Due to the rising complexity of vehicle systems, automotive test engineers are challenged with short development cycles and pressure to limit costs. To this end, major automotive manufacturers like Subaru are using NI hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) technology to simulate road conditions equivalent to those generated on actual roads for electric vehicle testing, eliminating environmental factors to reduce test time and costs, according to a press statement by NI.
Subaru simulates road conditions with NI hardware-in-the-loop system, lowering purchasing costs to 33 percent of alternative solutions
“Traditionally, engineers have conducted vehicle tests using finished cars on test courses or public roads to check the vehicle’s performance and safety response. However, certain limitations, such as weather and fluctuating road surface conditions, can make it difficult to conduct reproducible tests on roads in a timely manner. Moreover, electric vehicles are extremely complex due to their many subsystems, which are all interdependent on each other. This complexity makes the job challenging for automotive test engineers with short development cycles and pressure to limit costs”, NI explains in the announcement.
To combat these issues, Subaru replaced the roads in the validation tests with an NI HIL simulation solution built on NI PXI products and LabVIEW software. Subaru said it could eliminate environmental factors and thoroughly and efficiently test a vehicle’s embedded controller in a virtual environment before running real-world diagnostics on the complete system.
Subaru said that by using NI PXI products and LabVIEW, the firm was able to completely implement a customized HIL system in just one to two weeks and develop software in-house. This helped the firm keep product purchasing costs to around one-third of the cost of adopting solutions from other companies.
Subaru plans to use this test system at the final stages of development for electric vehicles as a final quality check, and eventually expand its use for all car types.