Automotive test system supplier, AB Dynamics, has launched a global testing service division. The division has been established in response to customer demand following what the company describes as the rapid expansion of the complexity and quantity of vehicle testing and assessment. The division is being set up to provide expertise, resources and equipment, enabling some customers to carry out testing that they wouldn’t have been able to previously, and others to meet strict deadlines.
According to AB Dynamics, regulatory and consumer testing is expanding rapidly, placing increasing pressures on manufacturers. In 2014, the Euro NCAP assessment included six ADAS test scenarios: in 2020 it is now 39, an increase of 650%. On top of this, the drive for safety has meant that advanced technologies that were once the preserve of prestige vehicles are now commonplace at all price levels, resulting in a growing number of vehicle models requiring driver assistance and crash avoidance testing procedures. By 2022 many advanced driver assistance systems will be made mandatory for all new cars in 40 countries.
“Vehicle testing and assessment is more complex and requires more resources than ever before, and this trend is likely to continue as the scenarios evolve,” said Wesley Hulshof, senior applications engineer for testing services at AB Dynamics. “This poses a significant challenge, whether you are a major vehicle manufacturer or a test laboratory lacking the resources to carry out the required quantity of testing, or a start-up that doesn’t have the test equipment or expertise. Our service is a scalable and flexible solution to meet customers’ specific needs.”
The testing services offer is split into three areas, of consultancy, training and testing. The service offers a scalable ‘one-stop’ testing solution, which encompasses test equipment and expertise. All of AB Dynamics’ products are designed and built in-house and the company works in close association with major consumer and regulatory testing groups. Its equipment is used by every Euro NCAP test laboratory as well as authorities carrying out tests for NHTSA and UNECE. With several international bases and the ability to transport teams and equipment, it is a global service offering.
“In particular, customers may find our support most beneficial in staging increasingly common swarm testing environments that require the accurate control of eight or more vehicles or targets. These swarm scenarios, which are becoming essential for developing autonomous driving technologies, can quickly strain an entire lab’s resources and knowledge. This type of test requires a significant investment in testing equipment and choreographing the scenario can be incredibly complex,” stated Hulshof.
AB Dynamics’ unique Simpia toolchain software is used throughout all of its products, meaning complicated ADAS or AV test scenarios need only be generated once and can then be replicated from virtual testing on the simulator to real life on the test track or vice versa, achieving time savings.
The flexibility of the service can be beneficial for smaller companies that only have a limited need for testing, perhaps for a standalone project. It allows them to complete their own programme without the need for heavy investment in personnel and equipment, giving access to an ‘on-demand’ service that provides the opportunity for them to bid for bigger projects with low risk.