June 05, 2014

NHTSA, Euro NCAP and Thatcham Attend AVTS Demonstration

Representatives from automotive safety organizations NHTSA, Euro NCAP and Thatcham were trackside at an automotive safety research facility yesterday to observe a demonstration of the Perrone Robotics Autonomous Vehicle Test System (AVTS). PRI engineers ran the Target Robot and DAK through their paces for collision avoidance testing and coordinated motion demonstrations.

Test profiles demonstrated included

  • NHTSA Dynamic Brake Support (DBS)
  • NHTSA Crash Imminent Braking (CIB)
  • Euro NCAP Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)

The demo was flawless, including the requested maneuvers demonstrated after the planned demo runs. The biggest request? “Run it over!” Demonstrating the capability to execute tests when the subject vehicle successfully prevents a collision is quite an achievement, but it clearly would have been more fun if the Subaru we were testing had failed and run over the target robot, dislodging the soft target. The solution was simple: we disabled the Subaru Eyesight feature and ran another test. As expected, the test vehicle drove over the robot and knocked off the soft target — much more spectacular than the “normal” tests. It was such a hit (no pun intended), we had to do an encore.

After the run-over demonstrations, we had some requests to drive in a straight line. We did this and demonstrated

  • Yes, the robot still works great after being run over (and run over again) and
  • Yes, the robot can drive in a straight line.

Apparently, straight-line driving is a challenge for some robots. Of course, in order to pass our acceptance tests for Phase I, we had already had to demonstrate meeting the ±1° yaw requirement and submit data to prove it.