When it comes to automotive data analysis, Julian Thomas explains that simplification is key to success
Modern automotive testing regimes generate a large amount of data that has to be analysed as quickly and efficiently as possible. For performance, braking, dynamic and ADAS tests, Racelogic has developed the VBOX Test Suite, which has many specialised plug-ins that enable the engineer to carry out common tests and analyse the results in a short timeframe.
Many of these customised tests can be carried out in real time, allowing engineers to assess the quality of the data and the performance of their systems as the test proceeds. They can then make ongoing decisions to continue or abort the procedure, saving expensive track time. It also reduces the amount of training and knowledge required for the operator, as the sequence and analysis of the test is automatically controlled by the software.
Some of these tests also have pass/fail summary criteria, allowing the engineer to concentrate on the driving procedure rather than on analysing the data.
Making AEB easier
A great example of making a complex procedure easy is when validating autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems. With the European Commission ruling the mandatory fitment of AEB systems on all new vehicles by 2021, this is a hot topic amongst many of Racelogic’s customers.
The Euro NCAP AEB test parameters are fairly complex, with requirements changing depending on the relative movement of the cars involved, the type of environment and the speed of the cars in the test.
Racelogic took the Euro NCAP protocol for this test and, working with its end customers, it created a custom plug-in for VBOX Test Suite to simplify and streamline the process in obtaining meaningful results.
To make testing as straightforward as possible, the official procedure comes programmed within VBOX Test Suite and is then intelligently applied during the driving. All of the relevant channels are automatically created and logged during the course of the test. These channels include subject and target vehicle speeds, relative distances between subject and target, lateral deviation, yaw and steering wheel velocity.
When a test begins, a laptop connected to the VBOX will display the parameters that are required for the driver to meet the criteria required. Once completed (i.e. vehicle’s speed is 0km/h; speed is lower than the speed of the target; or there has been contact between subject and target), the software takes all the relevant channels and processes the data according to boundaries set out in the Euro NCAP protocol.
By analysing the acquired data, VBOX Test Suite will instantly highlight a channel that has failed the required tolerance and show runs as pass/fail in real time. This level of automation cuts out wasted trial-and-error and reduces the amount of post-processing work required, saving engineers time and manufacturers money to validate complex safety systems.
There are 29 custom plug-ins for VBOX Test Suite, covering tests such as performance, braking, coast-down, aquaplane, ADAS and noise testing. Racelogic works closely with its end customers and can take specific user requirements and create custom plug-ins, helping to reduce the overhead on busy test engineers.
Julian Thomas is MD of Racelogic VBOX