Test drives with Vehicle-in-the-Loop technology at the BUT campus | Autor: Václav KoníčekToday's advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are increasingly helping to manage complex traffic situations and prevent human error. At the end of October, students and partners of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the BUT (FME) could not only hear about the latest research in this field, but also experience it themselves at the first Vehicle-in-the-Loop conference organised by the Department of Motor Vehicles of the Institute of Automotive Engineering of the FME (IAE) in cooperation with Datron-Technology.
The programme of the two-day event consisted of a morning block of lectures, which introduced the most important corporate players and related technologies such as Vehicle-in-the-Loop (VIL) or Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) and an afternoon part, when visitors could get a feel of the technologies during test drives on the BUT campus. On both days, the same programme took place, just for a different target group each time - the first day for BUT students and the next for industrial and scientific partners. In preparing the event, the Department of Motor Vehicles was inspired by the Explore-to-Innovate conference organised by the leading research institution in this field, the German Hochschule Kempten.
Advanced driver-assistance systems presented at the BUT by leading companies in the field | Autor: Václav Koníček"Last year we had a speech at this conference and then agreed with the organisers to hold a smaller version of it at FME with the participation of industry partners of Hochschule Kempten, such as IPG Automotive. In addition to expanding our cooperation with German partners, we aim to present our faculty to the Czech audience as an established research organisation in the field of advanced driver-assistance systems and to offer links with Czech corporate and research partners," said Martin Tobiáš from IAE, one of the event organisers.
After a morning block of lectures, which introduced visitors to the topic and presented technology solutions from companies such as the aforementioned IPG Automotive, GeneSys or MdynamiX, the program continued with demonstration rides using Vehicle-in-the-Loop technology, when students and industry partners got behind the steering wheel.
How it works
"You see the car in front of you on an empty road, but here on the screen, you see the virtual environment in which the car is moving. This is now the environment that our vehicle 'sees'. We remotely stimulate its sensors so that it reacts as in the situation on the screen," describes Jan Oberst of IPG Automotive. Meanwhile, the student has let go of the steering wheel and the experimental car is now autonomously parked in a longitudinal parking space between other vehicles. However, the other cars are only virtual; in reality, the car is on the road alone.
Driver sees an empty road in front of him, but on monitor he sees a virtual environment to which car reacts | Autor: Václav KoníčekAccording to Oberst, this type of simulation is one of the current trends. "Assistance systems and the scenarios in which you have to test them are becoming more and more complex. In real testing rides, it would cost an immeasurable amount of time and effort to do it. That's why the trend today is to use these simulations- not to replace testing, but to make it much easier," Oberst adds.
David and Jirka, who are studying automotive engineering at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, also came along for the demo rides. "We were interested to see what it looks like in person, I've only seen something like this on a computer so far," says David. That they will take the car for a ride is a given. "That was the main attraction. We wanted to run over some virtual dummies," adds Jirka with exaggeration. But he will be disappointed, the assistance system reacts to the virtual pedestrian by braking hard and won't let the car ride over him.
Assistance systems and the scenarios in which they must be tested are becoming increasingly complex | Autor: Václav Koníček"The whole automotive industry is going through big changes today. The development of cars is becoming such a complex task that it is no longer enough to just have electrical engineers or mechanical engineers. We also need specialists who can program a code and at the same time understand the vehicle dynamics behind it. It's a huge amount of knowledge that we need to cover, and that's why we also need the right type of engineers," adds Adrian Günther of MdynamiX.
Test drives with Vehicle-in-the-Loop technology at the BUT campus | Autor: Václav Koníček"We strive to respond to current needs and want to expand our tools to be able to support the development and testing of assistance systems and autonomous vehicles. That is why we have teamed up with very strong partners in the preparation of this event and with their help we want to not only incorporate new technologies into students' education, but also introduce them to Czech industrial companies. Our goal is to become a training and consulting centre for these technologies in the Czech Republic and to cooperate on related contracts and projects with industry," said Petr Porteš, Head of the Department of Motor Vehicles at IAE and the event's main guarantor, in conclusion of the ambitions of the event.Authors: Iveta Hovorková, Petr Kubíček