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  • Writer's pictureNATALIA SOUSA

AVL and Stähle Enable Active Steering on Vehicle Testbeds

AVL and Stähle announce an innovative solution that allows active steering interventions on vehicle testbeds and considers the reaction forces arising as a result. The technical highlight is an innovative actuator concept, which directly affects the rack in the steering system. The joint development adds to the test and simulations possibilities of the AVL DRIVINGCUBE™ and can easily be implemented on existing chassis dynamometers and powertrain testbeds.

The Emulator, which AVL patents, is the only one of its kind in the world. It opens a new dimension in validation, particularly in automated driving, in which active steering interventions are an essential component. This makes it possible to test driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving systems (ADS), like the Automated Lane-Keeping System (ALKS) and enhanced highway driver functions, even more comprehensively and realistically. The automotive industry also benefits from the flexibility offered: the system can be adjusted easily, as soon as the requirements for functional release change – for example, due to the latest UN regulation No. 157, which sets new standards for the approval of ALKS.

The innovation from AVL and Stähle complements the AVL DRIVINGCUBE™. This links the actual vehicle with the virtual world, generating a high-performance test environment for ADAS/AD systems. Connecting the real sensors used in the vehicle with the computer-generated virtual environment requires the latest simulation technology, mainly as conditions on vehicle testbeds are fundamentally different to those in an isolated sensor laboratory.

Within the Vehicle-in-the-Loop technology, the Dynamic Steering Force Emulator forms an essential bridge between the real and the virtual world. A special linear actuator plays a key role here. This drive unit converts electrical signals from the driving dynamics simulation into physical forces, which then directly affect the rack on the steering system. One of the key advantages of this is that it can easily be configured without any structural changes. In addition, the emulator is compatible with AVL full-vehicle testbeds (powertrain testbeds and chassis dynamometers) and, as such, is a vital addition to the range of applications.

“Steering on vehicle testbeds is a hotly debated subject among experts – particularly in the context of automated driving. The Dynamic Steering Force Emulator is a real milestone in this area. Especially as the system can easily be added to existing vehicle testbeds. We are pleased to have an experienced and reliable partner on our side in Stähle, in order to ensure that innovative solutions like these are ready for the market,” said Tobias Düser, Head of ADAS/AD Virtual Testing Solutions at AVL.

Klaus Stähle, Managing Director of Stähle, added: “Up until now, steering systems have primarily used an actuator on the steering wheel in trials at proving grounds and on flat-band testbeds. This no longer meets all the demands of testing on automated vehicles. However, we are pleased with the development of the Dynamic Steering Force Emulator. Its actuator concept is based on our core technology. It makes it possible to accurately test different assistance systems on the testbed – automated, reproducible and 24/7 if required. This not only simplifies the process of development and homologation, but also makes an important contribution on the road to highly-automated and safe vehicles.“

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