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Development & Test

Automotive Noise & Vibration India 2014 Special Edition

Mercedes-Benz is teaching autonomous

cars how to speak

Automotive Testing | Vehicle & Powertrain Simulation | Controls & Calibration | Environment & Emissions

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Mercedes-Benz is teaching autonomous cars how to speak

Gesture communication between humans and autonomous driving cars


Automakermedia Thomas Fone CEO

General Motors

Good Vibrations Coming from New GM Brake Test Facility

BMW Group

Mauricio de Araujo Almeida Director

pressing ahead with the development of systems for inductive charging of electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

Doris Fone Financial Director

Sine on Random Application Testing

Vibration Research Horiba OBS-One

HORIBA’s on-board emissions measurement system for vehicle certification under real-world driving conditions

ANV Agenda


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Mercedes-Benz is teaching autonomous cars how to speak Stuttgart/Berlin. Mercedes-Benz, robotics experts and linguists discuss how people can communicate with autonomous vehicles in the future. Traffic in the city of the future will be largely dominated by cars that drive themselves. Beyond the technical and legal aspects, the automotive manufacturer is therefore looking very closely at social issues in this context. Communication between people and machine intelligence is a key aspect here.


he fact that cars are able to perform more and more tasks autonomously, meaning that they are gradually becoming mobile robots, is now beyond dispute. This will not just lead to changes in motoring itself, however; traffic conditions on the whole will change, too. This is why Mercedes-Benz looks at much more than just the technical issues when developing autonomous cars. Company representatives from the Group Research and Futurology department therefore met with robotics research experts and linguists to discuss the key issues at the second Mercedes-Benz Future Talk: How will we communicate with autonomous cars in the future? Can an autonomous car “wave” a pedestrian over the road? Is the car speaking to me or to the person next to me? And what does “speaking” even mean in this context? Will we have to learn robot grammar or must the car be able to understand us? And how can this language be developed? Should it be intuitive or artificial?

“The traffic of the future will become increasingly interactive – and I don’t just mean the networking of vehicles,” stated Prof. Dr. Kohler, Head of Group Research and Sustainability and Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler AG. “We view it as our elementary task to put autonomous cars on the road not just as technological achievements but also to make them an integral part of the traffic of the future. Here the social aspects are at least equally important as the sensors in the car.” 6 | Automaker Development&Test

The in-depth discussions between all those attending the Mercedes-Benz Future Talk “Robotics” revealed that there are still many unanswered questions in the field of human-machine interaction. It became clear that robots are much more than humanoids with a human-like appearance or figures from science-fiction films. This is also substantiated by Martina Mara, who conducts research into the psychology of human-robot relationships at Ars Electronica Futurelab: “The tin man, or synthetic human-machine, may be the image we have in our mind when we hear the word ‘robot’. In the case of real robots away from the cinema screen, however, there is often only limited acceptance if there are too many similarities with humans.” According to Mara, it is more important to make it clear as quickly as possible just how intelligent a robot is, which forms of communication it can master and how it signals what its next steps will be. Alexander Mankowsky, a futurologist at Daimler AG, added: “We see the car that drives itself - the autonomous robot - embedded in the overall picture of future mobility, with humans playing the main role in our vision of the future. The task is to develop a cooperative system in which one or more communication languages are essential to allow interaction between humans and machine intelligence in the dense urban environment.” He also thinks that there may even be a robot-language dictionary in the future. According to Mankowsky, calling for people to adapt to the machines should not be the aim by any means in any of the deliberations. It is much more a case of building trust and confidence as human-machine communication gets more and more intensive.

Prof. Dr. Ellen Fricke introduced a linguistic perspective into the discussion. The gesture researcher from the Chemnitz Technical University and co-founder of the Berlin Gesture Center put forward the following arguments: “If we consider gestures to be an option for successfully communicating with autonomous cars, it is of course important to look at which human gestures in everyday use are especially suitable as a starting point for this. Another equally key question is this: how does the autonomous car shape us? And what effects will the gestures used for human-car interaction have on the gestures used for interhuman communication in the future?” Also Fricke pointed out: “Not only an encyclopedia of robot gestures is required, but as the very first step, a comprehensive digital database of human gestures of everyday use. This can be an intial point for a construction of gestures addressed to autonomous robots.”

A driving robot ? In the future the car drives independently

Automaker Development&Test | 7

Gesture communication between humans and autonomous driving cars

On an everyday level, communication with autonomous vehicles is still new territory. This is why Mercedes-Benz joined forces with Ars Electronica Futurelab to create an “experimentation field” capable of testing various forms of interaction between humans and kinetic robots using prototypes. In a test setting, three interactive quadcopters were hailed, stopped or steered in a certain direction using gesture control or a haptic control object, for instance. This gave an initial idea of what co-existence between humans and autonomous machines could feel like in the shared space of the future. Mercedes-Benz is convinced that what seems a long way off can quickly become a reality, believing that it is essential to develop a shared interaction language to enable functioning social “human-machine cooperation” in the traffic of the future. The automotive manufacturer will continue to work towards this goal.

Mercedes-Benz Future Talk - interdisciplinary dialogue The Future Talk introduced last year by Mercedes-Benz established a new dialogue format and asked the question “How Utopian is the future?”. By exchanging ideas with vanguards from various disciplines, the brand shares its visions and, as the inventor of the automobile, demonstrates its expertise in shaping a desirable, mobile future.

Gesture communication between humans and autonomous driving cars

8 | Automaker Development&Test

Good Vibrations Coming from New GM Brake Test Facility More stops in less time results in experience customers associate with quality


ETROIT – Engineers at General Motors’ new brake testing facility know the differences between moans, squeals, grinds, groans and grunts – annoying noises common to their work. Now, with a new brake chassis dynamometer, they can simulate braking in weather conditions that range from Alaska to a tropical island.

With the new facility opened earlier this year, GM vehicles can now take up to 1,900 stops in 2½ days compared with 1,000 stops in two weeks using previous testing methods. The result is a quiet braking experience that customers associate with a quality vehicle. “If we do our job correctly, the customer won’t notice our work,” said Brent Lowe, GM performance engineer for brake noise development. “Watch any movie and you’ll hear brake squeal every time a car stops because Hollywood loves to add the brake squeaking sound effect, and nothing bugs me more. We work to make sure our brakes lead the industry in silence.” The new dynamometer was developed in conjunction with supplier Link Engineering. The state-of-the-art facility can run 24 hours a day, simulate underbody airflow, and change temperatures and humidity. “The ability to control and replicate the conditions that our customers’ vehicles are driven under is just as important as the ability to control the brake pressure, vehicle speed and direction,” Lowe said.

The 14,000-square-foot development facility is located at the GM Proving Ground in Milford, Mich. The test chamber is padded with jagged sound proofing to provide a quiet environment for testing and to spare others the unpleasant noises or vibrations that may arise during a test. The room can also accommodate vast changes in climate and moisture conditions, and can dramatically alter its temperature within about 15 minutes. “The concept of a silent brake is actually very complicated,” said Lowe. “Braking creates friction and the more friction present amounts to more noise. Though the sound of brakes squealing is something every driver can easily identify as a nuisance, it is one of the more difficult things to actually remove. We have been very successful at taking on that challenge at GM.” Before the new facility, the team had to rely on test driving vehicles at the track and a two-wheel drive chassis dynamometer that offered far less control over humidity and temperature. “With our previous methods and equipment, we became really good at finding and mitigating approximately 85 percent of existing brake noises,” Lowe said. “With this new facility, we’ll be able to locate and address the remaining 15 percent of brake noise frequencies so that we can continue to be leaders in the industry.”

Automaker Development&Test | 9

BMW Group is pressing ahead with the development of systems for inductive charging of electric and plug-in hybrid cars. Highly convenient, efficient and cable-free: cutting-edge technology for feeding vehicles with power is being honed for the high-voltage batteries in the BMW i3 and BMW i8 as well as in future plug-in hybrid models from the BMW Group – Collaboration with other carmakers to establish a universal standard for inductive charging systems.


unich. Driving pleasure and sustainability are fused together in unprecedented fashion in the allelectric BMW i3 and the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. Their high-voltage batteries can be recharged quickly and easily by means of the BMW i Wallbox that forms part of the 360° ELECTRIC portfolio. This sophisticated charging station with fast-charge facility for feeding cars with power either at home or at work underlines the all-embracing approach adopted by the BMW i brand when it comes to developing products and services for sustainable mobility of premium calibre. In the process, the BMW Group has assumed a pioneering role in this field and is therefore pressing keenly ahead with the development of innovative technologies for making driving with zero tailpipe emissions more and more attractive. Systems for inductive charging of high-voltage batteries are the next step forward for energy supply. The development objective in the medium term is to put reliable, non-wearing and user-friendly solutions for inductive charging into production that have been tailored to both the batteries in the BMW i cars and the highvoltage batteries in future plug-in hybrid models from the BMW Group.

The crucial advantage of inductive power supply over conventional charging stations is the cable-free connection between the supply point and the vehicle’s high-voltage battery. Carmakers Daimler and the BMW Group have signed an agreement on the joint development and implementation of a standardised technology for inductive charging of electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The system consists of two components: a secondary coil in the vehicle floor as well as a base plate with integral primary coil that is located underneath the car, for example on the garage floor. The arrangement of the coils, and consequently of the field pattern, is based on a design derived from their circular shape that offers a number of crucial benefits. These include the extremely compact and lightweight construction along with effective spatial confinement of the magnetic field. The electrical energy is transmitted via an alternating magnetic field generated between the coils, contactfree, without charging cables and at a charging rate of 3.6 kW. With an efficiency factor of over 90 percent, this method enables the high-voltage batteries in vehicles to be charged efficiently, conveniently and safely.

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A further development target is to minimise the charging time for contactless power transmission. At a charging rate of 3.6 kilowatts, the high-voltage batteries in many plug-in hybrid vehicles can be fully charged in under three hours. It takes less than two hours to charge the BMW i8 using a fully working prototype of an inductive charging station. In order to make allowance for the higher storage capacities of high-voltage batteries in pureelectric vehicles, the future technology standard also foresees the possibility of increasing the charging rate to 7 kW. This ensures that the battery in the BMW i3 could still be fully charged overnight when using the inductive system. Inductive charging makes life considerably easier for the driver of an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, as there is no need to connect any cables to top up the power reserves. Once it has been correctly positioned above the primary coil, the driver can simply start the charging process at the push of a button using the vehicle’s own operating system. Data is transmitted via a WiFi connection between vehicle and charging station to help the driver even with parking. The inductive charging facility can be used regardless of the weather conditions. Not even rain or snow has a negative effect on the power feed as all of the system’s conductive components are protected, which means the primary coil can even be installed outdoors. During charging, ambient electromagnetic radiation is also kept to an absolute minimum. The space between the primary and secondary coils is permanently monitored, allowing charging to be halted instantly if any foreign bodies are detected. As with today’s BMW i Wallbox, the inductive power supply systems of the future will also make it possible to activate and monitor the charging process from a smartphone. The relevant smartphone app will let drivers call up the data transmitted online on the battery’s charge status, for instance, or the time remaining until charging is complete.

Automaker Development&Test | 11

Sine on Random Application Testing What is Sine on Random testing and when should I use this testing method in place of, or in addition to, either Sine or Random?

You may have asked yourself this in the past. The answers are quite simple.


ine on Random is a common form of mixed mode testing. Sine on Random is a test mode in which sine and random vibrations are performed simultaneously to simulate sources where both modes are present in the ordinary service of the device under test. In the real world sinusoidal and random vibrations often exist and occur simultaneously. In a Sine on Random test the underlying energy is being generated in a random form, but there are certain sinusoidal vibrations present which exceed the g levels seen in the random profile to such a degree that they need to be part of the test profile to provide a more accurate representation of the in-service environment. In certain circumstances

the sinusoidal vibration is minimal and is less important to the overall test. In other cases the sinusoidal vibration that affects the device you will be testing has an impact on the underlying background random, and should be recognized as an important part of the test procedure. The sine tones which are superimposed on the random profile in a Sine on Random test can be fixed frequency or sweeping depending on the most common in-service experience. If sweeping tones are used they are often narrow frequency sweeps at approximately +/- 5% of the center frequency. All aircraft, whether fixed wing, rotor or rocket propelled, have a base random energy inherent when in service. In addition there is also a sinusoidal element present that cannot be ignored when testing. The sinusoidal vibration typically comes from the turbine engine or rotor blade and is present at various frequencies. Most of the components in an aircraft will benefit from mixed mode testing. Instruments, connectors, batteries and other common components of aircraft are all subject to both sinusoidal and random vibrations simultaneously, and are subject to failure from these vibrations. For this reason Sine on Random is the best application for testing components in many aerospace applications. A common and extremely harsh application of Sine on Random testing is the helicopter gunfire test. The helicopter is subject to a common random vibration, but when gunfire is introduced, a very noticeable high g sinusoidal vibration is infused into the environment. Devices that have only been tested using one method or the other may at first appear to be able to withstand this new environment created by gunfire from a helicopter. Since the Sine on Random testing method better represents the real world conditions, this would always be the preferred test procedure.

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So how do you establish the correct profile to run on your shaker? There are two common methods to consider in establishing your test profile. The first is to run the requirement as spelled out in the MIL-STD-810G specifications. The MIL standards are applicable and easy to use whether the device under test is to be used in a military or civilian application. In addition, many of the test articles are the same, or similar, whether used in a military or civilian environment. The second common method for determining your Sine on Random profile is to record field data, and by using a variety of analysis tools you can establish the test characteristics required to create an applicable test profile. This second method is more complex and the analysis requires substantial tools and skills.


HORIBA’s on-board emissions measurement system for vehicle certification under real-world driving conditions


he measurement of real world vehicle emissions is now used to augment emissions measurement by standard laboratory cycle tests for vehicle and engine development. For both light and heavy-duty vehicles, Euro emissions standards require verified measurements to comply with proscribed limits. HORIBA presents its latest on-board emissions measurement system, OBS-ONE, for both certification and R&D under realworld driving conditions. The compact OBS-ONE is a purpose-designed system allowing measurement of exhaust emissions in a considerably expanded operating range and with improved calibration options. OBS-ONE is easy to install in any vehicle and requires up to 50 percent less energy compared with its predecessor.

Automaker Development&Test | 13

The modular design of the OBS-ONE comprises a controller, two analyzers, a battery and an exhaust flow meter using pitot tube. OBS-ONE features a gas analyzer unit for CO, CO2, NO, NOx and NO2 (by subtraction). Optionally, an analyzer for THC based on a flame ionization detector (FID) can be added, at any time, enabling determination of total hydrocarbons. The system ensures accurate measurement even under challenging environmental conditions. Batteries can be simply changed during operation and ensure stable operation over long driving distances. Additionally, adjustable post-test data processing and the generation of test reports is possible. Furthermore, OBS-ONE offers comprehensive data protection functions. HORIBA plan to expand OBSONE with particulate mass measurement (PM) and particle number (PN) counting in the near future.

In terms of software, OBS-ONE features the highly adaptable and newly developed HORIBA ONE PLATFORM. This comprehensive and intuitive solution serves to operate and control the system. If required, OBS-ONE can be integrated, on a single display unit, with other measurement devices from HORIBA such as MEXA-ONE or CVSONE.

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