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Hardware-in-the-Loop: The Technology for Testing Electronic Controls in Vehicle Engineering

Dr. Peter Waeltermann, dSPACE Inc.

April 2016: Hardware-in-the-loop simulation (HIL) is an integral component in the electronic development process for testing control functions. HIL simulation involves operating mechatronic systems, particularly electronic control units (ECUs), in a closed loop with components that are simulated in real time to test them intensively in this virtual environment.

This paper provides an introduction to the subject of HIL simulation.

First, the essential hardware and software components will be presented, including the dynamic models. Then, the most important HIL applications will be described, such as the engine, vehicle dynamics, and electric drives. 

This paper will also take a look at network simulators (testing ECU networks) and some special solutions.