Simulation with Vehicle-in-the-Loop hardware takes prototyping realism a stage further towards full laboratory development
Test and measurement company, TOYO Corporation has developed a vehicle-in-the-loop simulator (ViLS) for testing and validating electric and autonomous vehicles (EVs).
The ViLS allows engineers to perform a wide variety of vehicle, environmental and road testing under real-world conditions, supporting the CASE approach of Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric automotive products.
For ViLS, TOYO integrated Rototest Energy chassis dynamometers, Advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and True Sim, a professional-grade driving simulator co-developed by TOYO and Iwane that features augmented reality functionality.
With a requirement for dynamometers capable of coping with the high-torque forces generated by EVs, one US EV manufacturer has chosen the ViLS on the basis of the Rototest system with delivery being expected before the end of the year.
Key to the purchasing decision was the capability to perform ADAS testing, high torque force tests, acceleration tests, adaptive cruise control tests and emergency and regenerative braking tests.
The ViLS is suited to this kind of testing and benefits from short setup times, a 4-wheel independent control dynamometer system requiring only a flat surface and power, the use of a low-inertia drive motor unit and the ability to be use with both 2WD and 4WD vehicles.
It has low noise capabilities for Noise, Vibration & Harshness (NVH) testing and can also be used in environmental climatic testing at temperatures down to -95 °F/35°C.
According to Bo Han, CEO of TOYOTech, a ViLS is installed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee (ORNL), a national laboratory sponsored by the US Department of Energy and it was on this that the US manufacturer performed evaluation tests before purchasing.
“During the evaluation, the manufacturer witnessed first-hand the ViLS in operation with their electric vehicle,” says Han.
Software defined sensors reduce reliance on hardware
“Software-defined vehicles” will continue to play an increasingly important role in prototyping and AEye has been demonstrating the 4Sight Intelligent Sensing Platform, which enables automotive OEMs to embed the same lidar sensor in multiple integrated locations, optimising performance for vehicle-specific packaging and integration using AEye’s proprietary sensing software. With AEye’s adaptive lidar, manufacturers gain design flexibility, without compromising performance, further advancing their pursuit of the software-defined car.
This landmark achievement of utilising a singular platform, configurable through software results in a design advantage over obtrusive, hardware-centric lidar systems that do not adapt to the evolving performance and integration requirements of OEMs. Additionally, the 4Sight platform’s inherent software configurability is designed to enable over-the-air updates to improve a vehicle’s autonomous safety features over time, without having to replace the sensor.
As OEMs shift towards software-driven business models, they are looking to software-defined hardware to absorb new technological advancements, and to deploy new, innovative services. AEye’s adaptive sensor platform can be configured via software for different vehicle placements to help develop software definable vehicles.
According to AEye co-founder and GM of Automotive, Jordan Greene, customers gain the distinct advantage of using a single platform that can be modified for any vehicle model and application, increasing adoption and deployment across OEM platforms and reducing engineering costs.
“Moving AEye Lidar sensor hardware from one location on a vehicle to another does not require a mechanical adaptation, as the sensor’s performance parameter can be configured by a simple software operation. This provides the ability to have design flexibility without compromising top-end performance in the process,” he concludes.