A User Configurable Powertrain Controller with Open Software Management 2007-01-1601
The emphasis on vehicle fuel economy and tailpipe emissions, coupled with a trend toward greater system functionally, has prompted automotive engineers to develop on-board control systems with increased requirements and complexity. Mainstream engine controllers regulate fuel, spark, and other subsystems using custom solutions that incorporate off-the-shelf hardware components. Although the digital processor core and the peripheral electronics may be similar, these controllers are targeted to fixed engine architectures which limit their flexibility across vehicle platforms. Moreover, additional software needs are emerging as electronics continue to permeate the ground transportation sector. Thus, automotive controllers will be required to assume increased responsibility while effectively communicating with distributed hardware modules. To address these demands, an open-architecture engine controller has been developed utilizing the embedded target capabilities of the Matlab/Simulink™ software environment. In this paper, an emerging open software management strategy is presented, with processor flexibility, which allows the end user to adapt a nominal controller for differing applications without the need for hardware replacement. The Matlab/Simulink™ toolset provides a platform for off-line software validation. The prototype controller provides a new tool for the automotive engineer and enthusiast, with the possibility to easily expand the control algorithm and interface additional downstream hardware.