General Motors has opened a new 52-acre Active Safety Test Area near its Milford Proving Ground near Detroit.
The $14 million facility will be used to develop and test safety technologies for GM’s Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac lines.
GM currently has 22 different active safety technologies across the 2016 model lineups, ranging from driver alerts to auto-assist features that assist the driver in critical situations.
“Our comprehensive safety strategy of helping customers before, during and after a crash continues,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president of GM Global Vehicle Safety. “GM historically has been a leader in the development and testing of safety technologies, and applying our deep knowledge and expertise to prevent crashes from happening in the first place.”
Examples of available crash-avoidance technologies for 2016 GM models include:
• City Speed Front Automatic Braking: If the vehicle is traveling at a low speed and the system detects that a front-end collision situation is imminent while following a detected vehicle and the driver has not already applied the brakes, the system automatically applies brakes to help reduce the collision’s severity. The system may even help avoid the collision at very low speeds.
• Front Pedestrian Braking: If the system detects that a pedestrian is directly ahead and a collision is imminent, and the driver has not already applied the brakes, the system alerts the driver and, if necessary, automatically applies the brakes to help reduce the collision’s severity or avoid the collision.
• Rear Camera Mirror: Compared to a traditional inside rearview mirror, this rear view mirror display provides a wider, less obstructed field of view to assist when driving, changing lanes, and checking for vehicles and traffic conditions.
• Night Vision: Provides the driver an infrared night vision image of the area lit beyond the headlamps that highlights and provides alerts to detected pedestrians or large animals.
• Curb View Camera: When in Forward gear during low-speed maneuvering (e.g., parking), this system provides the driver a view of the scene immediately ahead of the vehicle on the vehicle’s center stack display to help the driver avoid low-speed collisions into nearby objects, such as curbs, poles, and parked vehicles.
“The technologies we are developing and testing at this facility are available to our customers across our GM brands,” said Cynthia Bay, director of Active Safety Electronics and Controls. “Front Pedestrian Braking will be offered on the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, and the lowest-priced Chevrolet we offer in the U.S. – the new 2016 Spark – has available Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert.”
The new Active Safety Test Area concentrates the company’s active safety testing into one, state-of-the-art site. It features:
• A 16-acre dynamics pad for testing a variety of robot-controlled and automated vehicles.
• Highway simulation with six lanes, on/off ramps, controlled lighting and road signs that represent specifications around the world.
• A parking test area with different curb types and landscaping detection.
• Pedestrian test area with a 90-degree traffic intersection and specially designed rig for accurate dummy movement.
• Simulated tunnel with walls and posts.
• A building for observation, indoor testing, hoists for test preparation and a robotic control station.
Bay said the facility is ideal for testing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technologies, which will be standard on the 2017 Cadillac CTS.
“In addition to helping customers all over the world avoid crashes, many of the technologies we develop and test here are integral to our ongoing V2V communications work and even the development of future autonomous vehicles,” she said.
The V2V dedicated short-range radio communication enables vehicles to “talk” to each other and exchange basic safety data such as speed, location and braking status. It complements existing safety components like radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors; some of the components rigorously tested at the new Active Safety Test Area facility, in a fast and efficient way.
The facility is also used to assess performance in regulatory and insurance industry consumer metric tests, such as those conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Euro New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and others.
“General Motors is committed to setting a new standard for global product safety, and developing vehicles that continue to provide leading safety technologies which can help drivers avoid crashes,” said Boyer. “This facility will accelerate GM’s development and testing of innovative safety technologies.”