Reducing Costs Associated with Validating ECUs and Systems in the Increasingly Networked Vehicle 2005-01-1283
Testing is an intrinsic, vital and on-going part of the product development process, particularly in the development of automobiles and automotive systems. Validation testing of vehicle electrical systems and their components is especially critical, and is expanding rapidly with the growth of electrical and electronic features offered in the automotive marketplace. In the face of this expansion traditional approaches to ECU and Systems validation are being seriously challenged by cost pressures in two areas: The cost of basic test equipment and test services labor costs, and the costs associated with the expansion of ECU I/O count and functionality in support of these features.
The evolution of multi-featured in-vehicle networking from its basis as multiplex wiring has also expanded systems complexity dramatically, which has compounded the problem. Paradoxically, however, this new form of complexity can also reduce test requirements, hence test and validation costs, to a significant degree. The key to reducing test costs in increasingly complex systems is to exploit the ability of the distribution process to make each of the testable components in the system simpler.