Exploring technologies for service provision in automotive winter testing

Vehicles are becoming increasingly more complex in terms of, for example, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Antilock Braking System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS), and Active Rollover Protection (ARP), i.e. several different control systems that have to interact to perform well when driving. Hence, efficient testing activities are vital to ensure that the components and systems in the vehicle are functioning as intended. Numerous automotive manufacturers (OEM) and suppliers (Tier 1) have firmly established their testing activities in northern Sweden, because they need guaranteed cold weather, new snow and big temperature variations during their time there. Another reason why automotive companies choose northern Sweden is due to the large number of clients situated in the area. This enables demonstrations with significant number of participants and development within customer projects. The testing industry is important for northern Sweden, where the largest proving ground group has a yearly turnover of € 21 million. The testing activities at a proving ground initially seem to mainly incorporate technical aspects that focus mainly on the prototype vehicle and its components. However, services related to automotive testing are also important to ensure professional tests where the actors, here called service providers, are those who supply the proving ground and the subsequent services. Tracks to run the tests on are rather obvious, but there is also a need for administrative services, accommodation, logistics, access to local test drivers for endurance tests, mechanics, information and communication technologies, etc. The research presented in this thesis has studied which technologies that have potential to support service providers and their customers and what benefits technology supported winter testing will provide. A guiding vision trough the work has been to contribute to service innovation in winter testing activities. A premise has been that technology, in particular vehicle dynamics and distributed engineering will be useful to contribute to the vision. The research has an explorative approach, since previous research in this area is limited. The research, therefore, has embarked from a topic (i.e. vehicle dynamics) rather than a hypothesis. Still, the research project is based on previous research, specifically a technological framework for the transmission of real-time data from test vehicles to development facilities worldwide. Action Research (AR) Participatory Action Research (PAR) and Participatory and Appreciative AR (PAAR) has been used as a frame of reference, since it was considered important to involve both researcher and participants in the studies to evolve from the experience in the field and participate in service provision changes. This approach resulted in the use of extensive empirical data to find supportive technical concepts for the service providers.


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  • Accession Number: 01448369
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • ISBN: 9789174390445
  • Files: ITRD, VTI
  • Created Date: Oct 1 2012 1:15PM