Mercedes-Benz will test future assistance systems using “automated driving” of test manoeuvres on dedicated proving grounds.
Prototypes used for this purpose are usually series production vehicles equipped with “robots” for steering, acceleration and braking. An on-board computer controls the autopilot so that a pre-programmed course is followed exactly – even if several vehicles are involved in one manoeuvre.
Test engineers in the control centre monitor all events and can stop the vehicles at any time. In parallel, the vehicles perform self checks and brake automatically if they register deviations. Thus, the test configuration is safe, yet flexible. All Mercedes-Benz models can be equipped with the technical equipment for “automated driving”. Moreover, a large variety of different safety systems and equipment can be tested.
Humans cannot react quickly enough and cannot repeat manoeuvres with the desired accuracy. However, for complex in-vehicle electronic systems and for assistance systems in particular, such driving tests are indispensible as their functional validation must be carried out in a manner that is comprehensive and as close to reality as possible.
Mercedes-Benz is the only vehicle maker in the world to use “automated driving” as an additional element in the testing process. It will be used on dedicated proving grounds in tests that would be virtually impossible to reproduce manually, like merging at different speeds and vehicle distances; high-risk tests where, for example, a vehicle brakes heavily in front of another that swerves at the last minute; and safety-critical tests where, at an intersection, one vehicle crosses just in front of or behind the path of a second vehicle.
Source: Mercedes Benz.