Stuttgart, Germany – Mercedes-Benz has introduced an autopilot system on its test-driving to replicate safety-critical driving manoeuvres that cannot be precisely reproduced by human drivers.
Automated driving supports the development, testing and validation of assistance systems and other vehicle safety features, and allows testing at the limit that can be carried out without danger to development engineers.
In addition to established methods, Mercedes-Benz will use the automated driving systems on dedicated proving grounds. Prototypes used for this purpose are usually series production vehicles equipped with robots for steering, acceleration and braking, controlled by an on-board computer so that a pre-programmed course is followed exactly. Test engineers in the control centre monitor all events and can stop the vehicles at any time.
Using automated driving, engineers analyze safety innovations under real-life conditions in the vehicle, reproducing vehicle distances, speed and steering angles precisely each time, and in extreme tests, without physical stress on the driver.
The company said it is the only vehicle maker in the world to use automated driving as an additional element in the testing process, and will use it in tests that would be virtually impossible to reproduce manually.