de Oliveira Vasconcelos, F., Silva, E., Vieira, G., Santos, J. et al., "Automotive Powertrain Test Automation," SAE Technical Paper 2017-36-0218, 2017.
The automotive industry is one of the most strict and demanding industries when it comes to the safety and quality of its products. One of the cornerstones in order to achieve such demands is to have high reliability of its powertrain controls software developed using the V-Cycle methodology. With the V-Cycle approach, it is essential to verify and validate every step of the software development process such as requirements elicitation, code development and prototyping, all this being done before the actual software can be tested on the vehicle. This process is of extreme importance but it comes with the downside of increased project cost and timing. An alternative and solution to the increase in project cost and timing is the use of Hardware-In-the-Loop simulators. The HIL is a powerful tool that has the capability of running real-time simulations of a full vehicle. In order to achieve this, it makes use of high fidelity models with a low error margin compared to real vehicles. Real loads, such as injectors and spark plugs, are also used combined with the models, achieving an even higher simulation fidelity. With this tool available, it is possible to reproduce the behavior of a real vehicle in a simulated environment, reducing costs and development time. Test automation using a HIL or automotive instrumentation tools is a relatively new area of expertise and is full of possibilities and room for further development. The possibility of test reuse across different projects is one of the greatest advantages of this approach as well as the fact that reducing software validation time from weeks to a few minutes is now a reality. The main goal of this article is to show the advantages of test automation for powertrain software development in the automotive industry.