The increasing adoption of advanced driver assistance systems presents a fascinating challenge for verification and testing engineers. Perhaps more so than any other aspect of a vehicle, this is where the actions of a machine and a human driver become entwined. And it means human beings are a vital part of the test and verification process for vehicles with ADAS.
Ironically, the sheer scope of this technology often means that human input is intentionally reduced in the early stages of verification. If one considers all the possible scenarios that might be presented to a collision avoidance system, for instance, it’s easy enough to conclude that it can lead to hundreds of thousands of combinations that would require scrutiny. Consequently, off-line simulation tools are required to slug through the intense number crunching that is needed to generate all the objective maps and response surfaces required to predict complex behaviors in the early development stages. While this is efficient and productive, purely objective feedback cannot inform vehicle designers about how evaluation drivers might respond to implementations.
So, as soon as objective predictions can be whittled down into a more manageable subset of scenarios it makes good sense to bring human drivers into the test program. After all, people will ultimately decide the success or failure of vehicle features and functions in the marketplace. For example, the point where functions such as ESC or AEB should intervene is highly subjective. These tend to occur in highly dynamic situations, where it’s vital to get representative inputs from a real driver to guard against behavior conflicts.