Auto industry highlights: Innovation in green, smart, and safe (part 2)

Simulation to real-world test

I got the opportunity to talk with Mahendra Muli, Director of Marketing and New Business Development at dSPACE, about Euro NCAP and the challenges involved with the car computer testing required to ensure functional safety. Mahendra describes ADAS and active safety systems development as a pipelined process shown in Figure 2.

Open-loop testing provides an environment where engine controller unit (ECU) algorithms can be developed and validated within a realistic context. Closed loop simulation is used in the early development stages to provide a higher quality production candidate. Simulation should also be able to occur in real-time or faster than real-time.

These models can then be used to perform early integration testing. Integration in-vehicle system tests can be run with virtual ECUs at this point and the tests can be prepared and validated for use within the fleet management testing.

Once the software-in-the-loop (SIL) testing is complete, the same tools, models, embedded system boards, and fleet management tests can be utilized within the HIL testing. At this point the ECU tests can also be automated.

The process and simulation environment provides for car computer testing of actuators, radar sensors, and camera sensors involved in things like lane departure warning, emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. Mahenda cited test cases dSPACE has been involved in using their ControlDesk, MotionDesk, and AutomationDesk simulation environment suite for testing lane departure warning (LDW) systems and autonomous emergency braking (AEB).

Euro NCAP test scenarios

The Euro NCAP test scenarios for autonomous emergency braking involve approaching a stationary target in city and embedded system boards, approaching a slower target, and approaching a braking target. Each scenario involves a vehicle speed between 50-80 km/h with distance to target calculations and operation that provides controlled braking to eliminate or minimize impact.

There are also similar test scenarios for AEB involving pedestrian or vulnerable road users (VRU) like bicycles or motorcycles. Mahendra mentioned that these test fleet management scenarios are not finalized and may be subject to change by Euro NCAP. Mahendra mentioned that the dSPACE simulation environment provides a library with Euro NCAP test scenarios that allow the user to execute the tests and generate score results. The same test framework can be used for model, software, and hardware testing.

Improving vehicle safety and functionality

ADAS and active safety systems are gaining importance and new challenges are emerging to ensure in-vehicle system functional safety of these systems. Virtual test drives and early simulation and testing are becoming a critical factor in providing better modeling, higher quality algorithms, and faster development of advanced driver assistance systems for the automobile.

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