AB Dynamics helps Guy Martin build a self-driving Ford Transit Featured

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Published in Malmesbury Newspapers
Friday, 24 November 2017 02:49
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BRADFORD on Avon-based AB Dynamics has enabled Channel 4 TV presenter Guy Martin to build a self-driving Ford Transit for his Rise of the Robots programme being broadcast on Sunday, November 26 at 9pm.

The company, a leading supplier of automotive test systems, supplied a variety of systems including pedal, steering and gear change robots to the project, which followed Mr Martin, a former motorcycle racer and lorry mechanic, as he built and tested the vehicle.

Guy said: “I never realised so much development went on in this country. Jeremy Ash and the boys at AB Dynamics were boffins. The impressive science and grasp of the data they got from the Transit was amazing.”

The robots used in the project are the same as those used by the world’s 25 largest vehicle manufacturers. AB Dynamics designs and manufactures a range of automotive test equipment, from steering robots to ADAS targets and one of the world’s most advanced driving simulators.

Jeremy Ash, AB Dynamics’ Commercial Manager, said: “Taking part in Channel 4’s Rise of the Robots season has been a fantastic way to showcase the level of advancement in autonomous technology.

“It was great to work with Guy to develop his self-driving Transit and show him what driving robots are capable of.

“We will soon be seeing more widespread adoption of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), of which autonomy is a challenging and exciting extension.

“We work closely with manufacturers and safety organisations, such as Euro NCAP, to provide the systems that test and help advance this technology.”

AB Dynamics, which has just opened a new £9 million office headquarters and factory on Middleton Drive, works with vehicle manufacturers to enable vehicle control in testing scenarios where accurate and precise regulation of vehicle inputs is essential.

Its recent development of the advanced Vehicle Driving Simulator (aVDS) gives manufacturers the ability to safely test ADAS and autonomous systems in a virtual world with a driver-in-the-loop.

The aVDS is capable of replicating an almost infinite variety of scenarios to test vehicles and systems before real world validation, providing manufacturers with significant cost and time-saving advantages.

The Channel 4 programme features an in-depth look at current state-of-the-art autonomous technologies, including ‘Level 5’ autonomous vehicles. Guy Martin examines the technology used by Tesla, one of the leaders in vehicle autonomy.

It also looks at the morality of autonomous technology. To do this, Mr Martin completes a morality test designed to help software engineers program the vehicle for emergency scenarios. Finally, he goes up against a prototype Roboracer in a Silverstone duel.

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