Konrad Technologies provides electronic testing and automation, with a specific focus on automated driving systems (ADS) sensors such as radar, LiDAR, vision and ultrasonics. Konrad Technologies has a complete sensor fusion Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) test capability for virtual test driving. 

Following their contribution to the UK Connected and Automated Mobility Roadmap to 2030: CAM Creators Update, we spoke with Robin Irwin, Managing Director for Konrad Technologies UK, on the new Roadmap release, what simulation means for connected and automated mobility (CAM), and Konrad Technologies’ plans for the future. 

Robin is responsible for the business in the UK that serves the Northern European region, and also heads up a team that manages global projects. 

What are the main CAM focuses for Konrad Technologies in the short and long term?  

Konrad Technologies has a 25-year history as a global supplier of customised, automated test equipment and applications for automotive, aerospace/defence and semi-conductor test applications.

Our short-term focus for CAM now is on innovating and developing reliable test methodologies for ADS sensor, sub-system, and system level tests to measure and evaluate functional performance. Our long-term focus is to reduce vehicle drive tests by 50% with complementary in-lab test capability for ADS and CAM.

How do these align with the Roadmap? 

Our work aligns with the Roadmap due to the identification of new technologies that can ensure the safety of vehicle users. The Roadmap is focused on the necessary technologies and capabilities needed to enable CAM, like for example V2X and/or ADAS. We are focusing on the test methods to validate the performance of these technologies to ensure the CAM features perform reliably when deployed in vehicles. 

By way of example: 

  • At a sensor level, Konrad Technologies is deploying turn-key test and automation manufacturing lines for ADS sensors, such as camera and radar. 
  • At sub-system or system level, we are designing ADS target simulators to test against safety scenarios and standards. 
  • And at a system level, testing extends to in-vehicle data logging on self-driving vehicles on the road or test track.

Long term, we offer the ability to test a range of sensors in a sensor fusion scenario, aligned against standards with increased use of virtual environments. This provides a complete sensor fusion test bench capability to virtually test drive complete systems and vehicles in the lab. These capabilities are a foundation for supporting future UK sensor test facilities and highly automated test environments. 

Can you tell us about why you got involved with the Roadmap?

The Roadmap articulates the goals, aspirations, tangible steps, and technologies that are being identified to enable CAM. Aligning with CAM reinforces the opportunity for the relevant test technology adoption. We also believe some aspirations in the Roadmap are already being met today although perhaps not readily recognised by the industry, sometimes due to sensitivity around commercial interests. Furthermore, as a leading technology supplier for ADS and CAM test, we want to provide a commercial view that reflects what is happening globally with OEMs and tier 1s, to expand on the academic research viewpoint. 

In the time you’ve known about and used the Roadmap, are there any specific benefits it’s provided to your organisation’s work?

Yes. The route towards some key deliverables has provided context as to where major challenges lie.  The Golden Threads help to isolate and highlight key areas that require further deliberation and decisions for implementations that will drive test needs. The Test and Development areas of the Roadmap clarify the topics where there is strong alignment for Konrad Technologies to be involved in sharing our experience and also eventually delivering some of the needed test capability.

What role does simulation play in testing radar, lidar, ultrasonics and vision from research & development through to production?

Simulation plays a critical role in the development cycle for sensors and for ADAS modules (which are reliant on multiple sensors). The simulations provide a rapid way to evaluate the performance of the sensors and the ADS modules under different scenarios before actually building the physical device.

Besides cost savings, this approach also enables robustness and reliability testing for sensor and ADS module designs. At Konrad Technologies, the sensor fusion test workbench extends traditional software-focused hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tests to include the sensors in the test loop.

Thank you to Robin from Konrad Technologies for taking the time to talk to us. Explore the latest Roadmap release, which includes contributions from Konrad Technologies and 116 other organisations in UK connected and automated mobility.