Test Benches

Testing electronic control units at a mechanical level

ECUs that cannot be accessed by means of their electrical interfaces can be tested with the highly dynamic dSPACE test benches. The turn-key solutions can be optimally adapted to your specific requirements, letting you use mechanical loads and physically stimulated ECUs for testing. 


If an electronic control unit (ECU) cannot be accessed by its electric interfaces for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation, it has to be stimulated by the required physical signal. This is often the case when it comes to testing complex mechatronic systems in vehicle dynamics applications, such as steering and braking. To simulate the realistic behavior of the components to be tested, HIL simulation at the mechanical power level requires a test bench that stresses the mechanical interfaces of the device under test. For this purpose, (rotatory or linear) electric motors or simple mechanical loads are used to generate real-world effects for sensors and actuators.

Key Benefits

dSPACE offers turn-key solutions that are optimally adapted to your specific needs and allow for closed-loop tests also at a mechanical level. The mechatronic test benches allow for the evaluation of complex systems in real time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. dSPACE’s hardware offers the required scalability, real-time performance, I/O interfaces, and a powerful tool chain to control a complete test bench from Simulink®. In addition, dSPACE provides interfaces to all automotive buses, e.g., CAN, CAN FD, LIN, FlexRay, K-/L-Line, and Automotive Ethernet. Automation interfaces, such as EtherCAT, PROFIBUS, CANopen, as well as proprietary interfaces and protocols, e.g., KEBA TWINsync for electric motor control, are also available.

Choose a mechatronic test bench from dSPACE and benefit from the numerous strengths our systems have to offer, such as:

  • Outstanding real-time behavior (latency, jitter, synchronization even for multiprocessor systems)
  • Open flexible implementation and instrumentation environment
  • Open automotive plant models for closed-loop interaction
  • Turn-key test bench concepts for different applications, such as electromechanical power steering, braking systems, electronic stability control systems, and autonomous driving
  • Scalable from the individual component to the entire system
  • Customized extensions, such as environment simulation using an integrated climate chamber

Applications with Test Benches from dSPACE

dSPACE offers a comprehensive portfolio for HIL simulation with test benches for applications, such as electric power steering systems, brake boosters, and 3-D motion platforms for vehicle dynamics control systems. The following table gives an overview of possible application scenarios that use a HIL simulator together with a test bench. 

System Type Test Bench Application
Steering systems Small steering test bench
  • Testing power packs of electromechanical power steering systems
Steering systems Compact steering test bench
  • Testing electromechanical power steering with servomotor on the steering column (C-EPS) or on the steering box (R-EPS)
Steering systems Rotary steering test bench
  • Testing electromechanical power steering with servomotor on the steering column (C-EPS)
  • Testing active front steering (AFS)
Steering systems Rotary steering test bench with environment simulation
  • Testing electromechanical power steering with a servomotor on the steering column (C-EPS)
Steering systems No-load steering test bench
  • Testing electromechanical power steering with servomotor on the steering column (C-EPS) or on the steering box (R-EPS)
Steering systems High-performance steering test bench
  • Testing electromechanical power steering with servomotor on the steering column (C-EPS) or on the steering box (R-EPS)
Brake systems Braking test bench
  • Testing electric brake systems
Electronic stability control systems Test bench with 3-D motion platform
  • Testing ECUs with integrated sensors and actuators
Advanced driver assistance systems Radar Test Bench – Compact 3D
  • Realistically testing radar-based vehicle functions using a synchronized closed-loop HIL system
Advanced driver assistance systems Radar Test Bench – Advanced 6D
  • Validating next-generation radar sensors (e.g., separability, field of view, resolution)

Steering Test Benches

The dSPACE portfolio for steering test benches ranges from small and compact rotary test benches to large, high-performance steering test benches using linear actuators for applications that require maximum dynamics and precision.

Braking Test Benches

For testing electronic brake systems under realistic operating conditions, dSPACE offers test benches with real brake system components.

Test Benches with Motion Platforms

Test benches can also include a motion platform to stimulate the ECU’s integrated sensors and actuators. These systems allow for the stimulation of acceleration sensors and yaw rate sensors that cannot be accessed otherwise.

Radar Test Benches

dSPACE provides reliable solutions both for validating and specifying next-generation radar sensors and for realistic testing of radar-based vehicle functions.

Electric Test Bench

For testing electric motor controllers and power electronics, dSPACE offers ready-to-use simulation solutions for the complete range of electric vehicle drives, specifically tailored for HIL simulation at power level.

  • Customized Mechatronic Test Benches Product Information, PDF, English, 1435 KB
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