Efficient Testing and Cost Awareness: Low-Cost versus HIL-System 2012-01-0933
Developments for innovative systems in engines, hybrid and
electrical vehicles are strongly affected by a high pressure on
costs, short development cycles and high quality requirements.
Therefore within the business unit Powertrain Systems of Bosch
Engineering GmbH (BEG) test environments for SW functions in engine
control units (ECU) are selected according to cost and efficiency
aspects as well as availability. Prototype vehicles are very
expensive and cannot always be provided in time by vehicle
manufacturers. Closed-loop test systems like hardware-in-the-loop
systems (HIL) are alternatives to perform system tests of ECUs in a
vehicle simulation. We propose to consider the usage of low-cost
solutions with reduced costs in many cases. At the same time due to
these saving effects the number of test systems in an organization
can be increased significantly. This enhances the availability of
testing equipment for engineers.
The low-cost approach is equipped with an 8-bit microcontroller
that governs a small number of analog and digital inputs and
outputs and provides basic CAN functionalities. Test systems like
the proposed μLabCar cover a large part of the use cases for
testing of systems and software. Tests can be performed either
manually using a graphical user interface or automatically using a
commercial tool or a scripting language. The μLabCar could also be
controlled remotely via the company network - an advantage that is
very useful for distributed development teams, e.g., for
cooperation with subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and the US.
The authors discuss why, when and under which boundary
conditions simple low-cost test systems are a good alternative in
terms of economy and quality compared to other test systems like
full HIL systems.