Until now, automated tests had to wait until a HIL simulator and an electronic control unit (ECU) prototype were available. However, because the functionality of an ECU is often provided by different development teams, the overall behavior of the ECU must be validated at an early stage. Due to the increasing complexity of ECU functions and the diverse range of their applications, only automated tests can handle this test scope.
One solution involves integrating the existing software components to create a virtual ECU (V-ECU). With the PC-based simulation platform VEOS, this virtual ECU can then be tested comprehensively on a PC in real HIL test scenarios, including automated test sequences. If necessary, two or more virtual ECUs can be combined to test how they communicate in a network.
Because is it easy to duplicate virtual ECUs, they can be used simultaneously for different scenarios. That is how functional tests can be frontloaded from the HIL simulator onto a PC. Errors are found earlier and the ECU software quality is already high when the subsequent HIL tests are started.
When an ESP control unit is integrated, the entire function model must be integrated to create an overall function. This is done with dSPACE SystemDesk, which generates a virtual ECU from the AUTOSAR software components (SWCs). First, AUTOSAR compliance and the SWC interfaces are automatically validated with SystemDesk. Then VEOS is used to help validate the overall functionality, including the task scheduling.
If the development process is not AUTOSAR-based, the dSPACE tool chain also lets you use an approach based on S-functions or Functional Mock-up Units. In all of these cases, you can reuse the existing HIL test scenarios, sequences, configurations and layouts to validate the V-ECUs.