As an integral part of an overall test strategy, the hardware-in-the-loop test method enables reproducible testing of real ECUs embedded in a realistic simulation environment. This offers 24/7 comprehensive testing in the laboratory, shortens validation times, and increases the range of test scenarios. Additionally, HIL allows for testing of critical corner cases without safety issues for the device-under-test or the environment in closed-loop as well as in open-loop test setups, e.g., data-replay testing. The increasing complexity of highly connected E/E architectures, evolving electric vehicles, and ADAS/AD active safety systems makes HIL testing crucial to ensure the reliability of the overall system. dSPACE HIL solutions range from component to system integration testing and cover all vehicle domains from autonomous driving to zero emissions.
Key Benefits of dSPACE HIL Solutions
- HIL solutions ranging from component to system integration testing
- For all vehicle domains including e-mobility and autonomous driving
- End-to-end tool chain for efficient automated testing
- Comprehensive offers for consulting, engineering, and training
- Decades of experience with a wide range of customer projects
What is HIL Testing?
Hardware-in-the-loop testing means the tests of real ECUs (electronic control units) in a realistic simulated environment. These tests are reproducible and can be automated which leads to 24/7 comprehensive testing in the laboratory, shortens validation times, and increases the range of test scenarios
Advantages of HIL Testing?
HIL simulation allows for testing of critical corner cases without safety issues for the device-under-test or the environment in closed-loop as well as in open-loop test setups, e.g., data-replay testing.
The increasing complexity of highly connected E/E architectures, evolving electric vehicles, and ADAS/AD active safety systems makes HIL testing crucial to ensure the reliability of the overall system.
dSPACE HIL Solution Offers at a Glance
- Scalable real-time platforms
- Support of latest automotive bus and network standards
- Comprehensive simulation models for applications ranging from combustion engines to autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles
- Complete and fully automatable software toolchain to support continuous integration among others
- High-fidelity solutions for e-mobility applications
- Realistic camera, lidar, and radar models can be calculated in real time with dSPACE HIL systems.
Deep Dive – Test Phases and Test Systems in HIL Simulations
The development of automotive electronic systems can be divided into three main test phases: function testing; ECU testing, including perception and fusion; and ECU domain and network testing. Since each test phase focuses on different goals, the test system requirements differ as well. The dSPACE HIL systems can be adapted to each phase to provide maximum support.
Function testing focuses on testing single or a few functions, including their interaction with ECU basic software. Since this kind of testing is typically an integral part of function development rather than final release testing, its focus lies on experimental usage, without systematic test automation. Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test systems for function testing therefore require versatile bus and network interfaces, restbus simulation on the behavior and protocol levels, or design-for-test interfaces (e.g., XCP). These types of tests are often performed by the function developers themselves and must fit on a developer’s desk.
ECU Component Testing
Typical applications for ECU tests range from software integration testing through fail-safe and fail-operational testing, to ECU release testing. Testing is therefore highly automated and based on ECU requirements to cover the high number of variants.
Test systems for ECU testing require scalable I/O and bus/network interfaces including electrical failure simulation. Furthermore, testing of buses and networks requires restbus simulation on the behavior and protocol level as well as extensive manipulation.
Testing of real components requires comprehensive plant models and simulation performance that can be increased accordingly. Ideally, the test system functions can be adapted to changing project requirements.
ECU Domain and Network Testing
ECU domain and network testing is characterized by end-to-end testing of distributed functions. This includes sleep or wake-up tests as well as fail-safe and fail-operational tests of the vehicle’s ECU network. The need for an extensive range of I/O channels as well as bus and network interfaces is characteristic for these kinds of test systems.
A multitude of plant models must be processed time-synchronously on several clustered real-time systems. To handle complex models and scenarios, strong simulation performance and multiprocessor capabilities are required.
ECU network testing systems often run highly automated test programs around the clock, made possible by comprehensive test management systems.
Basic Components of a Hardware-in-the-Loop Solution
A typical HIL test system includes different building blocks, like real-time simulation hardware including all relevant interfaces for connecting the ECU as a device under test, accurate simulation models of the environment as well as efficient and easy-to-use software tools for configuration and experimentation. Furthermore, powerful test automation software increases the efficiency through 24/7 validation and test management and collaboration software allows for handling increasing test complexity in ECU development projects. Combining all basic components provides a comprehensive and high-performing HIL testing solution.
Development support from start to finish
Developing complex E/E systems and software with ever more safety-critical functions, especially in the area of autonomous systems, raises the question of guaranteeing function reliability. That's why dSPACE offers end-to-end expertise in functional safety, test strategy development as well as verification and validation in complex E/E processes - to support you from the earliest project stages to homologation.
dSPACE systems are easy to get up and running – however, if a project is more complex, if individual solutions are needed or if there is high time pressure, you can also trust dSPACE's fast, competent and reliable engineering services.