NHTSA awards ADAS NCAP testing contract to DRI


Dynamic Research, Inc (DRI) has been awarded a five-year contract by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to conduct Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) testing for its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). DRI, part of the AB Dynamics Group, provides ADAS and vehicle dynamics testing services, and this deal marks DRI’s third NHTSA ADAS testing contract in a row.

Brian Kebschull, VP of track testing at DRI stated, “We have a long-established relationship with NHTSA and our team is heavily experienced in vehicle testing. With our own test facility and equipment, we are perfectly placed to conduct these tests.”

The ADAS testing that DRI will undertake on behalf of NHTSA includes tests of Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Crash Imminent Braking and Dynamic Brake Support systems. The tests will be conducted all year round at DRI’s private Minter proving ground, which is located near Bakersfield, California.

During the contract period, a range of new tests is expected to be introduced to the assessment programme to evaluate Pedestrian AEB (Automatic Emergency Braking), Blind Spot Warning, Blind Spot Intervention and Lane Keeping Assist systems.

DRI has experience in the research and development of test procedures. It has worked alongside NHTSA to trial the upcoming tests and provided recommendations on how they can be improved. As a result, the DRI team is now well experienced in conducting the new tests.

“ADAS technologies are advancing rapidly and as a result the quantity and complexity of ADAS testing are only growing,” said Kebschull. “Validating vehicles to ensure that they comply with the regulations is becoming a critical challenge for the industry. It requires an increasing amount of specialised equipment and knowledge.”

DRI uses a suite of specialised equipment to carry out the tests, some of which has been designed and developed in-house. This includes the Soft Car 360 global vehicle target (GVT), which is a 3D representation of a small hatchback car and can be used in almost any test scenario. The Soft Car 360, in conjunction with the GST Platform, makes up the Guided Soft Target (GST) test system.

For model year 2022 vehicles, DRI carried out 64 tests across 18 different vehicle models. This quantity of testing is expected to increase over the next five years as the new tests come into force.

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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