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Technical Paper

Rapid Prototyping of Control Strategies for Embedded Systems

As both the number and complexity of electronic control system applications on earthmoving equipment and on-highway trucks increase, so does the effort associated with developing and maintaining control strategies implemented in embedded systems. A new tool was recently introduced by Sigma Technology of Ann Arbor, Michigan, that provides the capability to perform rapid prototyping of production embedded systems. The rapid prototyping process includes system modeling, control algorithm synthesis, simulation analysis, source code generation and vehicle implementation. The results of incorporating this tool in the control system design process include improved control performance, improved system reliability/robustness, and significantly reduced development/maintenance costs.
Technical Paper


An open architecture of electronic controls and monitors has been conceived and developed to meet marine application requirements and provide vessel control features. Integration of this system reduces the number of components, improves reliability, and eases installation and troubleshooting. The architecture provides the plan for system integration, while allowing flexibility for customer component selection, system technology upgrades, and expansion with additional features. Serial links are used to provide the data channels within the modular style architecture and the communication ports to share information with the operators.
Technical Paper

The Evolution of Electronic Engine Diagnostics

Software systems on electronically controlled diesel truck engines typically provide diagnostic features to enable the engine mechanic to identify and debug system problems. As future systems become more sophisticated, so will the diagnostic requirements. The advantages of serviceability and accuracy found in todays electronic systems must not be allowed to degrade due to this increased sophistication. One method of maintaining a high level of serviceability and accuracy is to place an even greater priority on diagnostics and servicing in the initial design phase of the product than is done today. In particular, three major goals of future diagnostic systems should be separation of component failures from system failures, prognostication of failures and analysis of engine performance. This paper will discuss a system to realize these goals by dividing the diagnostic task into the Electronic System Diagnostics, Engine System Diagnostics and the Diagnostic Interface.
Technical Paper

TECH 1 Interactive Diagnostic Tester

Automotive electronic systems are becoming increasingly complex and servicing these systems is difficult and costly. These same electronics, however, when coupled with interactive diagnostic testers can provide opportunities for not only self-diagnosis but also for significantly improved overall vehicle diagnostic testing. General Motors has established a three-tiered system of diagnostic testing with Level I testing accomplished by on-board diagnostics and Levels II and III employing external test equipment utilizing a high degree of interactive diagnostic testing. A low cost handheld diagnostic tester called the TECH 1 has been developed to support Level II testing of GM vehicles by technicians in dealerships and aftermarket service centers.
Technical Paper

Metrics for Evaluating Electronic Control System Architecture Alternatives

Current development processes for automotive Electronic Control System (ECS) architectures have certain limitations in evaluating and comparing different architecture design alternatives. The limitations entail the lack of systematic and quantitative exploration and evaluation approaches that enable objective comparison of architectures in the early phases of the design cycle. In addition, architecture design is a multi-stage process, and entails several stakeholders who typically use their own metrics to evaluate different architecture design alternatives. Hence, there is no comprehensive view of which metrics should be used, and how they should be defined. Finally, there are often conflicting forces pulling the architecture design toward short-term objectives such as immediate cost savings versus more flexible, scalable or reliable solutions. In this paper, we propose the usage of a set of metrics for comparing ECS architecture alternatives.
Technical Paper

The Evolution of Microelectronics in Automotive Modules

It has the aim to discuss the evolution of electronics components, integrated circuits, new transistors concepts and associate its importance in the automotive modules. Today, the challenge is to have devices which consume less power, suitable for high-energy radiation environment, less parasitic capacitances, high speed, easier device isolation, high gain, easier scale-down of threshold voltage, no latch-up and higher integration density. The improvement of those characteristics mentioned and others in the electronic devices enable the automotive industry to have a more robust product and give the possibility to integrate new features in comfort, safety, infotainment and telematics modules. Finally, the intention is to discuss advanced structures, such as the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and show how it affects the electronics modules applied for the automotive area.
Technical Paper

The Importance of Analysis of Electrical Parameters for Design of Analog Circuits in Automotive Modules

The intention of this paper is to discuss the importance of analysis of some electrical parameters in order to design analog circuits in electronic modules, including automotive ones. Today, the challenge is to have devices which consume less power, high performance and higher integration density, so that it explains why such analysis is crucial to achieve better performances and meet the desired results.
Technical Paper

Model Integration and Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) Simulation Design for the Testing of Electric Power Steering Controllers

The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) of an Electric Power Steering (EPS) system is a core device to decide how much assistance an electric motor applies on a steering wheel. The EPS ECU plays an important role in EPS systems. The effectiveness of an ECU needs to be thoroughly tested before mass production. Hardware-in-the-loop simulation provides an efficient way for the development and testing of embedded controllers. This paper focuses on the development of a HiL system for testing EPS controllers. The hardware of the HiL system employs a dSPACE HiL simulator. The EPS plant model is an integrated model consisting of a Vehicle Dynamics model of the dSPACE Automotive Simulation Model (ASM) and the Nexteer Steering model. The paper presents the design of an EPS HiL system, the simulation of sensors and actuators, the functions of the ASM Vehicle Dynamics model, and the integration method of the ASM Vehicle Dynamics model with a Steering model.
Technical Paper

Achievements and Exploitation of the AUTOSAR Development Partnership

Reductions of hardware costs as well as implementations of new innovative functions are the main drivers of today's automotive electronics. Indeed more and more resources are spent on adapting existing solutions to different environments. At the same time, due to the increasing number of networked components, a level of complexity has been reached which is difficult to handle using traditional development processes. The automotive industry addresses this problem through a paradigm shift from a hardware-, component-driven to a requirement- and function-driven development process, and a stringent standardization of infrastructure elements. One central standardization initiative is the AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture (AUTOSAR). AUTOSAR was founded in 2003 by major OEMs and Tier1 suppliers and now includes a large number of automotive, electronics, semiconductor, hard- and software companies.
Technical Paper

Target Based Rapid Prototyping Control System for Engine Research

Today's advanced technology engines have a high content of electronic actuation requiring sophisticated real-time embedded software sensing and control. To enable research on such engines, a system with a flexible engine control unit (ECU) that can be rapidly configured and programmed is desired. Such a system is being used in the Advanced Internal Combustion Engine (AICE) Laboratories at Michigan Tech University (MTU) for research on a multi-cylinder spark-ignited gasoline, a high pressure common rail diesel and a single cylinder alternative fuels research engine. The system combines a production ECU with a software development system utilizing Mathworks Simulink/Stateflow © modeling tools. The interface in the Simulink modeling environment includes a library of modeling and interface blocks to the production Operating System (OS), Low Level Drivers (LLD) and CAN-based calibration tool.
Technical Paper

Powersplit Hybrid Electric Vehicle Control with Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)

This paper analyzes the control of the series-parallel powersplit used in the 2001 Michigan Tech FutureTruck. An electronic throttle controller is implemented and a new control algorithm is proposed and tested. A vehicle simulation has been created in MATLAB and the control algorithm implemented within the simulation. A program written in C has also been created that implements the control algorithm in the test vehicle. The results from both the simulation and test vehicle are presented and discussed and show a 15% increase in fuel economy. With the increase in fuel economy, and through the use of the original exhaust after treatment, lower emissions are also expected.
Technical Paper

Impact of Engine Operating Conditions on Low-NOx Emissions in a Light-Duty CIDI Engine Using Advanced Fuels

The control of NOx emissions is the greatest technical challenge in meeting future emission regulations for diesel engines. In this work, a modal analysis was performed for developing an engine control strategy to take advantage of fuel properties to minimize engine-out NOx emissions. This work focused on the use of EGR to reduce NOx while counteracting anticipated PM increases by using oxygenated fuels. A DaimlerChrysler OM611 CIDI engine for light-duty vehicles was controlled with a SwRI Rapid Prototyping Electronic Control System. Engine mapping consisted of sweeping parameters of greatest NOx impact, starting with OEM injection timing (including pilot injection) and EGR. The engine control strategy consisted of increased EGR and simultaneous modulation of both main and pilot injection timing to minimize NOx and PM emission indexes with constraints based on the impact of the modulation on BSFC, Smoke, Boost and BSHC.
Technical Paper

Results of Applying a Families-of-Systems Approach to Systems Engineering of Product Line Families

Most of the history of systems engineering has been focused on processes for engineering a single complex system. However, most large enterprises design, manufacture, operate, sell, or support not one product but multiple product lines of related but varying systems. They seek to optimize time to market, costs of development and production, leverage of intellectual assets, best use of talented human resources, overall competitiveness, overall profitability and productivity. Optimizing globally across multiple product lines does not follow from treating each system family member as an independently engineered system or product. Traditional systems engineering principles can be generalized to apply to families. This article includes a multi-year case study of the actual use of a generic model-based systems engineering methodology for families, Systematica™, across the embedded electronic systems products of one of the world's largest manufacturers of heavy equipment.
Journal Article

The Next Generation “Voltec” Extended Range EV Propulsion System

The Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle (EV) with extended-range (ER) that is capable of operation on battery power alone, and on power generated by an on-board gasoline engine after depletion of the battery charge. For 2016, GM has developed the next generation of the Volt vehicle and “Voltec” propulsion system. Building on the experience of the first generation Volt, the second generation targeted improved all-electric range, improved charge sustaining fuel economy, and improved performance. All of this was to be accomplished while maintaining the EV character of the first generation Volt which customers clearly valued. This paper describes the next generation “Voltec” system and the realized improvements in efficiency and performance. The features of the propulsion system components, including energy storage, transaxle, electric motors and power electronics, on-board charging, and engine are described and compared with the previous generation.
Technical Paper

Computationally Efficient Reduced-order Powertrain Model of a Multi-mode Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle for Connected and Automated Vehicles

This paper presents the development of a reduced-order powertrain model for energy and SOC estimation of a multi-mode plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with velocity and elevation inputs. Such a model is intended to overcome the computational inefficiencies of higher fidelity powertrain and vehicle models in short and long horizon optimization efforts such as Coordinated Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC), Eco Approach and Departure (Eco AND), Eco Routing, and PHEV mode blending. The reduced-order powertrain model enables Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) to utilize the onboard sensor and connected data to quickly react and plan their maneuvers to highly dynamic road conditions with minimal computational resources. Although overall estimation accuracy is less than neural network and high-fidelity models, emphasis on runtime minimization with reasonable estimation accuracy enables energy optimization of CAV without a need for computationally expensive server-based models.
Journal Article

An Efficient Implementation of the SM Agreement Protocol for a Time Triggered Communication System

FlexRay is a time triggered automotive communication protocol that connects ECUs (Electronic Control Units) on which distributed automotive applications are executed. If exact agreement (e.g. on physical values measured by redundant sensors on different ECUs) must be reached in the presence of asymmetric communication faults, a byzantine agreement protocol like Signed Messages (SM) can be utilized. This paper gives examples of how byzantine faults can emerge in a FlexRay-based system and proposes optimizations for a FlexRay-specific implementation of the SM protocol. The protocol modifications allow for a reduction in the number of protocol messages under a slightly relaxed fault model, as well as for a reduction in the number of messages to be temporarily stored by the ECUs.