Exchanging Knowledge Can Save Lives
The technological possibilities offered by state-of-the-art sensor technology for automated driving functions such as autonomous emergency braking systems (AEBS) are growing rapidly. AEBS are already increasing the safety potential of current vehicles today and will be an important element of autonomous driving in the future. This is because many accidents are caused by braking too late or following the car in front too closely, by poor visibility or temporarily blinded drivers, or by the driver being tired or distracted. AEBS can either prevent such accidents entirely or at least significantly mitigate the effects of an accident by warning the driver and, in critical situations, automatically initiating a braking operation.
“With regard to the long-term goal of ‘Vision Zero,’ that is, no deaths in road accidents, these kinds of systems are indispensable as elements of active safety and should achieve even significantly greater market penetration,” emphasizes Clemens Klinke, member of the Management Board of DEKRA SE with responsibility for the Automotive business unit.
Consumer protection organizations all around the world have long included AEBS in their assessment criteria and will considerably increase their weighting in vehicle assessments over the coming years. However, irrespective of these individual tests under laboratory conditions, most importantly the systems must also work robustly in everyday use, without losing customer acceptance due to incorrect warnings, incorrect triggering, or failure to brake in an emergency.
In order to cope with the balancing act between a robust design/protection and the endless number of scenarios in the field, regular exchange of knowledge and experience is required between automotive manufacturers, suppliers, providers of test equipment and facilities, and legislative and consumer protection representatives.
For this purpose, carhs GmbH, a provider of seminars and conferences for engineers in automotive development, hosted a practical conference together with DEKRA at the DEKRA Automobile Test Center in Klettwitz, Brandenburg. Here, the participants had the chance to meet different experts in the field of safety-related driver assistance systems and exchange experience with one another. Another key element of the conference was practical demonstrations – such as tests on vehicles with emergency braking systems with pedestrian detection on the DEKRA E-Liner Bridge.
This facility is shaped like a bridge on which various dummies can be attached to simulate moving pedestrians. A bridge arm that can be rotated by 180 degrees allows for a wide range of collision types to be configured. To ensure that the tested vehicles remain undamaged, the dummy is catapulted from the danger zone fractions of a second before the collision. The facility also makes it possible to test pedestrian protection systems during development. The test rig was designed to exactly fulfill the requirements for tests regarding vehicle registration, consumer protection, and insurance ratings set by the working group for Advanced Forward-Looking Safety Systems (vFSS).