerate their route to market.”