Noffz shows off its test system to validate the wireless functionality of connected car components
Noffz Technologies is showing visitors its UTP 7064 test system, with key features including a multi-DUT (up to eight TCUs [telematics control units] in parallel) cellular (from 2G up to 5G) signaling tester; single rack for lifecycle monitoring and RF parametric measurements; and single API for making phone calls and detailed signal analysis. The system has been designed for test engineers rather than 3GPP experts.
“It is important for OEMs to test connected car components as it enables a significantly simplified process in validation by merging lifecycle monitoring and RF parametric measurement stations. It reduces validation time and capex, and there is no need for special test firmware – devices are characterized while running the end-user software,” said Vanessa Blumenstein, technical international marketing manager and team leader, live at the show.
Blumenstein explained how the UTP 7064 validates wireless functionality of connected car components in both signaling and non-signaling modes, and outlined the advantages of being two-in-one: “We register multiple TCUs in our cellular network, start an uploading session – for example, phone calls, data transfer – and record device performance in different circumstances. Meanwhile, we can periodically make RF parametric measurements with a high-precision instrument. So, in the end, we will have a comprehensive record including data throughput and EVM [error vector magnitude] or spectral emissions.
“Using traditional equipment, we can only connect a single TCU and make the same measurements one at a time. This is troublesome when running hour-long monitoring sessions. Using UTP 7064, we reduce the same test time by a factor of eight.
“The system is built in a plug-in-based architecture so you can have a separated signaling or non-signaling solution, but also a combination of both while maintaining the same user experience.”
Blumenstein concluded, “Noffz Technologies chose Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo to showcase its UTP 7064 test system as the company believes that it is a unique test solution that helps connected car vendors reduce their costs and time-to-market. We are looking to meet engineers from validation, environmental, EMC labs or any telecommunications engineer in need of a 5G cell.”
Sustainability initiatives and infrastructure upgrades at Michelin Laurens Proving Grounds
Michelin Laurens Proving Grounds has come to Novi to reveal that it has completed several infrastructure and sustainability initiatives that will enable customers to test a wide range of vehicles at any time of the year.
Recently completed projects include the installation of multiple Level 3 DC fast chargers, an upgraded fire system allowing indoor electric vehicle storage for optimal confidentiality and a completely renovated main pumphouse that has achieved a 75% water usage reduction. The facility has also repainted lines around the majority of the main tracks, improving conditions for autonomous testing.
A wide range of services is offered, including turnkey testing, track rentals, driver training and corporate and team events that extend to beyond the automotive sector. Tracks available for use range from dry tracks to wet tracks and include offroad surfaces. The facility’s diverse capabilities ensure a solution for almost any customer, with staff on hand to offer flexible and prompt support of any needs that may arise throughout the entire visit experience.
“Michelin Laurens Proving Grounds is proud to share that its recent main water pumphouse renovation has culminated in a water usage saving of 75%,” revealed Michelle Philipps, coordinator of engineering and services, live at the expo. “This pumphouse provides water to our wet skid pad and braking areas. With this improvement project, along with the additions of multiple Level 3 DC fast chargers and LED lighting around the facility, our customers should have peace of mind that testing at our facility can be considered a ‘green’ way to complete their testing projects.”
According to Philipps, Automotive Testing Expo offers an ideal avenue for proving grounds to communicate their improvements as it touches the vast majority of OEs and OEMs that comprise the majority of customers.
HIL live demonstration: When a physical ECU meets a software simulator
Electronics specialist Xylon is demonstrating its complete demo HIL system, which converts sensory data generated by a software simulator into real automotive stimuli for the attached parking assistance ADAS ECU. To develop the demo and explore different methods of connecting hardware ECUs to simulation software, Xylon has teamed up with rFpro, an expert in driving simulation software and also an exhibitor at the expo.
According to Xylon’s technical marketing director, Gordan Galic, the demo setup consists of the PC that runs rFpro’s advanced simulator, Xylon’s logiRECORDER automotive HIL video logger in the smart I/O mode and Xylon’s Surround View ECU.
“rFpro simulates the car model, its surroundings and four 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30fps video cameras,” explained Galic. “Camera image generators convert native RGB888 pixels into common sensors’ YUV420 pixels and add a fish-eye lens distortion typical for optics in this ADAS application. Xylon’s data transfer plug-in connects to rFpro’s interface for externals, originally developed as an interface for soft ECU models, and hands the simulated camera videos over to the streaming application. Video data is formatted into standard MIPI packets typically generated by real-world sensors and is timestamped before being transmitted to the logiRECORDER via a 10 GigE Ethernet link.”
Galic continued, “The logiRECORDER de-encapsulates Ethernet packets and, based on encoded timestamps, converts synthetic videos to four native automotive GMSL2 interfaces. The ECU receives raw sensory data through four video inputs regularly used for GMSL2 video camera connections; fully unaware of the synthetic nature of its inputs, it generates a Surround View video of the simulated scene.
“The ECU displays complete 360° surroundings of the car by stitching together video inputs from the simulated cameras placed on the car model’s front grid, the rear and within the side-view mirrors. The car model and its surroundings can be seen from different perspectives set up by a mouse-controlled virtual flying camera.”
The demo also integrates a loop-back feature. The ECU’s responses connect back to the logiRECORDER through the automotive CAN interface, and it sends them via Ethernet to the simulator. It turns the complete demo setup into a fully featured virtual test drive simulator, because the simulator can adapt simulation scenarios based on the received ECU’s responses.
Instead of working in a special diagnostics mode, the ECU runs production firmware. Inputted raw data is generated to a level that enables full sensor fusion and perception testing, as well as full ECU controls. The Surround View ECU can be exchanged with other types of ECUs.
NI announces new test systems to ensure safer autonomous vehicles
NI is using Automotive Testing Expo to announce the release of two new systems that will test various vehicle technologies to ensure that safe and reliable autonomous vehicles reach the market.
According to Brenda Vargas, senior solutions manager at NI, auto makers know that 5G deployment depends heavily on standard definition and refining, primarily by 3GPP. The release of 5G NR-V2X with SEA, a German product and system integration company providing test and measurement systems, can better support the testing of autonomous vehicle technologies.
In addition, the company has announced its latest ADAS and AD offering: a unified test system architecture that moves iteratively between data replay and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing.
“The NI Replay and HIL AD system can aggregate and inject real-world road test data or simulation scenarios to test ADAS ECUs,” explained Vargas. “The company’s unique approach ensures full validation test coverage for ADAS/AD functions, making existing data more usable throughout the entire product lifecycle.”
Rohde & Schwarz showcases multiple applications
Rohde & Schwarz is showcasing several applications in automotive application areas: wireless connectivity, radar, UWB, EMC/EMI testing, and CV2X.
According to Ram Mirwani, business development manager at R&S for automotive, the company provides automotive manufacturers, components suppliers and test houses with innovative, cutting-edge solutions which bring realistic test scenarios from the road to the lab and the production line.
The new R&S AREG800A Automotive Radar Echo Generator is on display together with the R&S QAT100 advanced antenna array. The solution highlights how to test automotive radar sensors to generate realistic driving scenarios for HIL and VIL tests.
Rohde & Schwarz is also demonstrating its new Automotive Ethernet compliance testing solution using its new RTPB oscilloscope (pictured). Mirwani explained the setup on display in an interview: “In our live demo, we are analyzing Automotive Ethernet via a live eye diagram, not a static snapshot, and this allows you to see real-time interference on your signal.”
He added, “The user interface is very important here as an interactive tool, showing you what’s really going on in real time for debugging. Our live eye diagram is unique and not offered by others.”
The automotive radar testers, systems and software from Rohde & Schwarz make it possible for component suppliers and vehicle manufacturers to develop robust, next-generation automotive radar, ensuring reliable and precise operation even in demanding environmental and RF conditions.
“We wanted to exhibit here because it is a nucleus for automotive efforts. We want to participate and engage with the industry based here with our holistic testing message that covers a range of applications performed on our platform, compliance, performance and EMC testing, and HIL testing amongst others. We have many levels of test capability that we want to showcase to visitors.”