In early March 2018, AMZS Safe driving Centre Vransko was in the sign of the most advanced technologies, testing Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. Participants responses were the first forming stones added into BRAVE user-centric mosaic.
We used two Volkswagen Arteon, equipped with a rich selection of safety equipment, including adaptive cruise control (system for self-maintaining safety distance). With this safety equipment, Arteon is capable of following the car in front, brake by itself in front of an obstacle and also accelerate by itself to reach the set speed if the road in front is clear. From a technical point of view, such functionalities can only be achieved with the help of radar. Arteon has its radar placed under the glass cower of the VW sign placed in the center of the front grill.
Two scenarios from Slovenian roads
In three days of testing, we implemented two tests based on the real situations from Slovenian roads with each participant. We designed the first test in the way that one of the two cars, with adaptive cruise control set, followed the other car in front at the speed 80 km per hour first on a straight road then over a crest, as this sort of road configuration and topography can be found often on European roads.
Due to ascent followed by driving over the crest, the second car lost the virtual connection with the car in front and accelerated on itself. Right after driving over the crest the first car started to brake and the second car needed to adapt its speed and brake by itself as a response. Participants of the test that sat on the co-driver seat beside our test driver were not acquainted with the scenario which led to surprise and even shocked particularly because they were told by the driver that the car is driving on itself, with no action of the driver.
The tests were successful nearly every time, as the car managed to stop on its own and prevented a possible collision with the back of the first car driving in front. Driver needed to take control in 2 cases only when the system did not respond properly.
The second test also reflected a common scenario on European roads; one car again followed the car in front with adaptive cruise control system set, with a distinction that now a third car unexpectedly and aggressively entered on the lane between both cars and started slowing down. This sort of ‘extortion’ is common on our highways and represents quite a challenge for assistance systems, as the car sensors need to detect the obstacle very fast and autonomously provide a response with the braking system.
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