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On the ice to test car safety

Published: 22 February 2018

It is in mid February and a splendid winter day in scenic Ebbenjarka, a conference facility by the lake Stor-Antnästräsket, just outside Luleå. A group of students studying automotive engineering is here to conduct driving exercises in order to test and understand the car's safety system.

On the lake, ice roads have been plowed, similar to the test environments used by the automotive industry. Students will drive a circle track and do evasive manoeuvres (elk test).

Dreaming about Jaguar

One of the students participating in the tests is David Sandlund from Piteå.

– I am passionate about cars so the choice of education felt natural. I aim to work in the automotive industry and the dream would be to work for Jaguar in testing and developing their cars. For the tests today we use a VBOX that can measure all types of driving such as acceleration, braking and cornering using the GPS and accelerometer.

Better with small steering movements

Pär Marklund, Professor of Machine Elements, also with a big interest in cars, participates in the tests. During the driving he gives some tips to the students.

– You do not need to use the steering wheel that much to control a sideway skid in a modern car. Instead, use the gas to get the right angle to the road. If you hesitate and let go of the gas, the ESP-system interprets it as the driver does not want to continue and starts to brake and cancel the skid. If you steer too much back and forth, you also send inconsistent signals to the car and the ESP-system doesn't "understand" what your intention is.

Learn car testing in practice

Kim Berglund, responsible for the education in automotive engineering at Luleå University of Technology, explains what he hopes students will take from the day.

– I want our automotive engineers to learn what car testing means in practice, what challenges are there, and to get a better understanding of the car's electronic security system. Recently, there has been a great development in active safety for cars, and it is something students must learn to test.

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Photo: Ted Karlsson


Kim Berglund

Berglund, Kim - Senior Lecturer

Organisation: Machine Elements, Machine Elements, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics
Phone: +46 (0)920 493051