Ruetz System Solutions is one of the pioneers in the development of MOST standards and contributed towards the development of the MOST bus system.
As a MOST test house, the company supports the car industry in the certification process of new car infotainment products. It also offers a broad range of tools for standardized development processes and test routines. Ruetz can also help automotive manufacturers and suppliers prepare function catalogs in XML- or Fibex format.
Ruetz’s consultants offer clients a customized blueprint to help them develop MOST-compatible specifications and define feasible test specifications for components, networks and applications. Ruetz’s testing environment includes the fully-automated Testerlyzer system which allows for the testing of components and networks according to MOST standards. The Testerlyzer has a modular structure and consists of various system components including Testerlyzer pro Compliance (testing software) and Testerlyzer Box (measuring and automation hardware), as well as two Optolyzer modules by the company SMSC which provide an interface to the MOST bus.
The second part of the company’s testing portfolio is the TTCN-3-based test and simulation system branded TTsuite MOST, which was developed by Ruetz in collaboration with Testing Technologies IST GmbH. Both components are used for MOST compliance tests. “TTsuite MOST is based on the TTCN-3 industry standard, which is maintained and further developed as a test description language for the telecommunications industry by the European standardization organization ETSI,” explained Malek. “Cross-industry application of a standard is very cost-efficient due to the scaling effect it produces.”
Automotive Industries caught up with Georg Janker, CTO, Ruetz Systems Solutions, and asked him what makes the company’s consultancy services client-friendly as far as the automotive industry is concerned?
Janker: We have a long history of involvement in infotainment systems and their components, and have been at the forefront of MOST technology from the very beginning. Since 1997, we have developed successful strategies for car manufacturers on-site as well in suppliers’ projects. Through our test lab, standardization efforts and tool chain maintenance, we develop optimized test solutions with a high degree of automation and always in the latest versions. Clients who contact us in critical phases, can get an immediate summary of the current state of their development. Furthermore, we advise them on how to proceed to ensure an effective and quality result.
AI: What are some of the infotainment challenges facing the automotive sector today and how does Ruetz help in meeting these challenges?
Janker: I would like to highlight just one aspect which shows the current potential. Everyone is keen on clever solutions for Smartphone apps which can be used in cars, particularly if they can control various vehicle elements and display devices. If you include other properties such as speed or current position, projects start to become quite interesting.
Imagine combining this scenario with cloud computing, social networks and the emerging car2X possibilities. This is why infotainment platforms need to be maintained and expanded and perhaps even completely redesigned. Our test solution, TTsuite originates within the telecom industry and is expanding into new areas every day. It is already found in a great variety of communication standards such as Ethernet, 3G or LTE and also protocol standards like Voice-over-IP, ASN.1 SIP, etc. We can easily combine today’s possibilities using MOST and CAN with already approved domains.
AI: Tell us about Ruetz’s work in trying to push MOST as a standardized technology – how challenging has this task been?
Janker: It was indeed very exciting being one of the first companies to be involved in developing new concepts for systems integration based on a new platform. Introducing MOST involved a lot more than taking yet another bus system into the in-vehicle network. One good example of this was the introduction of an object-oriented architecture represented by the MOST Application Framework.
Together with the first car manufacturers using MOST, we were able to provide the basics for the MOST Compliance Verification Process, integrating it into the MOST IP pool. We soon discovered that the success of this specialized business is deeply rooted in transparency. Test scenarios and test results need to be specified and presented in a unique way and have to be easily understood. This was the driving force behind TTCN-3 and its graphical format as the compliance test language.
Another important invention was the Application Recommendation for Core Compliance as a summary of reliability testing as it is executed in every OEMs’ systems integration lab. All MOST members benefit from the fact that the test bench design has been simplified and unified for everybody. Tests which have been executed at the supplier’s site can be seen as reliable without any need to retest them at the system integrator’s site.
AI: What are the challenges facing MOST in becoming the industry standard for automotive infotainment products?
Janker: We think that MOST has already become the standard. The MOST Cooperation has celebrated the 100th vehicle on the road featuring MOST technology. We predict an ongoing expansion amongst car manufacturers who have their main business in middle-class and lower-class segments with an extremely high market share.
AI: What are some of the new testing products Ruetz is working on?
Janker: A multitude of new products have already been invented. They are being further developed at our systems integration labs to integrate with the new speed grade of MOST 150. Our main task at the moment is providing special solutions which are based on standardized test suites.
A big step forward has been opening tooling for all speed grades like MOST 50 and MOST 150. Our customers also welcome the possibility of creating test cases by using the MOST Socket Protocol. One of the products that we have recently rolled out is the ready-to-go test lab, with a high degree of automation for Physical Layer testing or Core Compliance. The package includes installation, training and support.
AI: Tell us about your vision of the role MOST will play in future automotive infotainment systems.
Janker: Our main focus for the future is on technology challenges including the easy integration of consumer electronic devices, smart phones and their platforms, cloud computing services and driver assistance. There is ongoing competition over the development of the best concepts and there is very little discussion about the transportation layer. It is more focused on application-related architectures and connectivity. Although we don’t know what new developments will be around in the future, the MOST bus is the approved technology for providing a strong network for exchanging infotainment data in vehicles.
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