Pedestrian Protection Assistance Systems - Meeting a testing challenge

June 10, 2015 // By Paul Buckley
Crash-test facility manufacturer MESSRING is working with TH Ingolstadt university to address the complex issue of testing active safety systems for cars that activate before a potential accident to prevent or reduce the severity of crashes.

The research project proposal, which was approved by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, was named TargETS (Target Development for Testing of Integrated Safety Systems), and is setting new benchmarks in test systems.

According to the German Road Safety Council (DVR), the approximately 34,000 accidents involving cars and pedestrians each year are mainly the fault of the drivers, who in most cases are driving a passenger car.

The TargETS project is aiming to develop a test system that can cope with the complexity associated with early recognition and classification of road users and that can be used unconditionally for all assistance systems in the automotive industry, from radar and infrared to stereo camera systems and laser scanners.

The project comprises two components: a pedestrian dummy and an innovative motion system, which are synchronized with each other using a software program. The coordination and interplay of the motion system (macroscopic aspect) and pedestrian dummy (microscopic aspect) have resulted in a test system that is like no other and will take on a pioneering role in the further development of active safety testing and autonomous driving.

The university is doing research involving the true-to-life pedestrian dummy, which along with its movement patterns is correctly recognized as a pedestrian by vehicle assistance systems every time. There are currently 21 muscle groups in the pedestrian dummy responsible for moving the extremities and head – a maximum number that does not necessarily need to be maintained in the future.