AVTS Drop-in Autonomy Kit (DAK)

Rapid robotic retrofit: Turn any car or truck in your fleet into an autonomous vehicle in 30 minutes or less.

The Drop-in Autonomy Kit (DAK) is a robotic system for retrofitting vehicles autonomous and remote control/teleop driving. The kit includes sensors and actuators, control and navigation electronics, and software. Unlike existing driving robots, you can rapidly install the DAK in almost any vehicle and it allows a human to sit comfortably in the driver’s seat and quickly regain control of the vehicle at any time.  DAK system key features:

  • Steering, brake, and throttle control
  • Installs in any vehicle in 30 minutes
  • Programmatic or fully autonomous navigation
  • Designed to comfortably accommodate human in driver's seat

Robotic Actuation

The DAK is designed to quickly install into any vehicle. It includes a family of adapters for different pedal styles as well as adjustable components to fit various cabin layouts. The steering force reaction stand anchors firmly in the rear of the vehicle, leaving ample room for vehicle passengers and equipment.

Man and Machine

While the DAK delivers fully autonomous operation, sometimes you want to have a human ride along in the driver’s seat. The placement of DAK pedal actuators and steering force reaction stand allow for a person to sit comfortably in the driver’s seat and if needed, take control of the vehicle at any time by pressing the E-stop button.

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Autonomous Navigation with GPS or Without

The DAK includes sensors for position, heading and speed as well as a ruggedized computer with software for navigation and control. Unlike other autonomous vehicles, the DAK is not limited to GPS for position information. More and more, engineers testing vehicle safety systems require equipment that can operate on a covered track or inside a building, that is, not tied to GPS. GPS can introduce reliability and repeatability issues on outdoor tracks, as well. This is why the DAK is available with an alternative Locata(™) positioning system, which uses a constellation of LocataLite(™) units that you can use where you want, when you want. Locata(™) allows the DAK to deliver accuracy to 10 cm indoors or outdoors, rain or shine, 24/7. The DAK is available with either GPS or Locata(™).

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Control and Navigation Software

The DAK system includes an embedded computer with software for defining and controlling your tests, as well as transferring and reviewing data.  The DAK software also performs real-time tasks for autonomous self-navigation and bot-to-bot communication when used as part of the Autonomous Vehicle Test System (AVTS). AVTS and the DAK were developed based on requirements from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and features software support for performing tests including NHTSA Crash-Imminent Braking (CIB), NHTSA Dynamic Brake Support (DBS), Euro NCAP Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and others.