Use of Ardupilot for measurement in manned vehicles

I plan to use Ardupilot as measurement unit in real race motorbike/car, with humans on board. It will be used only on race track, not on public roads.
It will not pilot directly, but only provide all measurements: GPS, attitude, speeds,…
As it could send values wich could be used in functions like traction control, this involves safety risks for the rider/driver in case of malfunction not handled correctly by the vehicle computers.

What is the position of the Ardupilot team on this ??? Could I use the project for such application ???
The question is not on the feasibility, but on the legal, liability aspects.


code of conduct state it very clearly

  • ArduPilot is NOT certified for use in applications where ArduPilot is effectively in control of human lives. Members of the development team must not knowingly assist in projects where ArduPilot will be in control of human lives. “In control of human lives” includes but isn’t limited to manned aircraft.

But isnt it clear from the OP that he wants to use it for data collection only. The aoftware shall not be in control of anything. Does it still come under the definition of “in control of human lives” ?

However, if the above quote is to be true, the ardupulot will essentially be able to feed information that may be used by the vehicle computers essentially making this instance of ardupilot deviate from its code of conduct.

@Angelo as stated above your intent is somewhat unclear.

Andras is 100% correct. ArduPilot is not to be used on any type of manned vehicle for control.

However, if you are doing what is sometimes called a “ride-along” on a manned vehicle that is ok. Ride-along, would mean ArduPilot is only sensing the vehicle motion and logging data. And NOT sending any information to be used as inputs, “In control of human lives”. A few examples: actuating servos, motors, or steering in your case, etc.

Link for your information. ArduPilot Developer Code of Conduct — Dev documentation

In my application, Ardupilot will only feed informations to motorbike/car existing ECUs and dataloggers. It will NOT directly control any function through its servo or relay outputs.
Then the engine ECU will use these informations as inputs to its own functions, mainly traction control and anti-wheelie. These functions also use other inputs like wheel speeds, engine RPM, to handle the engine. And behaviour of these functions in case of sensor failure is set in the function parameters.

So, my application is in the middle of “ride-along” and “direct control of human lives”.


@Angelo This is NOT in the middle of “ride along” & “in control of human lives”. It is certainly in the category of “in control of human lives” and you will not find support for that here.

Please do not do this. Your planned application would be placing ArduPilot into the control loops for your vehicle’s Engine Control Unit as a control input. There are so many aspects of this that could go wrong.

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Don’t worry, I am not stupid enough (I think :thinking:) to simply wire a controller to the bike “as is”, and try to be world champion on a track. As an elecronic engineer, making CE and FCC certifications, I know by experience there is a lot of work to make it working reliably, due to EMI generated by the engine ignition. Controllers are not at all designed to work in such environment.

Anyway, before using Ardupilot to control the car/bike, the first step in my project is to log data and confirm my poor rider/driver abilities. :pensive:


You imply that you expressly intend to violate what’s been said here more than once and in more than one way. Prefacing it with “don’t worry” actually causes more concern than it allays.

As a pure telemetry/data collector, ArduPilot could be very powerful. The moment that you use that data as a control input, you should expect significant push-back from those involved here.

Here is a link to the code of conduct mentioned previously:

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I have understood what has been explained to me. I have read the code of conduct and understand what it implies, and why it has been written.

My project will be limited to telemetry/data collection.

English is not my mother tongue, so I could have written things you understand in a different way. My appologies to anyone here.



Understood, Angelo. My apologies, then, if I sounded too harsh.