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Testers' Day with insights in the latest trends in automotive testing

On March 28, AstaZero in together with Test Site Sweden West and Provinn, arranged Testers' Day, an annual event for engineers, experts and suppliers in the testing industry. Just like last year, the event was fully booked and about 90 persons met at AstraZero's test facility in Sandhult to get insights in the latest trends in automotive testing, to meet suppliers, and discuss the challenges facing the industry.

Testers' Day has been developed as an initiative to find a common knowledge and inspiration platform for test engineers, something that is unique, even though the increasing need for cooperation and shared knowledge within the profession.

The testing industry is increasing significantly for each year. With more complex and advanced vehicles with sensors, radar and cameras rolling on our roads today it is even more important to test and interfere with the vehicles' electronics so that they can communicate with each other wirelessly. With this, there is an increasing demand for work and methods being standardized so that products can cooperate, but also that the developing companies can share knowledge and know-how effectively.

A unique test environment to meet the new challenges in vehicle safety
AstaZero is the world's first test and innovation environment with full-scale testing for future vehicle safety. At the facility, international automotive industry and researchers can develop and demonstrate advanced vehicle and infrastructure safety technology.

The test area is also one of Sweden's largest, with an area of ​​480 hectares. It is unique in its kind as it is built for the development of active road safety and to develop the automated transport system with all its challenges. It is designed to test features that drivers use in common traffic environments, on four different types of roads - both urban environment, fast speed and multi-lane roads. As testing are an expensive and time-consuming part of the development, it is important that everything around the test itself in the test environment works as smooth and efficient as possible.

Insights from suppliers 
During the day the participants were introduced to several test methods and situations, and suppliers presented the possibilities their products offer and how they could create better and safer conditions.

One of the participating providers was Velodyne LiDAR, who presented their sensor LiDar and its different models. Velodyn is industry leader and their new factory has the capacity to produce up to 1 million laser sensors per year, meaning it is the largest manufacturer of 3D sensors in the world.

Another highlight was the presentation of the fully automated T-pod truck, presented by Einride and Flowscape & Zuragon, which we look forward to see at our roads in 2020.

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Volvo Trucks, which today has come a long way with the development of automobile trucks, was a given participant during the day. Among the more well-known vehicles are autonomous waste trucks that were shown in their test environment. They also showed examples from the mining industry, where development is taking place about the possibilities for autonomous lorries to navigate through the tunnels in the mines are being tested, thus creating safer workplaces for the people working there today. Another area is loading and unloading of heavy materials on a limited load area where autonomous trucks have a given role in the future.

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Oxford Technical Solutions Ltd showed the latest real-time measurement and validation techniques using multible sensors. The systems enable distance assessments, braking times, etc. for driving tests in traffic situations, and participants got the possibility to from the control room see how the tests were carried out and measured and how the different systems were used and interacted in city traffic.

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Despite the sunny day, the participants got into the darkness and experienced the test tunnel that Moshon Data produced. The test environment is an inflatable tunnel module that can be used to perform tests and simulations for darkness. The tunnel can be connected with several modules, that together build a longer, up to two-way road where traffic objects and lighting systems can be placed and create a reliant night environment.

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Anthony Best Dynamics Ltd displayed its launch pads, robotic test environment objects to create a realistic environment with road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and other robotic test objects.

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Another exiting experience during the day was the visit on AstaZero's grand test track, where 4H gave the opportunity to attend during an assembly test on oncoming traffic and crashes. In an environment with pedestrians, motorcycles and meeting cars, participants could see how the test was carried out and then look more closely at the different test objects and the systems behind the tests.

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During the day, participants also listened to Niklas Lundin, AstaZero, who talked more about the work on the upcoming ISO standard for test sites, and DSD Dr Steffan Datentechnik GmbH, 4 active Systems GmbHiMAR Navigation on Demo of Test Interface based on this standard.  

DSD gave insight in how to create efficiency in the test and how to best prepare by showing examples of the importance of well-planned digital environments and structures in planning work, as well as thoughtful logistics, significantly better opportunities are provided to streamline the extensive and costly tests whenever you are at the test site.

The day rounded up with a panel debate about the development and challenges in the testing industry.