Renault’s Thumbs Up for Dual Frequency AV Data Transfer

A UK automotive test systems supplier claims to have cracked the Wi-Fi data transfer interference issues that have been blighting real-world AV testing.

AB Dynamics says the burgeoning use of wireless data transfer from the increasing use of driverless test vehicles and V2V communications can result in interference and signal dropout, triggering fail-safe architectures to stop the test, meaning that test scenarios have to be reset and repeated. This is exacerbated by ‘swarm testing’, where five or more vehicles are being tested at any one time, increasing the chances of interference. With more devices using Wi-Fi, the number of costly stoppages during testing are likely to continue on an upward curve without using more robust telemetry solutions.

It says the challenges are set to become more acute with the proliferation of autonomous vehicles and the expansion of ADAS testing. For example, since 2014 the number of ADAS test scenarios included in the Euro NCAP assessment has increased by 650%.

To combat this the has developed its TrackFi PowerMesh, a communications system using dual-band IP radio claiming dependable data transfer from V2V and V2X through secure mesh networks, claimed to be more reliable than standard WLAN technology. It operates across two frequency bands, switching between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz RF transceivers and is suitable for use on vehicles in conjunction with the company’s ADAS platforms or as static nodes to mount trackside.

Renault is already using the system for its testing programs. Grégory Lesueur, ADAS equipment coordinator at Groupe Renault, said: “TrackFi PowerMesh has delivered us considerable benefits. We have found it very efficient to use and have experienced enhanced communication between vehicles and ADAS targets. It enables us to achieve so much more in our track testing program because downtime is significantly reduced.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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