Next Gen NASCAR crash tested using robots from AB Dynamics

1 min read

Leading automotive test solution supplier AB Dynamics partnered with NASCAR to conduct a driverless, on-track crash test of its Next Gen race car that is running in the 2022 Cup Series.

The test vehicle was driven at high speed to a pre-programmed course by driving robots into the banking wall at Talladega Superspeedway. The aim was to test the safety of the vehicle and the impact on the driver in this type of accident, which is a common crash scenario in the series. The race car was fitted with sensors and a crash test dummy to create valuable and accurate data that NASCAR was able to use for crash simulation validation.

The test requirement was to drive the race car at 130 mph to a precise impact point into the SAFER (Steel And Foam Energy Reduction) barrier, hitting it at an angle of 24 degrees. To control the vehicle’s speed and direction it was fitted with steering, shifting and pedal (throttle, brake and clutch) robots. The inputs to the robots were provided by AB Dynamics’ path following software, which can use pre-recorded driving information and geometric GPS data to accurately navigate a predetermined route.

The driving robots used were AB Dynamics’ SR60 for steering, CBAR600 for pedals and its Gearshift Robot. Importantly, the robots are unobtrusive so did not interfere with the positioning or results from the crash test dummy.

“There is no better data than replicating crash tests in a real environment and our robots enable us to do that accurately and repeatedly,” said Craig Hoyt, AB Dynamics Business Development Manager.

“This is one of the highest speed crash tests we have ever conducted, and the robots only suffered minor damage. It really is a testament to the safety of the vehicle, the barriers, and the ruggedness of our products,” said Hoyt.