Non-contact speed and distance measurement using GPS
VBOX is a powerful data acquisition system used for measuring the speed and position of a moving vehicle. Based on a range of high performance GPS receivers, VBOX data loggers will measure speed, distance, acceleration, braking distance, heading, slip angle, lap times, position, cornering forces and more with high accuracy.
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VBOX is internationally recognised as a quality standard in the measurement of speed and distance for braking, performance, handling and automotive testing. With the ability to synchronise GPS with video, CAN and IMU data, VBOX systems are the choice of test departments at almost every vehicle and tyre manufacturer worldwide.
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Common testing applications include brake testing, ADAS Validation, Electronic Stability Control (FMVSS126) Testing, Aquaplane Testing, Coastdown, Lane Departure Warning System Testing, Centerline Deviation Testing, Marine Testing and Mining Systems Monitoring.
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Our newly released VBOX3i dual antenna with RTK measures speed, position, acceleration, distance, slip angle and vehicle pitch/roll angle to a very high degree of accuracy and can be used in a much greater number of test scenarios. The VB3iSL-RTK is ideal for validatingAdvanced Driver Assistance Systems such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, collision mitigation and blind spot detection.
Yesterday I was back at a freezing cold Keevil airfield with the chaps from Anthony Best Dynamics. We were testing the combination of a twin antenna VBOX3iSL-RTK with their Steering Robot for accurate Path Following. A few small tweaks to their robot control algorithm have worked well.
AB Dynamics prefer the use of actual body heading in their robot control rather than single antenna GPS ‘course over ground’ heading. Fortunately the ‘True heading’ channel measured by the twin antenna VB3i provides this signal, the added advantage being that the True Heading signal is accurate at all speeds. As a result, smooth steering control can be achieved down to zero velocity – which is harder to achieve with a single antenna system.
Not your normal truckstop
I’ve been in Sweden, training some Volvo Truck development engineers. They use our ADAS testing packages to develop collision mitigation systems, and they showed me some recent footage of their new FH truck, fitted with not only a collision warning system but an emergency brake.
Last year at the Detroit Testing Expo I must have talked to a dozen engineers asking about how they can test their vehicles as they roll off the production line. Often these days I’m asked about end of line testing, and how VBOX kit can be applied to it.
Well, of course it can. In fact, it already is. We were approached last year by a major vehicle manufacturer (I cannot divulge the name, sorry) because they wanted to test the car’s centre-line deviation prior to delivery.
So we made them a bespoke system, comprising a VBOX enclosed in a special rubber housing, with the antenna on the lid, atop a beanbag that can sit securely on a dashboard. It connects to CAN through OBD, giving it power and so that it can read the car specification from VIN.
How fast can it go, Mister?
Interesting thread on LinkedIn last week. Someone asked about using GPS in vehicle testing and it generated a fair number of responses, and one of them caught my interest.
It’s really quite amazing that after more than a decade of GPS use, for such a wide variety of applications, that misconceptions about accuracy still remain; I deal with this particular misunderstanding quite often. However, the LinkedIn discussion also contained one comment which boldly stated that “the maximum satellite frequency available will only allow for 20Hz GPS logging.” Wrong unfortunately (and gracefully retracted a couple of posts later) but it did get me questioning what the theoretical fastest log rate might be. I’m sure I used to know… or maybe not, so I checked.