Powertrain and Chassis Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) Simulation of Autonomous Vehicle Platform 2017-01-1991
The automotive industry is heading towards the path of autonomy with the development of autonomous vehicles. An autonomous vehicle consists of two main components. The first is the software which is responsible for the decision-making capabilities of the system. The second is the hardware which encompasses all aspects of the physical vehicle which are responsible for vehicle motion such as the engine, brakes and steering subsystems along with their corresponding controls. This component forms the basis of the autonomous vehicle platform. For SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicles, where an automated driving system is responsible for all the dynamics driving tasks including the fallback driving performance in case of system faults, redundant mechanical systems and controls are required as part of the autonomous vehicle platform since the driver is completely out of the loop with respect to driving. As in-vehicle testing for autonomous vehicles will be considered expensive, time-consuming, and unsafe due to the number of scenarios and driven kilometers required for validation, a simulation platform, which can provide a controlled and consistent testing environment, is required for rapid prototyping and testing of the hardware components of the autonomous vehicle. This paper focuses on a powertrain and chassis hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation of the autonomous vehicle platform and the correlation of the performance of the corresponding subsystems with those of the actual autonomous vehicle. This setup includes powertrain controllers and actuators, redundant brakes and steering controllers, alongside full brake hydraulics hardware. 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid was used as the vehicle platform for simulation. The simulation of other subsystem plants and controllers was achieved by using a real-time CarSim-Simulink co-simulation environment representative of the 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid through a dSPACE HIL simulator.