As automotive technology gradually advances towards autonomy, it is of the utmost importance that automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM's) pay special attention to Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) in future product development. The classification of "Vulnerable" describes individuals who are at increased risk due to the lack of a "shell" (protective structure), task capability, resilience, and velocity. These individuals are then subdivided into mode-of-transport and age. Children, the elderly, and the disabled are at the highest risk because of their low task capability and, in some cases, lower physical resilience.
The advancement of safety features in Highway Vehicles has changed the way we travel, and profoundly increased the safety of vehicle operators, passengers, and pedestrians. As the automotive manufacturers have dedicated their focus on safety, and crash survivability, countless lives have impacted. From the advent of the safety-belt, Supplemental Restraint Systems (airbags, pre-tensioners), to engineering crush zones within vehicle structures have significantly increased motor-vehicle survivability. However, the highest risk component, the human operator, is still in control of most vehicle operating functions. This human component is referred to as “Human Factors.”
The goal of functional safety is to ensure that organizations provide dependable products to external customers.
As PRECO’s solutions have grown, our products have also begun the testing process with non-automotive applications. Increasingly collaborating with the automotive industry and developing products for fully autonomous automotive vehicle applications. A trend that further emphasizes the need for increased safety oversight described as Functional Safety[i].
When it comes to product design testing, a specification is needed for determining proper performance, function, and more. This specification will detail how the product should operate and often how it should be tested. It is often difficult to depict real world scenarios in a repeatable fashion which is needed for product testing.