AB Dynamics launches high-speed GST

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Automotive test system supplier AB Dynamics has launched a new Guided Soft Target (GST) vehicle, the GST120, which it says is capable of safe testing at highway speeds up to 120km/h.

It claims the GST brings a new level of performance to the company’s portfolio of ADAS test systems, incorporating ABS braking and the latest version of its sophisticated control software.

The GST consists of a dummy vehicle called the Soft Car 360, made from collapsible foam pieces, fixed to a remotely operated platform, which has been adopted by Euro NCAP and NHTSA as the global vehicle target for ADAS testing. The platform carries the Soft Car dummy vehicle and can be overrun by another vehicle without damage.

AB Dynamics says it developed the GST120 in response to customer demand for a moving test vehicle target that can not only travel at highway speeds, but also stop rapidly to test increasingly complex high-speed scenarios used in the development of sophisticated driver assistance systems.

It notes that key advances in the GST120 include a 120 km/h top speed, an increased battery capacity, and an anti-lock braking system, which the company says makes it ideally suited for current and future test requirements, which are increasingly focused on autonomous driving.

The systems 4.8kWh battery is claimed to be the largest of any platform available on the market, enabling extended uninterrupted testing. The addition of ABS enables rapid deceleration, which is required to safely test the performance of emergency braking systems in high-speed car-to-car following scenarios.

“As manufacturers make the transition from driver assistance to full autonomy, a higher degree of testing and verification is necessary, including safe testing at higher speeds than just the typical urban scenario,” explained Dr Andrew Pick, track testing director at AB Dynamics. “The GST120 retains all the convenience features of our existing self-propelled GST vehicles, such as being rebuildable in under eight minutes and minimizing collision damage to the test vehicle, but comes with extended speed capability and an enhanced range of software tools.”

The GST’s software includes a variety of new tools specifically aimed at developing highway scenarios as well as post processing and graphing software utilities within a single integrated environment. These improve efficiency, reduce processing time and support the typical scenarios required for ADAS and autonomous vehicle testing.

“We have to anticipate the testing needs of the industry as they evolve, so we can bring proven products to market in time to meet demand,” concluded Pick. “The GST120 is the latest example of this philosophy.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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