How Can We Safely Test During Covid?

22 Feb 2021

Many industries have suffered from Covid19's untimely and overwhelming effect. The automotive industry is no different and with the strict lockdown orders in California, it may be hard for many companies to bring external people onsite for testing or have their own employees test in external labs. 

During the shelter-in-place order in 2020, we temporarily moved all our testing to our lab in Germany, which offers the same parameters and set up. For 2021 we meet all the Covid criteria and are officially open for testing in the Bay Area. In this article, we would like to stipulate the procedures we take in order to be transparent in our efforts to keep our clients and staff safe while continuing to help the automotive industry overcome this trying time. 


Layout, Occupancy, and Entries


The SimLab is directly accessible through the front entrance door of the demo center. The Simlab with the simulator is located inside a separate room with an adjacent control room and both rooms are independently air-conditioned and have restricted access only for fkaSV staff. This means that exposure can be kept to a minimum.

To allow for physical distancing, the maximum occupancy of the SiLlab has been evaluated to six people and we’ll strive to keep the occupancy as low as possible. The typical study execution will require two staff members of fkaSV and one participant. To ensure social distance, the control room will only be accessed by fkaSV staff members while participants will remain in the mockup room. The staff can monitor and communicate with the participant remotely from the control room via video and audio.
Only the participant instructing staff member will access both areas and will keep a distance of six feet at all times. All doors in the lab and surrounding areas will remain shut when a participant is present. 

COVID-19 Safety Modifications

The vehicle located inside the SimLab, called mockup, has been specifically prepared to comply with public health guidelines and recommendations to ensure the safety of all participants and staff members. The following steps have been taken:
  • A clear barrier has been installed between driver seat and passenger seat
  • Hand sanitizer is located at the entrance of the SimLab and is required to be used upon entering the Simlab
  • Face masks are required within the demo center AND within the SimLab
  • Face masks will be provided to participants if necessary
  • One-time use coverings will be provided for all participant mounted measurement devices (e.g. finger gloves)

Arrival, Departure, and Proceedings


All surfaces will be disinfected prior to a participant's arrival including the simulator, the SimLab, control room, hardware, and common surfaces (i.e., door handles, etc). fkaSV keeps an analog log of all persons who enter the SimLab during the study and all staff members report if they experience symptoms and check for fever using a contactless thermometer prior to each work session.
Before entering the facility, the staff member will explain the safety protocol and will check if the participant is wearing a face mask as well as checking their fever and offering hand sanitizer upon entry.
In the case that a participant and or staff member experiences symptoms after the study, they are asked to immediately report to fkaSV. Based on the visitor log kept of the SimLab occupancy, all potentially exposed people will be informed and are asked to follow the local public health protocols for such a case by either self-quarantine and/or getting tested for COVID-19.
The analog log of the SimLab occupancy will be destroyed for privacy reasons six weeks after the completion of the study.
If you have any questions regarding our Covid19 protocols, please don't hesitate to contact us directly.
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