Goals and idea

The main advantage of indoor operation is the constant ambient conditions. Particularly with regard to the effects of disturbing influences on anticipatory vehicle sensors, the ambient conditions can be changed in a targeted manner (lighting, rain, fog). Several networked driving robot systems with extended safety mechanisms will be available for testing new cooperative safety functions in the entire vehicle. In addition, an integral test approach should make it possible to combine driving tests and crashes. Real driving tests can be modified by feeding simulated (environment) sensor data into the moving complete vehicle up to a virtual crash (Vehicle-in-the-Loop).


Rain system

With the help of the rain system in the indoor test hall, realistic rain scenarios can be simulated. The reproducibility of the weather conditions is the focus of the setup. Due to a sprinkled area of approx. 250 m², highly dynamic sensor and driving tests can be realised in addition to static tests. The rain intensity is adjustable and can be adapted to the desired rain scenario. The 50 m length of the irrigated area allows research into the effects on the vehicle environment sensor technology even over long distances.
Real rain was measured using special measuring technology in order to obtain reference values for the design of the rain system. The results were incorporated into continuous optimisation of the system technology.
In addition to the rain effect, the effects of wet asphalt on the automotive environment sensors can also be investigated.
The plant is operated with three powerful water pumps, which feed a large-area network of pipes and hoses. Pressure reducers are required to ensure homogeneous rain characteristics over the entire surface. The water under pressure is fanned out, so that water drops can form over a large area.

Fog System

With the help of the fogging system in the indoor test hall, realistic fog scenarios can be simulated from water particles. The density and thus the visibility of the fog can be adjusted, thus enabling reproducible sensor tests. Visibility ranges of <10 metres allow the simulation of extreme situations.

Due to a fogged area of approx. 250 m², highly dynamic sensor and driving tests can be realised in addition to static tests. The 50 m length of the fogged area allows research into the effects on the vehicle environment sensor technology, even over long distances.

As the standing fog forms in the area under the rain system, combinations of rain and fog are also possible.


A variety of targets are available to simulate different traffic scenarios. The targets can be used in static as well as highly complex, dynamic experiments. The focus is on creating realistic conditions, for example to investigate the behaviour of sensors.

  • The pedestrian dummy not only looks like an adult human being, it also behaves like a human being when detected by radar and camera sensors. The legs can simulate a walking movement using servo motors. The dummy can be used in both active and passive experiments, which it survives undamaged up to a certain collision speed. Even the collision partner, e.g. an autonomously driving vehicle, is not damaged by the special design of the dummy during specified experiments. Standardised tests according to Euro NCAP can be realised with the pedestrian dummy.
  • In addition to the pedestrian, the researchers can also use a dummy bicycle, which contains pivoted wheels. In the cross traffic scenario, the dummy is designed for crash speeds of up to 60 km/h. In terms of radar/camera sensors, the target behaves similar to its real-life counterpart.
  • The vehicle target can also be used for driving and sensor tests. Due to the crashworthy design, collisions can occur at speeds of up to 65 km/h. Within 2 minutes the target can be reassembled by 2 persons after a crash. The crash suitability prevents expensive sheet metal damage to both the vehicle and the collision partners during active driving tests. Multiple use without damage to the hardware is thus ensured.
  • The Euro NCAP Vehicle Target meets the latest EURO NCAP and IIHS regulations. It can be used, for example, to test emergency braking systems.  The target is also recognised by common sensors.
Crash system

For crash tests, researchers have access to a state-of-the-art cable pull crash facility including a film pit, which can be used to accelerate vehicles weighing up to 3 tons to 65 km/h. This enables the performance of common crash tests according to EURO NCAP (e.g. offset impact, small overlap, RCAR frontal impact, pile impact). Component tests of individual crash structures can also be carried out using the barrier car, which is also available. Crash tests with lightweight vehicle structures (e.g. made of CFRP) are also possible. Crash measurement technology and high-speed cameras are available for test documentation. A special feature of the facility is the removable crash block, which allows the test area to be used for driving robot-supported road tests in the entire vehicle.

  • Testing of pre-crash, crash and post-crash vehicle safety systems
  • Demountable crash block for "Car to Car - Crash Tests
  • Starting distance: 60 m
  • Vehicle speed up to 64 km/h
  • Vehicle mass up to 3000 kg
  • Barrier car for side crash tests and component tests
  • Film pit for underbody shots on the vehicle / test object

power train:

  • Electric drive machine (DC motor)
  • Output: 340 kW
  • Hydraulic brake and rope tensioning system


  • 24 measuring ring M-Light LED spotlights with: 1 kW power each
  •  Vehicle illuminance up to 40,000 lux
  • Controllable via network from the plant control computer
  • Pulse mode to maximise image quality without backlighting

Camera technology:

  • High-Speed Cameras: Imaging-SolutionsOsV³ Series
  • Resolution:
    1920x1280 pixels at 2700 frames/second
    1920x1080 pixels at 3200 frames/sec
  • 8 GB ring memory
  • Acceleration resistant up to 200 g
  • motion tracking

Crash measurement technology:

  • Data acquisition unit: Measuring ring M-Bus-Pro System
  • Uni- and triaxial accelerometers (measuring range 2000g)
  • Connection of prototype sensors
  • Sensor cells for force and torque measurement (force measuring wall)
Indoor positioning system

A radar-based positioning system is available to the researchers to determine the position of objects on the indoor test facility. The measuring principle is based on a time-of-flight measurement of the radio signals between transponders (on the objects, e.g. vehicle) and the base stations (14 units around the measuring field). The active transponders (a maximum of five in the current configuration) are sequentially requested to deliver the measurement signal. The object positions are then calculated in the control centre from the individual signal propagation times. These are available there for further processing in real-time. For time synchronisation with other measuring devices, the position data are provided with a UTC time stamp. A GPS repeater system is available for time stamping in the indoor test facility. By means of the repeater, a static GPS signal with current UTC time is provided throughout the entire plant.

Technical data Indoor positioning system:
Position accuracy: ± 10 cm (dynamic); ± 3 cm (static)
max. measuring frequency: 1000 Hz
Number of measuring points: up to 5 objects
frequency range: 5.725 - 5.875 GHz

Technical data GPS repeater:
Signal coverage: Entire test facility (100 m x 18 m) incl. side lanes
Frequency bands: L1 band (1575 MHz ± 15 MHz)

Free drive systems for automated road tests

To carry out automated, reproducible driving manoeuvres, the researchers have systems at their disposal for taking over the vehicle's longitudinal and lateral guidance. Here, mechanical actuators are used which operate both the steering and the pedals. For unmanned driving, a redundant, remote-controlled emergency braking system, which ensures a safe vehicle stop, is used. The vehicle movement data required for control can be provided by a corresponding external inertial sensor system. Regardless of the vehicle type, no structural changes are required to install the systems. In addition, even with the systems installed, a human driver can drive the test vehicle.

Examples of use

  • Crash tests with complete vehicle and components
  • Continuous crash tests (with pre-crash phase)
  • Vehicle tests with rain and fog
  • Selective disturbance of environmental sensor technology with rain and fog
  • Accident situations for validation of predictive vehicle safety functions with camera, radar, lidar sensors etc.
  • Cooperative vehicle safety functions with networked sensor systems and Car2X

Laboratory management and team

Scientific Director CARISSMA – ISAFE, Research Professor for Vehicle Safety and Vehicle Mechatronics
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Brandmeier
Phone: +49 841 9348-7460
Room: H023
Test Engineer CARISSMA - Crash test facility
Christopher Ruzok, M.Sc.
Phone: +49 841 9348-3361
Room: H120

Posters on research activities