In 2019 the three-year EU funded HEADSTART (Harmonized European Solutions for Testing Automated Road Transport) project began. It brought together 17 partners to define testing and validation procedures for connectedand automated driving functions, including key technologies such as communications, cyber security and vehicle positioning. The tests covered both simulation and the real world to validate safety and security performance, according to key user needs.
4activeSystems, as a pioneer in supplying test tools to proving grounds, supported the project by adapting the comprehensive open technology platform, covering the proving ground test path of the developed toolchain. One of the main pillars of the platform was the need to support open standarts (OpenDrive, OpenScenario, etc), which are used as input for creating scenarios from external rexources such as simulation tools, real road testing, software/hardware-in-the-loop tests, and existing accident statistics databases and standardized regulations, such as are described in the HEADSTART process. An open control center, following the upcoming ISO/WD-22133-1, was used to control and monitor all the devices and infrastructure present at the proving ground. The entire toolset communcates via a dedicated wi-fi mesh system, so complete coverage of every test track is guaranteed. Automated reporting tools greatly reduce the time needed for post-processing test data.
High-precision robotic carriers are used as targets, supported through systems such as the belt-driven 4activeSB/XB and free-moving robotic platforms, including the Freeboard 4activeFB-large (carrier for larger objects such as car dummies) and the 4activeFB-small (used for pedestrian, bicycle, motorcycle dummies). The 4activeFB-eco is the world’s flattest robotic carrier for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists, with the lowest radar cross-section of andy existing carrier. Swarm testing (up to 10 platforms working in parallel) was another key focus during development. A lot of effort was therefore put into making the 4activeFB-eco a very cost-efficient, easy-to-use platform with extremely fast setup times, with very rapid, automatic recharging (without user interaction) to ensure continuous testing.
A wide range of a already established and certified dummy objects (car, pedestrians, motorcyclist, etc), as well as future and costomized targets (animals, roadside furniture, etc), complete the technology platform.
The resulting closed toolchain in fully capable of fulfilling the requirements dictated by the HEADSTART methodology, enabling harmonized proving ground testing of automated road transportation.