Rain tests for automated driving – Digitrans launches Outdoor Rain Plant

Unique outdoor rain plant for automated driving put into operation at the Digitrans test center on the proving ground in St. Valentin.

On the proving ground in St. Valentin, Digitrans is creating perfect test conditions for the future of automated freight transport. A special highlight is an outdoor rain plant that is unique in Europe. With this system Digitrans makes it possible to test sensors, which are needed for environment and object recognition in automated vehicles, in artificially reproduced rain.

On Wednesday, November 16, the Outdoor Rain Plant was officially put into operation on the premises of MAGNA Powertrain / Engineering Center Steyr GmbH & Co KG in St. Valentin together with the Economic Ministers of Upper and Lower Austria, Markus Achleitner and Jochen Danninger, and Digitrans Managing Director Eva Tatschl-Unterberger.

The existing test track on the premises of the Magna Powertrain Engineering Center Steyr in St. Valentin has been expanded into a test center for automated driving by DigiTrans GmbH since summer 2021 and is now close to completion. The main asphalt track, which has existed since the 1930s, has been expanded to a total of 6 lanes and now enables the testing of complex traffic scenarios on a highway-like track.

In addition, a roundabout, various intersections and a city zone with various sidewalks and bike lanes, traffic signs as well as crosswalks, bus stops, and a parking zone including road marking systems from SWARCO Road Marking Systems have been completed and released for initial testing.

Unique outdoor rain plant for testing automated vehicles and sensors in the rain

Especially unique is the outdoor rain plant, which was put into test operation on 16.11.2022, and which makes it possible to generate natural rain on a length of about 100 m at the push of a button. The system enables reproducible rain tests with different precipitation intensities and at high test speeds.

The outdoor rain plant for rain tests of automated vehicles on the test track in St. Valentin is unique in Europe. It enables the sensors responsible for environment detection in automated vehicles to be tested and optimized more efficiently under real precipitation conditions.

Digitrans has invested more than a year of research to provide a system whose precipitation pattern is as close as possible to natural rainfall. Digitrans was supported in this by, among others, the Linz Center of Mechatronics GmbH (LCM) and the spray technology expert AQUASYS from Linz.

© DigiTrans GmbH 

New automated test and research truck - Digitrans dTRUCK

The new additions to the Digitrans Test Center are perfectly complemented by an automated test and research truck with numerous state-of-the-art assistance systems.

In cooperation with the Digitrans shareholder, Hödlmayr International AG, the test and research truck will be further adapted for testing automated logistics solutions and prepared for autonomous driving.

In a first step, the conventional control system is to be converted into a “drive by wire” system. In a second step, a “drive pilot” will be integrated to enable highly automated driving at level 3.

In the future, the automated research truck from Digitrans can be used for various freight transport use cases and test drives, both on the proving ground in St. Valentin and in public road traffic.

© DigiTrans GmbH 

NÖ-Heute feature from 16.11.2022

Report by ORF Landesstudios Niederöstrreich on the activation of Outdoor Rein Plant at the Digitrans Test Center for Automated Driving in St. Valetnin.

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© ORF Landesstudio Service GmbH & Co KG / Landesstudio Niederöstrreich 

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Impressions of the introduction of the rain plant and the test and research truck on proving ground in St. Valentin

© DigiTrans GmbH und © Hödlmayr International AG

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