Messring Active Safety debuted a new dynamic pedestrian target for the training of AVs and pedestrian avoidance systems at Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo 2019. The ASTERO (Active Safety Test Robot) is designed to accurately replicate the motions of real pedestrians to train AV systems and ADAS.
The dummy simulates pedestrians with a realistic shape and posture, which includes feet that rest on the ground (unlike most soft targets) and realistically moving joints operated through pneumatic ‘muscles’. In addition, it is made from a ruggedized plastic and can be dressed in a material that has the same degree of radar reflectivity as human skin. It also uses no metal parts.
The target is intended to be used for the training of systems, rather than the testing itself. Dierk Arp, executive director, explained, “Our pedestrian target is intended for algorithms that predict the future movements of a pedestrian. The ASTERO can replicate all movements, such as leaning forward, like a person preparing to sprint”.
Thanks to the realistic body motions – which can be programed using motion capture – software systems can be accurately calibrated to recognize pedestrians. While the device is ruggedized, it is not designed to be crashed into, like soft targets. The target works in tandem with Messring’s 6D target mover.
In addition to the ASTERO pedestrian target, Messring also presented a new, easy to set up GPS logger. The M=Star is equipped with three GPS transmitters for centimeter-accurate positioning, as well as the recording of rocking and yawing motions. It is battery-powered and can be attached to a vehicle’s roof using suction cups. It sends back data over wi-fi, rather than requiring a complex datalogger setup.