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Development of a Guided Soft Target for Crash Avoidance Technology Evaluation

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-3995, e-ISSN: 1946-4002
Published April 12, 2011 by SAE International in United States
Development of a Guided Soft Target for Crash Avoidance Technology Evaluation
Citation: Kelly, J., Broen, P., Silberling, J., Bozin, N. et al., "Development of a Guided Soft Target for Crash Avoidance Technology Evaluation," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars – Mech. Syst. 4(1):479-487, 2011,
Language: English


As Advanced Crash Avoidance Technologies (ACATs) such as Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Crash Imminent Braking Systems and other advanced technologies continue to be developed, the need for full-scale test methodologies which can minimize hazards to test personnel and damage to equipment has rapidly increased. The challenge of evaluating such ACAT systems is twofold. First, the evaluation system must be able to deliver a potential Collision Partner (CP) reliably and precisely along a trajectory which would ultimately result in a crash in a variety of configurations, such as rear-ends, head-ons, crossing paths, and sideswipes. Second, and more importantly, the collision partner must not pose a substantial physical risk to the test driver, other test personnel, equipment, or to test vehicles in the event that the collision is not avoided.
A Guided Soft Target (GST) system has been developed to provide a versatile test methodology for the evaluation of such crash avoidance technologies. This system can be used to replicate a wide range of crash scenarios while minimizing physical risk. The GST system comprises a soft target vehicle or pedestrian form, a programmable, autonomously guided, self-propelled Dynamic Motion Element (DME) and a wireless computer network. The system accommodates virtually any type of collision between the GST and the subject vehicle, and performs closed-loop control to ensure that the GST arrives at the intended collision point at the same instant in time as the subject vehicle. In another mode, the GST arrives at the target location at a specified time and with a specified speed.