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Technical Paper

Automated Real-Time Testing of Electronic Control Units

Today, hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation is common practice as a testing methodology for electronic control units (ECUs). An essential criterion for the efficiency of an HIL system is the availability of powerful test automation having access to all of its hardware and software components (including I/O channels, failure insertion units, bus communication controllers and diagnostic interfaces). The growing complexity of vehicle embedded systems, which are interconnected by bus systems (like CAN, LIN or FlexRay), result in hundreds or even thousands of tests that have to be done to ensure the correct system functionality. This is best achieved by automated testing. Automated testing usually is performed by executing tests on a standard PC, which is interconnected to the HIL system. However, higher demands regarding timing precision are hard to accomplish. As an example, ECU interaction has to be captured and responded to in the range of milliseconds.