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New Euro NCAP ESS protocol test method developed

Leading automotive test solution supplier AB Dynamics has worked with Euro NCAP test labs and leading vehicle manufacturers to develop a method for testing Emergency Steering Support (ESS) systems to accompany the new Euro NCAP test protocol due to take effect in January 2023.

If a potential collision is detected, ESS systems can act much later than conventional AEB (limited to braking alone), whilst still avoiding a collision. This is because at higher speeds it is often more effective for a vehicle to steer around, rather than brake, to avoid a stationary or slow-moving hazard. The system must only intervene when there is intent from the driver to avoid the collision through the steering. Following the driver’s initial input, the ESS system can then take over to rapidly steer around the hazard.

“Simulating the panic steering input from a driver in response to an impending collision in a repeatable and consistent manner makes ESS testing challenging,” said Dr Andrew Pick, AB Dynamics’ Business Director – Track Test Systems. “It requires precise control of the target vehicle, the test vehicle and the triggering of the test vehicle’s steering system. Our approach accurately synchronises all of these elements in the scenario to successfully conduct the test repeatably.”

Using AB Dynamics’ driving robots, such as the HaloTM, it is possible to provide the accurate and repeatable inputs necessary to the test vehicle’s steering, removing the variability of a human driver. These inputs are controlled by the company’s path-following system, which uses real-time feedback from a GPS-corrected motion pack to guide the test vehicle along a specified path to an accuracy of up to 2cm.

In the ESS test, either the Soft Car 360TM or the LaunchPadTM VRU (Vulnerable Road User) platform simulates a potential object that requires avoidance. The position and speed of the vehicle under test is synchronised with the target to ensure the specific test requirements, such as vehicle speed, overlap position, steering angle and steering angle rate, are accurately met.

“Our method for testing ESS provides the accuracy and repeatability which is crucial to any vehicle testing,” said Dr Pick. “Critically, our solution also provides a multitude of options for triggering the defined steering inputs. These variations can be tested quickly and simply using our control software leading to a thorough assessment of the system ahead of Euro NCAP testing.”

AB Dynamics recently demonstrated its ESS test method at the AstaZero’s Testers’ Day in Sweden

About AB Dynamics
AB Dynamics is an automotive test system supplier with a diverse range of track and lab testing equipment. From Kinematics & Compliance machines and ADAS targets to state-of-the-art driving simulators, AB Dynamics supplies the 25 most successful car manufacturers in the world. If you would like to learn more about AB Dynamics and its products, please visit

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