News

How to speed up testing

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Via a combination of simulation and real-world testing, an integrated solution is helping to expedite the development of AV systems

There is still some way to go before AVs are produced and sold in volumes like conventional vehicles. Being able to speed up the rate of development and bring vehicles to market that are safe and fully trusted by authorities, regulatory bodies and, of course, end users, is the ultimate goal, but this is still an extremely challenging task.

There is a question mark over the best way to achieve this and how it is even possible, without recreating every potential driving scenario on every road in the world where a self-driving vehicle could one day find itself. Simulation is widely regarded as one of the best methods of achieving this. 

LabSatRT Simulator web

Hardware-in-the-loop simulation is becoming increasingly popular but it is still a relatively new concept for automotive testing departments. It enables various levels of complexity to be added to a testing platform, and Racelogic, the company behind the renowned VBOX range of vehicle data acquisition systems and VBOX Indoor Positioning System, also has a GNSS simulation division that makes great use of hardware-in-the-loop simulation.

Read the full magazine article here.

Single Person Testing - The ‘new normal’

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How can the industry safely test and develop vehicles at the same rate as before, while keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of automotive development?

There’s no escaping the fact that the automotive testing industry has been impacted heavily by recent global events. Previously, when there have been significant legislation changes or a rise in popularity of new vehicles, there has been a grace period to enable testing regimes to be adapted.

However, the recent pandemic has left no time to prepare for perhaps the biggest changes that OEMs will ever have to make. Proving grounds have been forced to temporarily shutdown around the world, including those in ‘Motor City’ in Michigan, and some have been operating at limited capacity, offering auto makers the opportunity to test for free to compensate.

Single person testing web

VBOX dataloggers have been used by automotive engineers ever since they first came to market over 20 years ago, and the blue box has now become synonymous with the automotive testing process.

Over the years, Racelogic’s VBOX has evolved, much like the industry, and Racelogic now has a wide range of data acquisition systems that could really benefit anyone testing in the post-Covid-19 era. One such product is the VBOX Video HD2 datalogger, which offers synchronized data and HD video. It has the ability to live-stream both data and video back to an engineer at the side of the test track, or even in a remote office – which is important, as having two people sat inside a test vehicle may well be a thing of the past. Live-streaming data that would previously have been witnessed from inside the test vehicle can now be transmitted to the automotive
engineers remotely.

Read the full magazine article here.

New VBOX 3i firmware (v 2.7) released

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The new firmware lets you utilise wheel speed data from the vehicle’s CAN bus, to help maintain the accuracy of position and velocity measurements in areas with limited or no satellite coverage.

As you can see in the video, combining GNSS, inertial and wheel speed data enables you to accurately measure position and velocity in tunnels, dense urban environments, or anywhere else where satellite visibility is restricted, such as indoor car parks.

Additionally, using wheel speed data from the vehicle’s CAN bus removes the need to use expensive, external wheel speed sensors that are prone to damage.

The new firmware (v2.7) will also enable AB Dynamics steering robots to be used with the VBOX 3i, as well as seamless indoor / outdoor testing when used in conjunction with the VBOX Indoor Positioning System.

Please note: you can only install this firmware on v3, v4 and v5 variants of the VBOX 3i. VBOX v3 variants start at serial number 32390 (Jan 2014) or may be available on units prior to this serial number if they have been upgraded to V3 - IMU04 ready. If you are unsure, look for the silver 'IMU04 ready' sticker on your unit.

If you have an older variant, you can trade it in and upgrade to the latest VBOX 3i, with great savings available until 30 September 2020.

Download the new firmware here >

VBOX 3iS is now available to order

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VB3iS angle frontWe are excited to announce our most advanced GNSS product ever, the VBOX 3iS, is now available to order. We have been working hard to improve the performance of our products in difficult areas such as urban canyons, bridges and tunnels, and the VBOX 3iS is the result of these developments.

Key features

  • Compact GNSS / inertial sensor
  • Connects to your existing control system
  • 2 cm positional accuracy
  • Fills gaps in areas with poor GNSS 
  • 100 Hz GPS / GLONASS receiver
  • Integrated IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit)
  • Built-in display for easy configuration and diagnostics

 You can download the full datasheet here.

ADAS & Autonomous testing

The VBOX 3iS is a cost-effective solution for testing and validating the latest ADAS and Autonomous vehicle systems.

Available with RTK to give ± 2 cm positional accuracy, the new sensor is an ideal companion for popular steering robots. The small size and lower cost of the VBOX 3iS makes it ideal for use in multi-vehicle, multi-target ADAS testing, with each sensor communicating over a radio link to a VBOX 3i, which is used as the main data logger.

Accurate testing without GNSS

The VBOX 3iS features the latest multi-constellation, multi-frequency GNSS receiver as well as a high-grade Inertial Measurement Unit and the ability to connect directly to a vehicle's CAN bus. Combining wheel-speed data from the CAN bus with the inertial data further enhances the position and velocity measurements in areas with poor GNSS.

Ideal for testing in tunnels, urban canyons or at test tracks with heavy tree cover, the VBOX 3iS ensures the accuracy of the data being captured, even in restricted sky view conditions and can also fill gaps in GNSS coverage.

VBOX 3iS

The above images are from a test that we carried out through the East India Dock Tunnel in London, which is 400m long. Using GPS only, our position was lost as we entered the tunnel. Adding IMU and wheel speed data into the system, the errors were significantly reduced and the vehicle was tracked through the tunnel with great accuracy, using the VBOX 3iS.

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VBOX Touch is now available to order

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We’re pleased to announce the new VBOX Touch is now available to order. Featuring a 4.3” colour touchscreen, 10 Hz GPS receiver and the ability to run multiple applications on the same hardware, the VBOX Touch is our most versatile data logger yet.

Find out more.

Online tutorials for VBOX Test Suite

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VBOX Test Suite is our next generation analysis software which has replaced VBOX Tools in many test facilities. If you haven't tried it yet, please do!

We have created nine short tutorials to give you an overview of the main features and a basic understanding of how to use it.

vbts tutorial
1. VBOX Test Suite - An Introduction

vbts tutorial
2. VBOX Test Suite - Getting Started

vbts tutorial
3. VBOX Test Suite - The Workspace

 
See all 9 tutorials.

New Pedal Force Sensor

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We are pleased to offer a new pedal force sensor (RLACS282) that is ideal for Brake tests such as SAE J2909, as well as measuring pedal force.

Supplied with a universal mounting bracket and made from steel, the sensor has a low profile design with a large, anti-slip contact area and can also be used with a brake pedal trigger.

Click here for the datasheet.

RLACS282 Brake Sensor

Firmware update for MFD released

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DSP03 Multifunction displayToday we have releasing a new firmware version for the Multi-Function Display (MFD).

Version 13.09 resolves several stability issues and incorporates the fixes made in the 13.06 BETA release to achieve a closer match of the Pass-By Noise acceleration calculation to the Regulation 51 calculation formula.

 Release notes 13.09 - March 2019

  • Fixed issue where MFD could freeze when running at 1 M/Bit Baud rate while connected to Can Hub.
  • Fixed issue where random characters could be displayed when MFD 'beep' action is triggered.
  • Changes made to Pass-By Noise acceleration calculation to ensure closer match to Regulation 51 calculation formula.
  • Additional parameter for Pass by Noise test. Mid-point to end accel for fixed gear transmissions in R51 regulation.
  • Different calculation used for average accel through test area

New VBOX 3i Firmware available

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VBOX 3i Firmware version 2.6 comes equipped with a new 3 Target ADAS mode, improved Robot Navigation and uninterrupted Slip Angle calculation, even in areas with low GPS coverage.


1subject 3targets armegeddonThe latest VBOX 3i firmware (v2.6) enables engineers to log positional and time-to-collision data from up to 3 moving targets and a lane simultaneously, allowing them to meet the guidelines set out by the new Lane Change Test for ACSF (Automatically Commanded Steering Function).

Firmware version 2.6 comes equipped with a new ‘SlipHead’ channel which does not require a valid dual antenna lock to achieve accurate Slip angle measurements. A useful tool on test tracks where GPS coverage is hampered by bridges, buildings or nearby trees.

Racelogic have also improved the heading channel which is used for ADAS calculations and Robot Navigation by introducing a ‘RobotHead’ channel. By using this channel, you should now benefit from cleaner ADAS signals as well as reduced noise in the robot navigation heading signal.

The layout of the VBOX Manager has also been revamped, simplifying the menu structure and making the current settings more visible. As a result, both the VBOX 3i and VBOX Manager firmware will need to be updated to benefit from these new features.

New version of VBOX Test Suite

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Today we’ve released a new version of VBOX Test Suite, 1.7.55.2453.

This release adds R117 Pass-By Noise for tyres (beta), removes the beta tag for R138 PbN & R78 Braking, adds Chinese & Japanese as a language option and contains multiple changes/fixes.

For a further list, please see the history notes.

VBOX Test Suite should notify you that an update is available.

VBOX European Roadshow is back

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The VBOX Hospitality Trailer is back on the road and you are invited to the join us for the VBOX Roadshow 2018. We will be stopping at the following locations:

roadshow2018 314 Sep 2018
Goodyear Luxembourg (Employees only)

18/19 Sep 2018
ADAC Fahrsicherheitsplatz Ingolstadt
Marie-Curie-Str. 15
85055 Ingolstadt
Deutschland

27 Sep 2018
ASC Guidasicura Quattroruote
Cascina di Vairano, 41
27018 Vidigulfo (PV)
Italia

 

What to expect?

We will be there to support you, and to demonstrate our new products and software.

You’ll be able to take an exclusive look at our exciting new data logger, the VBOX Touch, with its bright capacitive touch screen and varied programming options.

We’ll be demonstrating VBOX Connect – a real-time vehicle position monitoring and file-download system.

We have several new software plugins for VBOX Test Suite, such as Pass By Noise and AEB. See how we can save you time and cost in your test and development programs with software designed specifically for your requirements.

We will also be able to show you our prototype indoor positioning system.

roadshow2018 1

Come along the VBOX Roadshow to discuss your testing needs both now and in the future! We will be delighted to welcome you into the VBOX hospitality trailer for refreshments during the day, as well spending time on the test track for demonstrations.

What's next?

Please email with the date and location you'd like to attend, so you can receive more detailed information on the event.

Contact Get in touch with us