Auto industry develops articulated pedestrian dummy

In order to support the development of the scenarios that are used for testing vehicle systems that prevent collisions with pedestrians, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has joined forces with the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) and test equipment providers to develop an articulated pedestrian dummy which can better simulate a pedestrian crossing the street.

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that help prevent or mitigate collisions with pedestrians, such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems and front collision warning (FCW), are increasingly common. These systems use sophisticated technology to automatically intervene when a driver fails to brake in time.

In 2016 Euro NCAP, the European safety performance assessment programme for new cars, introduced a new test to determine how effective vehicles are at autonomously detecting and preventing collisions with pedestrians. However, static test dummies were not able to accurately replicate the characteristics of a moving pedestrian.

Hence, ACEA and its members have contributed to developing a new test dummy in an effort to demonstrate the safety performance of their vehicles by conducting tests under the most realistic conditions possible. This new model is able to simulate the characteristics of a pedestrian crossing the road and therefore provides a much better representation compared to previous non-articulated dummies. This upgrade was realised by adding two realistically moving legs to the dummy, which help to ensure that the vehicle’s systems will be tested using real human attributes.

As a result of these joint industry efforts, Euro NCAP’s Autonomous Emergency Braking Pedestrian Tests will be conducted under even more realistic conditions. The new articulated dummy is already available on the global market as a serial product with short delivery time. Moreover, the parties that have developed the new dummy want to contribute to improving pedestrians’ safety by making their know-how publically available in the ‘Pedestrian Target Specifications’ document, which enables anyone to build a similar test dummy.

Europe’s automotive industry is continuously working to further improve the safety performance of its vehicles. In part due to significant investments by the industry, road fatalities in the EU have been halved from their 2001 figure of 55,000 to 25,700 in 2014.

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