Fritz says the NovAtel antennas along with special firmware installed in the receivers, fit 4actionSystems’ needs like a glove.
“It’s like tailor-made,” he says. “We get high-precision relative positioning data at an affordable price compared to a usual base-rover configuration. Another benefit is that the user does not need to intervene once the vehicle starts moving.”
4activeSystem got its GNSS antennas from PPM GmbH, one of NovAtel’s European distributors. “From the outset, we told PPM what we needed in terms of relative positioning. At that time we were not yet familiar with the special firmware solution. The very first recommendation from PPM was essentially the system you see today. So, it was a short track from our first inquiry with PPM to fitting out the system with NovAtel equipment,” Fritz says.
After one year of cooperation and taking numerous systems to market, 4activeSystems undertook a small upgrade that improved data-reception performance, based on an evaluation of customer feedback. The system is also now Galileo-ready.
Today, 4activeSystem markets a range of GNSS-equipped testing systems, with slightly different features based on specific user needs. The 4activeLD system, for example, is designed specifically for testing interurban AEB according to the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) specification, with predefined and precisely controlled dummy movements.
And, we might add, the company has marketed its systems quite successfully.
“We are working worldwide with all relevant driver assistance systems and pedestrian and bicyclist detection systems,” says Fritz. “Our clients include car manufacturers Audi, BMW, Daimler, GM, Ford, Volkswagen, and others, as well as suppliers such as Bosch, Continental, Denso, and TRW.
And 4activeSystems provides the equipment for Euro NCAP’s testing and evaluation regime for AEB-VRU (Autonomous Emergency Braking—Vulnerable Road Users). Fritz says “All seven Euro NCAP labs are now using our test equipment and dummies. These include ADAC, BASt, CSI, TNO and others.”
Most experts agree that new active vehicle safety systems such as AEB are effective at mitigating the effects of road collisions and ultimately saving lives. With improved and more affordable testing regimes like those being delivered by 4activeSystems that employ GNSS technology, we can expect to see more of these high-tech safety technologies on our roads and highways soon.