EMMA on RODOS
And before EMMA is allowed on the road, she must of course pass her driving test – virtually in our interactive driving simulator RODOS (RObot based Driving and Operation Simulator). But first, a real human takes a seat there to collect physical measurement data and provide input for the simulation software. The interaction between the driver and the seat is investigated, for example the pressure distribution. This data should help to better answer fundamental questions about autonomous or semi-autonomous driving: How quickly should the tilted backrest of a seat be raised again with the integrated electric motor system? Does the turned seat return to its original position? How long does it take for the human to take the wheel again when the vehicle signals »Danger from the right, please take over!« in semi-autonomous mode?
The driving simulator is a central component of the Technikum in the division »Mathematics for Vehicle Engeneering« and allows the use of different production cabs and real car bodies mounted on a strong robot arm. Currently, the researchers are working on a combined biomechanical-mechatronic model of the coupled seat system, which can be used to parameterize and calibrate the simulation software developed in the EMMA4Drive project.
This means that in the future, certain tests that are primarily aimed at physically stressing the occupants can also be carried out purely virtually, in addition to individual RODOS simulator studies in a real driving cabin. When testing new concepts or comparative investigations of alternative variants, this saves time-consuming hardware modifications. However, for studies in which psychological aspects of the driving behavior are in the foreground, the simulation with RODOS in a realistic cabin environment remains indispensable, since it is crucial for achieving a perfect immersion of the human being into the driving situation.