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For Durability Testing, Ford Turns to Robots

7/1/2013 12:00 PM EDT
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mcgrathdylan
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Robots rule
mcgrathdylan   7/1/2013 1:23:40 PM
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I'm not surprised that they are using robots for durability testing. I'm surprised it hasn't been going on for a long time. It makes a lot of sense I think.

junko.yoshida
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Re: Robots rule
junko.yoshida   7/1/2013 1:31:31 PM
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True. But I think it also shows how all the building blocks for "a driverless car" are maturing to the level, they are trusted enough to be used for rigorous testing.

Even though Ford made it clear that the purpose for the robotic testing program is NOT for "autonomous driving," underlying technologies are very similar.

elctrnx_lyf
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Re: Robots rule
elctrnx_lyf   7/2/2013 6:55:19 AM
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Using the robots for testing a vehicle is definitely makes it faster and more accurate. This is basically automated regression test for the automobile on test track. It definitely involves huge understanding of the stresses or impact and in the end it requires the engineers to track the data from the tests.

Olaf Barheine
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Re: Robots rule
Olaf Barheine   7/2/2013 9:37:49 AM
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But I think those robots will never replace human test drivers. They will only complement them like computer simulations. By the way, I would miss all these brand new cars on our streets. Just two days ago I believe I have seen a prototype of the new Mercedes GLA.

krisi
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so late?
krisi   7/3/2013 12:00:23 PM
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I am with Dylan on this. I thought this has been done for years.

MeasurementBlues
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Better get it right
MeasurementBlues   7/16/2013 5:24:44 PM
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I can see it now. A car is tested with robots and the tests are more accurate and repeatable and overall, cars get safer. But there will be one accident with a car tested with robots where the laywers will question the test methods and say "you can't 100% test for safety with a robots" Robots don't have injuries, people do?

Trouble is, no matter how well, you test with a robot, the results will be challeneged in courst wooner or later.

junko.yoshida
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Re: Better get it right
junko.yoshida   7/16/2013 5:33:57 PM
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Ha ha, i love your picturing a lawyer asking: "you can't 100% test for safety with a robots."

That's a good one.

But even if it is challenged in a court, if the quality of a car does get better, that's a good thing. That's a business risk you have to take as a company, I suppose. 

 

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Better get it right
MeasurementBlues   7/16/2013 5:37:47 PM
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"if the quality of a car does get better, that's a good thing."

Yes, of course. And I'm sure that there will be injuries that won't ever occur because of that testing, but how do you prove it?

 

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Better get it right
MeasurementBlues   7/16/2013 5:42:01 PM
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Junko,

So I'm thinking about my right thumb, fractured in 2009 when my car was hit from the right and the first joint smashed into the steering column. My hand was on the shift lever at the time of vehicle impact. I can't imagine how any kind of testing would have prevented that injury. But in the scheme of things, it's a very minor injury.

The result is that handwriting is difficult and I learned to use a trackball left handed. It drives the IT guys crazy when that have to take over my computer to install software.

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Better get it right
MeasurementBlues   7/16/2013 5:51:13 PM
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Junko, the part about 100% testing annoys me because as engineers, know that nothing is absolute. So, of course there's always a chance of something happeneing no matter how hard you work to prevent it. But lawyers try to explit even the tiniest of possbilities.

If I get get caught speeding, I might use my measurement knowledge by questioning the uncertainly of a radar gun's measurement. You see, all measurements have a tolerance, an accptable range where the actual value might fall. On top of that, there's a confidence level, some thing like. "You can be 95% confident that the actual measured speed was withing x% of the measured speed. But, that still means there's a 5% chance that the acual value is outside acceptable tolerance. It could be anywhere. Then you might ask when was the radar gun last calibrated? Perhaps it's past it's calibration interval period.

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