The West German car manufacturer Volkswagen has developed a device o help them carry out safety tests on their cars without endangering test drivers.
The West German car manufacturer Volkswagen has developed a device o help them carry out safety tests on their cars without endangering test drivers. The system employs a radio controlled robot driver.
SYNOPSIS: A man is at risk if the system in the Volkswagen car fails. There is no human behind the wheel, and the remotely-controlled mechanical driver is given the ultimate test. As it weaves a pattern around the man, the greatest danger comes when it is driven directly at hi. Out of view, a technician with a control box gives the signal for the car to stop.
In their drive to improve car safety, manufacturers have for years conducted crash tests.
These experiments discover the ability of cars to withstand impacts, and demonstrate how passengers can be better protected. Now, after many years of research, Volkswagen have developed a vehicle which makes the work easier. It depends on commands received by radio. The operator can stand at a safe distance and control the car's accelerator, steering and brakes.
The commands are interpreted by ghost driver, a machine that weighs about the same as an adult human driver. It can be installed in any car, and it operates the controls by hydraulics. The main advantage is that a car can be driven violently to test its ability to handle extreme situations, without danger to a human driver. If the system fails, immediately.
Another advantage of the device is that complete sequences of tests can be programmed and stored, then repeated automatically as often as desired. The driverless car is tested in the wet.
The test system has been successfully used in many research programmes, including the investigation of safety factors in a rolling car. Knowledge about how a car behaves and how its behaviour can be improved, can make a contribution to the reduction of deaths and injuries from accidents like this one. The makers of the new remotely-controlled testing device claim their product can make a big contribution to this search for safety.