Going Straight

Last year at the Detroit Testing Expo I must have talked to a dozen engineers asking about how they can test their vehicles as they roll off the production line. Often these days I’m asked about end of line testing, and how VBOX kit can be applied to it.

Well, of course it can. In fact, it already is. We were approached last year by a major vehicle manufacturer (I cannot divulge the name, sorry) because they wanted to test the car’s centre-line deviation prior to delivery.

So we made them a bespoke system, comprising a VBOX enclosed in a special rubber housing, with the antenna on the lid, atop a beanbag that can sit securely on a dashboard. It connects to CAN through OBD, giving it power and so that it can read the car specification from VIN.

The car is then driven over a set course to test how much it drifts in a straight line with no steering input. The driver is given an indication of pass or fail, and at the end of the test the results are automatically sent into a central database over Wi-Fi. It’s neat – quick, easy, with minimal training involved and setup time per vehicle of less than 30 seconds.

We’re increasing the capabilities through firmware and software now so that a wider variety of tests can be carried out. The nice thing about all this is that VBOX now bookends how these cars are made – from initial testing and development, through to “yes, that’s ready for the customer.”


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