For decades, MGA has been providing customers superior crash and rollover testing to our customers. Expansions and renovations now give MGA Wisconsin and Alabama operations 5 fully enclosed and climate-controlled crash lanes, and 1 outdoor lane for multi-vehicle crash applications.

To help advance the industry, MGA has recently implemented a GPS guided steering robot to provide flexibility beyond a standard crash test. Unlike a typical crash test, which uses a rail to guide the vehicle into the impact fixture, the steering robot can perform maneuvers including steering, braking, and throttle before impact. These “dynamic” crash modes give customers additional insight on real world driving events as well as the interaction between out of position occupants and airbags.

One of the MGA steering robots includes an Automated Test Driver (ATD) and an Oxford RT4002 GPS. This setup allows us to autonomously drive vehicles on a predetermined path or impact a target location within centimeters and a speed of +/- 0.5 mph. The robot’s precise Oxford RT4002 GPS system with real time correction (RTK Integer) provide accurate and repeatable GPS measurements and accounts for GPS drift allowing testing to continue smoothly even into the next day. The ATD and all of its supporting hardware is designed with crash testing in mind and is capable of surviving 35mph full frontal crash tests and rollover events.

A few different examples of these types of tests include steer induced rollover and vehicle maneuver prior to impact. Steer induced rollovers use steering maneuvers at various speeds on different road surfaces to induce a roll event. While computer-aided engineering (CAE) simulations can help assist in evaluating characteristics of rollover events like airbag fire - no fire cases and airbag timing, physical testing remains crucial for verification. Our Wisconsin location has over 400 acres of secluded proving grounds including a skid pad which is ideal for this kind of testing. The North corner of the pad consists of the soil / curb trip area. The edge of this area contains a concrete surface that allows for the installation of various fixtures (including rails and curbs) to help induce a trip.

The steering robot can also be used for pre-crash steering and braking maneuvers. The robots precise pedal control allows for repeatable and adjustable maneuvering G-Forces that, when combined with video tracking, can create a scenario that represents a human occupant's movement. This allows customers to study and evaluate the interaction between the airbag and occupants naturally moved “out-of-position” prior to a crash event. The skid pad provides ample room for just about any maneuver or crash situation. This area is also equipped with an in-ground reaction mass (MGA strong floor) to allow multiple different kinds of barriers to be rigidly fixed to the ground for vehicles to impact.

For decades, MGA has been providing customers superior crash and rollover testing.