Real-Time Testing

Python-based real-time test automation

Python-based test automation – 100% reproducible real-time tests executed synchronously with simulation model

Application Areas

Automated testing is usually performed by executing tests on a standard PC connected to the hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) system. However, this method often cannot cope where greater timing precision is required – for example, if ECU interaction has to be captured and responded to in a range of milliseconds. Real-Time Testing (RTT) with its Python scripts for real-time testing is the answer. 

Key Benefits

The scripts run on the simulation platform, e.g., a dSPACE HIL system. They run synchronously with the model, so all test actions are performed on a real-time basis – 100% reproducibly. This opens up expanded test options with dSPACE Simulator. Reactive tests which respond to changes in model variables within the same simulation step can be implemented. Time measurements in tests are also far more precise, as there are no latencies in communication. Simulation step size is now the only limit to the maximum time resolution of measurements. Real-time test scripts do not only run on HIL systems but also on VEOS, dSPACE's platform for PC-based offline simulation. Therefore, you can reuse the test scripts seamlessly throughout the entire development process – from virtual validation to HIL simulation.

Features Description Benefits
100% reproducible RTT tests 
  • Synchronous execution with the simulation model 
  • Precise steps on simulation platforms
  • Deterministic regression test results


RTT tests without model changes
  • Technically independent test and model execution
  • No model recompiles needed for testing
  • Dynamic test loading without stopping the model 
Easy to implement 
  • RTT tests in high-level programming language Python
  • Saves time during test development
Python Interpreter on the simulation platform
  • The RTT embedded Python Interpreter works under real-time conditions 
  • Standard libraries are available
  • Complex programming and debugging on simulation platform
RTT scripts ideally suited for GIT
  • RTT test components are Python text files
  • Complete RTT test storable ‘as a code’
Reading and writing model variables 
  • Access simulation variables in every simulation step
  • Versatile basis for various areas of applications, e.g., variable observer, functional bypassing
Data streaming
  • Streaming of MAT or MDF files to model variables 
  • Testing based on 100% deterministic replay of real-world recorded data
CAN and ETHERNET access
  • Read and write access to CAN, CAN FD, and Ethernet bus 
  • Advanced options for bus testing, e.g., observe bus traffic, manipulate message content, rest bus simulation
Platform support
  • Windows and Linux Ubuntu as host platforms  
  • dSPACE simulation platforms, incl. VEOS
  • Independent of simulation platform 
  • Accelerate test development by using one RTT test for SIL and HIL testing

Certified according to ISO 26262

For validating ECU software, dSPACE offers several tools that are certified according to ISO 26262. These include Real-Time Testing (RTT), SIMPHERA, VEOS and the Platform API Package. This means that all these products can be used in safety-relevant development projects in accordance with ISO 26262:2018 for all Automotive Safety Integrity Levels (ASIL).
The certification enables users to simplify their overall ISO 26262 processes. They can use the tools in safety-critical projects with very little qualification effort and are provided with safety manuals to support them in their use case.

Documentation Contact Information

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