Testing systems when the rubber hits the road
Simulation systems help speed up the design process, but will never replace physical testing on the road. What the combination of simulation systems and systems integra¬tion within the vehicle has done, however, is to raise the bar for the in-vehicle testing equipment.
“The bar for test equipment at Audi is very high because they are an integral part of our quality system,” says Ricky Hudi, Head of Electrics/Electronics at AUDI AG. “We need comprehensive functionality, absolute reliability and ease of integration in our process landscape. The TTXDataLogger simplifies on-board recording as well as the off-line analysis. I am happy to have the logger available for our extensive test campaigns.”
The TTXDataLogger was developed by TTTech, which was founded in 1998 as a spin-off of the Vienna University of Technology. The Austrian company is a leading supplier of dependable networking solutions based on time-triggered technology and modular safety platforms. The company also has a presence in Germany, Italy, Romania, the Czech Republic, the United States, Japan, Korea and China. The company’s subsidiary TTTech Automotive provides reliable control unit platforms and software solutions offering highest safety classification up to SIL 3/ ASIL D. The modular, certified hardware and software solutions are used for serial production in the field of control and monitoring of electric and hybrid propulsion systems as well as for vehicle dynamics and driver assistance. TTTech Automotive is a premium member of
the FlexRay and AUTOSAR consortia and is a member of the MOST Cooperation.
Automotive Industries (AI) asked Marc Lang,
Director Business Development and Sales, TTTech Automotive what features make the TTXDataLogger unique.
: Meeting the diverse requirements of different development teams is a challenging task. First of all, test tools like the TTXDataLogger have to work perfectly in harsh environments. Loss of data due to a cable break, loose connectors or malfunction of a test device leads to high opportunity costs for the OEM. TTXDataLogger is the only tool on the market offering special robust and lockable connectors for the connection to the vehicle bus systems, as well as two mounting brackets which allow a stable fastening in the car. Furthermore, our test tool has enough throughput to log and record all the data for later analysis. In addition, it provides a powerful user code development environment for selective recording. Based on user defined triggers selective data can be recorded in parallel. The logger offers not only easy integration of existing test and evaluation functions, but also the possibility to add OEM-specific extensions.
: Tell us about the development process behind the product.
: The very high complexity and robustness requirements can only be addressed with an experienced team and a proven development and quality management process. TTTech Automotive therefore applied the Automotive SPICE® Level 2 (HIS Selection) and adapted it to the specific needs of the project. The challenge was to cover the requirements from different customers out of different departments. Such a balancing act requires a trustful partnership and regularly coordination meetings with the development partners.
: What were the challenges facing automotive OEMs like Audi in terms of test and validation solutions that were the triggers for the development of the TTXDataLogger?
: On-board electronics architectures has become more and more complex due to an increase of functionality, e.g. driver assistance systems or vehicle dynamics functions. Interactions between all these functions need to be analyzed in detail and validated. Due to the ever-increasing complexity in the functional interactions a very reliable tool for logging and analysis is needed that can record all data traffic while providing smart on-line analysis at the same time.
: TTTech has worked closely with many automotive OEMs to jointly develop products – can you tell us a little about the relationship your company shares with customers and how unique are these relationships?
: We are proud of having established stable and successful business relationships to different customers all over the globe. Local representatives – most of them experienced technicians in the area of reliable networks and safe ECUs – assure a deep understanding of the customers need and technical problem statement. Focusing on long-term partnerships, we aim to offer comprehensive solutions enabling our customers to deploy their products more efficiently and profitably.
: What are some of the innovative in-vehicle-infotain¬ment or IVI solutions that TTTech has helped develop?
: TTTech Automotive positions itself as a supplier of safe modular hardware and software solutions as well as reliable test tools. Products like the TTXDataLogger simplify on-board logging and subsequent data evaluation from infotainment or video busses (MOST25, MOST150, and LVDS). By this means, TTTech Automotive helps to test and validate many different kinds of IVI solutions.
: What has your role in MOST been like over the past two years since TTTech joined the organization?
: TTTech Automotive acts as a supplier of test tools including infotainment and video systems. Therefore, joining the MOST consortium has been an important step in extending
our in-depth know-how of this specific automotive bus system. Understanding the details is a prerequisite to develop high performance and reliable operating products.
: What are some of the new technologies your company hopes to launch over the next 12 months?
: We are currently focusing on two different areas: On the one hand we have developed pre-certified safety modules according to the automotive software standard AUTOSAR, which support applications up to ASIL D. They are used in a broad variety of safety-relevant applications all over the world, including the company’s own hardware products. On the other hand we are working on a next generation Ethernet compliant network which is under evaluation by different OEMs. This Ethernet solution is based on extensive experience in cross industry use. Besides, further feature releases of our existing products and testing tools will keep our team busy.
Designed for ease of use
“In addition to the complete feature set robustness and ease of use were the main focus for the development of the TTXDataLogger,” says Dr. Stefan Poledna, Managing Director of TTTech Automotive.
The TTXDataLogger enables the recording of data from all current bus systems, such as CAN, FlexRay®, LIN, MOST25, MOST150 and Ethernet. The data sets are synchronized by a central time stamp.
For different application profiles TTXDataLogger allows holistic and selective recording at the same time, and has integrated diagnostic capabilities. Using the established measurement and calibration protocols CCP and XCP, internal ECU signals can also be recorded. This stored data is available for further analysis. Data extracts are made with the help of smart programmable triggers and filters. The configurable power management of TTXDataLogger can be adapted to different requirements in order to minimize power demand. The wake-up of the device can be triggered through all bus systems, or external events.
A user-friendly remote control supports the test driver in comfortably controlling the device, enabling the driver to fully concentrate on the test rack. Using a mark button (manual trigger) and audio recording, abnormalities can be documented directly with the remote control. This simplifies the subsequent analysis.
The logger can also be operated remotely from the test bench. An open operating system platform (Linux) ensures that existing test and evaluation functions are easily integrated. OEM-specific requirements can be added upon request. An open data format enables reading of traces with common tools such as CANoe. In addition to the possibility to use external storage functions such as USB disk and CF card, the device has a large onboard memory for recording with a storage capacity of 64 GB.