Soft Motorcycle 360 is now Euro NCAP approved

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DRI’s Soft Motorcycle 360 has received official approval for utilization in Euro NCAP testing.

A next-generation Powered Two-Wheeler (PTW) test target, the Soft Motorcycle 360 as a powerful solution to improve motorcycle safety. It features a cutting-edge design with multi-layered construction and unique rotating wheels that simulate a realistic Doppler effect for radar sensors.

This ensures precise recognition by vehicle sensor systems like cameras and LiDAR. Its modular, lightweight, abrasion-resistant rubberized material allows for quick assembly and reconstruction post-impact, reducing downtime and minimizing potential vehicle damage.

The Soft Motorcycle 360 has been accredited for use alongside AB Dynamics’ LaunchPad 80 target platform. Together, they can be utilized to conduct all Euro NCAP motorcycle based ADAS test scenarios, including:

– Car to Motorcycle Rear Stationary (CMRs)

– Car to Motorcycle Rear braking (CMRb)

– Car to Motorcycle Front turn across path (CMFtap)

– Car to Motorcycle oncoming (CMoncoming)

– Car to Motorcycle overtaking (CMovertaking)

The LaunchPad 80, an approved PTW target platform since 2022, can safely conduct tests at speeds exceeding 80 km/h and braking at over 0.6g, surpassing Euro NCAP’s requirements. With exceptional stability and maneuverability, it facilitates ADAS and autonomous vehicle testing in complex scenarios involving motorcyclists and moped targets.

For more information, contact us at

10th anniversary of the Soft Car 360 and GST

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This year DRI and AB Dynamics together celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first sale of the Guided Soft Target (GST) surrogate vehicle target system.

The GST test system consists of the Soft Car 360 – an impactable dummy vehicle target attached to a low-profile robotic platform designed to be run over by vehicles. In this article we will delve into the history of this solution, which has had a significant impact of the development of active safety systems globally.

A car driving into a foam vehicleThe GST story starts in 2007 when crash avoidance technologies, such as Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), were still in their infancy and so too were the systems to test them. A variety of targets, ranging from simple radar reflectors to partial vehicle representations (both static and dynamic), were developed to aid in the evaluation of rear end collision avoidance and mitigation systems, but these had limitations restricting approach speeds and angles, as well as lateral offsets. Additionally, some of the dynamic systems required the presence of other vehicles to tow the targets, or suspend them from above, which could sometimes adversely affect the performance of the vehicles under test.

It was at this time that DRI collaborated with NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) on the ACAT (Advanced Crash Avoidance Technologies) project, together with Honda. The project aimed to develop practical methods for evaluating the effectiveness of emerging ADAS technologies. A key phase of the project was to establish the test requirements in order to conduct full-scale testing of the technologies.

The project identified three key vehicle-to-vehicle scenarios that would need to be tested, which were head on, rear end and crossing paths. These tests necessitated a dynamic solution that was strikeable from multiple angles without causing damage to the vehicle under test. The solution: the GST system. Through this project, DRI became fundamental in finding ways to help the industry test and develop first-generation collision avoidance systems that have since been developed into today’s technologies.

The initial development of what would become recognisable as the GST system used a simple vehicle target constructed from foam, fitted to a first-generation version of the GST platform, which was affectionately known internally as the ‘Turtle’. It was the first self-propelled dummy vehicle target that could be safely run over, providing unrivalled testing flexibility. Designed initially for detection by lidar, the system’s visual representation of a vehicle and its radar reflectivity were less relevant. The entire system was designed and manufactured in-house at DRI, including the platform’s navigation and control system.

DRI recognised that the appearance and durability of the target needed to be improved to be useful to manufacturers using camera and radar systems and this formed the core development path for the following few years. A project with IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) in 2011 and feedback from other industry experts identified a demand for stable radar reflectivity, which resulted in the introduction of a new reflective material for the Soft Car 360. Other developments included enclosing the foam skins in vinyl fabric “pillowcases”, which allowed the application of photorealistic graphics and increased durability and realism. The result was a first-generation version of the Soft Car 360 that we know and recognise today.

DRI’s involvement in these industry projects ultimately helped to establish the scenarios and equipment required to thoroughly test ADAS technologies. The tests were adopted by NHTSA and the IIHS to provide safety ratings of new vehicles to educate consumers with the aim of reducing insurance claims and improving road safety.

In 2012 DRI developed what became the first commercially available GST that incorporated all the various features to make it representative to a variety of sensor systems. Later that year, DRI began its partnership with AB Dynamics to further develop the product and the first unit was delivered to an Asian OEM in 2013.

In 2014, DRI developed the second generation GST in collaboration with NHTSA. This project involved reducing the radar reflectivity of the platform and increasing the acceleration and top speed, to cater for the growing variety of tests being carried out. There was also a heavy-duty version developed for trucks. In 2018, AB Dynamics introduced the MK2 GST platform, bringing improvements to the market, such as a lower overall profile, 100 km/h top speed and improved path following.

The collaboration between AB Dynamics and DRI proved to be a great success resulting in the GST’s approval for use by Euro NCAP and NHTSA as its Global Vehicle Target in 2018. The relationship further strengthened when DRI joined the AB Dynamics Group through an acquisition in 2019.

DRI and AB Dynamics are continuing to jointly develop the system as driver assistance technology develops. One of the next big steps in active collision avoidance technologies is likely to come from increased connectivity. The ability for a vehicle to communicate with infrastructure and other vehicles around it increases awareness of potential dangers and the time to react. The integration of connectivity, or V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything), will significantly impact the testing landscape. AB Dynamics is participating in the SECUR project (Safety Enhancement through Connected Users on the Road), which aims to create a coherent proposal for V2X testing and assessment protocols for Euro NCAP. AB Dynamics’ key input into the project is to help define a specification for connected targets to support V2X testing in the future.

Watch this space for further developments.

Human Factors 2022 Intern Program A Success

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Torrance, CA (January 27, 2022) This year, as in previous years, Dynamic Research, Inc (DRI) welcomed a California State University Long Beach student as a Human Factors intern.  This year, that intern is Ryan Fandetti who is pursuing his master’s in Human Factors Psychology and finishing up his final thesis this Spring.

Each year DRI partners with the head of the CSU Human Factors faculty, Dr. Thomas Strybel, to identify students in the program to take on as interns.  The program gives the student interns an opportunity to work on many aspects of Human Factors projects for our automotive clients.

Ryan grew up in Tampa, Florida and now calls Long Beach, California home.  After completing his bachelor’s in psychology at UCF, Orlando, he found he had an interest in Human Factors and its practical application in engineering.

During his time at DRI, Ryan has been able to participate in several current studies for our automotive clients.  He has been a part of study design, participant acquisition and recruitment, active study data collection, including in our simulator environment, and reporting. “I’m taking this great opportunity to gain as much experience as I can,” Ryan commented, “It’s invaluable to participate in the full process of user experience studies like these.”

“Dr. Strybel and the CSU Long Beach Masters of Human Factors program have been great to partner with.  We feel strongly about investing in upcoming generations who will help shape the policies in our industry, and others, in the discipline of Human Factors,” states Sr. Human Factors Engineer, Amanda Kirsch. “In our experience the CSULB interns bring knowledge that helps move our projects forward and take away experience and a broader understanding of real-world applications in their chosen discipline.”

Dynamic Research and Westat Partner on NHTSA “Human Factors consideration for vehicle fail-safe strategies” Project

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Torrance, CA- Dynamic Research Inc. (DRI) has partnered with Westat of Rockville, MD to win the award of the NHTSA “Human factors considerations for vehicle fail-safe strategies” project, a 20-month study.

Fixed base simulator

Vehicle system failures could result in a significant risk for traffic safety. If a driver experiences a sudden failure while driving in traffic, there is a need for the driver to respond quickly and, depending on the circumstances and the nature of the failure, potentially get the vehicle to a safe stopping position.  One of NHTSA’s primary objectives of this study is to understand the driver’s response to a sudden failure. While focus groups and questionnaires will provide some insight into the driver response to a given failure, this study proposes to include an evaluation of drivers using the DRI fixed base simulator (FBS) located in the DRI Torrance, California facility. The FBS will deploy scenarios simulating one or more of these vehicle system failures with driver subjects. The FBS offers a repeatable, controlled environment to safely perform what would otherwise be a significantly dangerous driving scenario.

As a partner to Westat in this project award, DRI offers its human factors and driving simulator expertise and know-how, as well as a large database of simulator scenarios, roadways, and possible subject drivers. The DRI facilities, and equipment,, along with its  OEM relationships and NHTSA project experience, are an excellent complement to Westat’s capabilities.

Dynamic Research, Inc. (DRI) has done extensive testing, research, and vehicle R&D-related studies of driver behavior for more than 25 years. These studies have included driver behavior and driver/vehicle interaction studies in distracted driving, impaired driving, driving with vehicle automation (ADS) and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), driving in-vehicle system failure situations, and under typical driving circumstances. This has been accompanied by and built upon a long history of driver-vehicle interaction research by DRI’s senior human factors staff members.


Read more about DRI Driving Simulators.

Conducting Driving Research with Participants During a Pandemic

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Dynamic Research, Inc- Torrance , CA

Conducting traditional research with participants amidst a rapidly rising pandemic presents challenges in safety for not only participants, but also for those involved in conducting the study. After months of preparation, Dynamic Research Inc. (DRI) researchers were able to put a plan into place early in the pandemic and have been able to continue research without a single case of COVID-19.

Everyone involved in any aspect of the DRI driving research program, starting with all employees within the company, needed to be informed of the new protocols and had to agree to follow them while on the premises. Signs throughout the building and at main entrances clearly define the rules of entering and moving around the building during a pandemic. Potential participants also needed to know what DRI was doing to keep everyone safe during such an uncertain time. An email to all past participants went out to communicate the new rules and what was expected when visiting DRI.

Upon entering, all visitors and DRI employees stop at sanitizing stations to complete a wellness check that includes temperature and health screenings, as well as making sure appropriate masks are worn. Visitors were required to have DRI staff administer the wellness check. All high-touch areas are disinfected regularly and between subject runs. Additional sanitizing stations are available throughout the building for everyone to use. Social distancing is observed at all times and when social distancing is not possible, partitions are installed and the number of persons is limited in the area. Areas with limited access or off-limits are clearly marked and disinfected areas are indicated with appropriate signage.

Minimizing contact includes limiting the time participants are in the building. Therefore, the research team implemented an all-digital system where pre-research paperwork could be completed from home and reviewed before the participant’s arrival. Research paperwork, questionnaires, and data are also collected digitally to minimize touchpoints and to make the data collection process more efficient. Compensation to each participant is electronically distributed once their participation is complete. Questionnaires are sent after each session to gather important post-study feedback from all participants.  The acquired feedback helps DRI refine the protocols to ensure that participants felt safe during their visit.

While these precautions facilitate the completion of several research projects without a single case of COVID there are still some struggles throughout. With the number of pandemic cases rising high at times, some potential participants never felt completely comfortable and canceled at the last minute. Conversely, some participants needed to be reminded of the rules (e.g. proper mask-wearing at all times), but none had to be dismissed. Overall, planning and communication are the most important aspects of being able to continue to perform driving research during a pandemic. DRI’s experience has been that with protocols in place and clear communication of those protocols to everyone involved, successful research projects can be completed even in the most challenging times.

Simulator Upgrades

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DRI has recently completed a projection system upgrade on our moving base Driving Simulator.   

About three years ago we replaced our aging projectors with modern DLP projectors from Barco.  We have just now upgraded our projection screens to a spherical section fiberglass screen.  This new screen comprises a 180-degree horizontal field of view and, depending on cab configuration, between 60 and 40-degree vertical FOV.

We are excited to begin studies with our newly upgraded graphics!

DRI’s response to COVID-19

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Dynamic Research, Inc. (DRI) is taking all the recommended steps to help protect the health and safety of our staff and customers during these challenging times. We are monitoring the local government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the latest guidelines and recommendations for businesses to protect our employees and guests.

We have put plans in place to continue doing business as usual to the extent possible.

The health and safety of our employees, clients, and guests are our top priority. DRI is closely monitoring developments relating to COVID-19 and will issue additional announcements as updates become available.

The New Global Vehicle Target (GVT) has arrived!

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Soft Car 360® Revision G





ISO 19206-3 Compliant

Verified using ISO procedures and metrics






Approved for Turn-Across-Path

Approved by Euro NCAP for use in Car-to-Car Front Turn-Across-Path (CCFtap) scenarios



Upgrade Revision F Soft Cars

Can be upgraded for Euro NCAP Car-to-Car Rear (CCR) scenarios

Sturdier Shape

Improved side support for a more repeatable shape

Feature Details

ISO 19206-3 Compliant

The Soft Car 360® meets all requirements specified in ISO 19206-3: Requirements for passenger vehicle 3D targets. The Radar characteristics are representative of typical passenger vehicles as confirmed using Fixed-Angle and Fixed-Range measurement procedures as well as spatial locations of the reflections. The Radar measurements were performed using DRI’s Radar Measurement Cart, which can be used to perform calibrated measurements in the field.

Approved for Turn-Across-Path

Euro NCAP has approved DRI’s new approved Euro NCAP Soft Car 360® can be used for the new CCFtap scenario being introduced in the 2020 protocol as well as for existing scenarios., such as CCR (Car-to-Car Rear). The previous version of the Soft Car, Revision F, is still approved for the CCR scenarios

CCR (2018+): Revision F or G          CCFtap (2020+): Revision G

Upgrade Revision F Soft Cars

Many customers are currently using the Soft Car 360 Revision F for development and testing. Existing customers can continue to use their Revision F targets for Euro NCAP CCR evaluations and their own internal development. However, if a customer wants to test For Euro NCAP CCFtap scenarios customers should consider purchasing a new Revision G target or a Retrofit Kit to convert their Revision F to G.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the Soft Car change?

DRI has been working with sensor suppliers to ensure the characteristics of the Soft Car are representative and in line with the state of the art in terms of detection algorithms.  As sensor detection algorithms become more sophisticated it is necessary to present a more realistic representation to prevent false alarms and misclassifications.

What changed between Revision F and G?

In order to improve the characteristics from the front and side, we made several changes to the radar treatment that is integrated into the Soft Car components. This includes changes to the skin and wheel treatment.  There were also some minor shape changes to the front of the Soft Car to improve front radar return and to the side to improve the ability to hold its shape.

Interested in DRI’s Soft Car 360 or Radar Measurement Cart?
Contact DRI at or visit

DRI Motorcycle Research Presentations

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Dr. Terry Smith will be presenting a paper at the SMSA 2018 National Training Summit in September 2018 on “Crash Avoidance Technologies and the Recognition of Motorcycles.”

John Lenkeit will be presenting a paper titled “Development of a Surrogate Motorcycle Soft Target for Use in ADAS Testing”  at the 12 th International Motorcycle Conference (Germany) in October 2018.

Mike Van Auken will also be presenting a poster on “Passenger Vehicle-Powered Two Wheeler Pre-Crash Trajectory Reconstruction and Conflict Analysis Results for Real-World Crashes in France, Germany, and Italy” at the 12 th International Motorcycle Conference (Germany) in October 2018.

We welcome you to attend their presentations to hear about the motorcycle research Dynamic Research has worked on lately.

DRI Soft Car 360 Introduced by Euro NCAP as the Global Vehicle Target (GVT)

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The European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) held a Global Vehicle Target (GVT) Familiarization event on April 12-13, 2018 in Upper Heyford, UK, to introduce the automotive industry to the an updated version of DRI’s Soft Car 360, which has been selected as the official Euro NCAP car target for the upcoming 2018 and 2019 test seasons.  At the event, vehicle manufacturers, tier 1 suppliers, and others had the opportunity to see the GVT firsthand and make their own radar and other sensor measurements of it.

The following excerpt is from the event invitation by Thatcham Research, on behalf of Euro NCAP:

“In 2018 Euro NCAP introduces the Global Vehicle Target (GVT) for use in the active safety testing elements of the rating scheme. The GVT provides the full 3D representation of a passenger car necessary for the more comprehensive testing scenarios introduced in 2018, and it replaces the old Euro NCAP Vehicle Target (EVT) which represented the rear end of a vehicle. The industry has contributed to the development of the GVT, evaluating modifications to optimize the fidelity of the target for today’s automotive sensors.”

For more information about the GVT, or to order go to the DRI ATS website and request a quote for the Hatchback (GVT) model.


DRI and 6D Helmets win NFL’s Head Health Challenge III

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Torrance, CA, September 6, 2017

The NFL has announced that the team of Dynamic Research, Inc  and 6D Helmets LLC  has been named the Grand Prize winner of the Head Health Challenge III competition to develop advanced materials for impact mitigation. The DRI/6D team and four other competitors were selected from 125 applicants in December 2015 to receive Round One awards of $250,000 to develop materials that absorb both linear and rotational impact forces. The competitors were competing for the $500,000 Grand Prize which was announced Wednesday.

Through research in recent years, it has become clear that the severity of a concussion is heavily influenced by the rotational acceleration experienced by the head during the impact. Traditional helmet materials reduce the risk of skull fracture and severe head injuries in linear impacts but are not specifically designed to reduce rotational impact forces and provide limited protection against concussions. With the recent focus on concussions in football, improvements are needed in order to better protect against these relatively more common injuries without compromising the protection against skull fracture and other severe head injuries. The DRI/6D winning material design uses 6D’s Omni-Directional Suspension technology in which two layers of foam are separated by columns of another material. The columns allow the two layers to “shear” relative to each other in the angled impacts that can induce rotational forces, potentially reducing the rotational acceleration of the head.

Simulation model of the material before and during a shearing impact like those that induce rotational forces

The DRI/6D material was developed using LS-DYNA finite element simulations. The simulations revealed that the shear performance of the material could be adjusted without affecting the linear performance by detaching some of the columns from the upper layer of foam. The material was then optimized by running simulations across a range of impact velocities and a range of design parameters which included foam material, thicknesses of the layers, column diameters, column lengths, column spacing, and percentage of columns attached. The decoupling of the linear and shear performance is a key feature of the material.

Terry Smith, a Technical Director with Dynamic Research and the Principal Investigator for this project said “We would like to thank the NFL and its partners for sponsoring this important project. We are excited to continue development of the 6D technology. We believe this technology has the potential to really make a difference, by reducing the frequency and severity of concussions in multiple impact sports such as football. We’re looking forward to continuing the development of a helmet that incorporates this material.”

Bob Weber, CEO and Co-Founder of 6D Helmets stated “Obviously we’re thrilled to be named the winners of the NFL’s Head Health Challenge III along with our project partner Dynamic Research. Together we worked strategically to further develop our Omni-Directional Suspension technology for application into multi-impact helmets. This challenge allowed us to exercise material testing and analysis that further unlocked the true potential of our excellent energy management technology (ODS). This award will allow continued investment into the development of a multi-impact helmet solution for many sports activities in the future. I want to thank the NFL, GE, Under Armor, and NIST for sponsoring this challenge, and driving research in a positive direction to improve helmet performance and brain protection.”

NFL’s press release

AAA Tests of Vehicle with Automatic Emergency Braking using the DRI Guided Soft Target Test System

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Dynamic Research Inc.(DRI) , recently conducted a study for the American Automobile Association (AAA) together with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center in the Spring of 2016 which involved the use of the Guided Soft Target (GST) Test System (Low Profile Robotic Vehicle and Soft Car 360®) to test the Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) capabilities of several different vehicles.

The study described by AAA

For further i

For further information contact Joe Kelly  or Jordan Silberling

NFL, Under Armour, GE & National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Announces DRI as a Winner Of Head Health Challenge III

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Dynamic Research Inc.(DRI), in collaboration with 6D Helmets LLC, has been announced as one of five winners of Round 1 of the Head Health Challenge III to develop advanced materials to improve impact safety. The $250,000 award will support optimization, using the LS-DYNA finite element software, of 6D’s patented Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS) technology. The DRI/6D team is competing with the other Round 1 winners for the $500,000 grand prize. The Head Health Challenge is sponsored by the NFL, Under Armour, GE, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in order to develop materials that will result in increased safety and protection for athletes, the warfighter, and civilians.

The press release

For further information contact Terry Smith  or Scott Kebschull

DRI Acquires the NHTSA Strikeable Surrogate Vehicle (SSV) for Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Systems Performance Evaluations

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Dynamic Research, Inc. (DRI) has recently acquired and installed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Strikeable Surrogate Vehicle (SSV). This will allow us to conduct NHTSA’s safety related New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) Forward Collision Avoidance and Mitigation, or Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) systems tests. The SSV and the accompanying rail system are installed at the DRI Minter Test Facility. The SSV can also be used to accomplish both the Crash Imminent Braking (CIB) and Dynamic Brake Support (DBS) performance evaluations. Differential-GPS and corrected Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) are used for recording accurate vehicle position, speed, heading, and accelerations for the test vehicle and the SSV.


For further information contact Brian Kebschull  or John Lenkeit