After-Sales Custom Logic for a Vehicle Electrical Control System 2003-01-3429
International Truck & Engine produces vehicles that are often customized by TEMs (truck equipment manufacturers) and dealers as part of the body-chassis integration. International Truck & Engine developed a multiplexed control system that helps customization by allowing the vehicle electronics programming to be assembled using pre-packaged software modules. Because the system uses SAE standard networking, it is also simple to add devices to provide additional inputs and outputs. International Truck & Engine IT developed supporting business systems to handle the customization from order to delivery and track software per vehicle for service.
However, dealers and TEMs often desire a higher level of electronics customization than can be easily delivered by off the shelf programming. While different software packages could be developed by International Truck & Engine engineering to support various needs, the proliferation of functionality is costly to manage, maintain and warranty. It is desirable to provide a way for dealers and TEMs to add their own custom logic to the system. Examples of this include applications such as fire trucks, ambulances and utility vehicles where there is a need to drive specialized hardware. Sometimes the logic needs to be end-customer specific.
Because the multiplex system already contains a highly configurable real-time control module, International Truck & Engine Corp decided to leverage this resource to provide the environment for the additional logic. Since the controller is a critical system, any modifications to its configuration must ensure the integrity of the primary functions. Changes to this critical system must also be traceable to enable International Truck & Engine to continue to service the truck.
The paper will discuss the logic customization tool and the backend systems developed by International Truck & Engine IT to enable this new use of the control module.