Highlights From The Automotive Testing Expo 2019

Active safety, vehicle electrification, and connectivity were big draws at the show.


Thousands of automotive engineers and enthusiasts visited the Automotive Testing Expo in Stuttgart, Germany, in May to see nearly 500 companies show off their latest technologies to test features such as active safety, vehicle electrification, and connectivity, among others. This blog features highlights of the expo and the Autonomous Vehicle Test and Development Symposium held in conjunction with it.

Active safety and autonomous vehicles
The growth of the Autonomous Testing Expo over the last two years has been impressive. It is now the one-stop shop for exhibitors showcasing technologies ranging from sensors to simulation tools to real-time tests to ADAS data loggers and sensor fusion.

The Driver-in-the-Loop with Sensor Fusion Test, a joint demonstration by Konrad Technologies and VI-grade, featured a VI-grade Driver in Motion 150 simulator fitted with real radar and camera sensors. The target simulators for these sensors from Konrad Technologies enabled human drivers to experience SAE Level 3 ADAS functions like AEB, LDW, and ACC in the laboratory setting.

Driver-in-the-Loop ADAS Simulator from VI-grade and Konrad Technologies.

The ADAS iiT Innovation in Test Group demonstrated sensor fusion system testing with target simulation for actual RADAR, camera, and LIDAR simulation and Hardware-in-the-Loop validation with V2X test and data management and analysis capabilities.

Companies at the expo also explored moving beyond scene generation tools to use field data to validate their algorithms. Daniel Riedelbauch, automotive go-to-market manager at NI, presented a session on using field data to validate ADAS algorithms through the ADAS record and playback approach. NI’s ADAS Data-logging: Record and Playback solution involves synchronized data acquisition at high speeds to stream and log huge amounts of data. Then field data is fed back to the ADAS ECU in a lab to validate algorithms.

The exclusive NVIDIA Workshop at the Autonomous Vehicle Test and Development Symposium featured two dedicated sessions on deep learning and algorithms for autonomous vehicles. It also included sessions delivered by experts from renowned companies like Daimler, Renault, Uber, and Valeo. Ashish Naik, business development manager for ADAS and autonomous vehicles at NI, presented a session on testing perception software through simulated test drives.

Vehicle electrification
Electric mobility also has seen significant growth. An electric mobility future involves testing components ranging from the charging infrastructure to the battery and drivetrain.

Exhibitors, including NI, demonstrated solutions on testing the performance and life cycle of battery packs by using accelerated charge and discharge cycles under various environmental conditions.

OPAL-RT Technologies, a leader in real-time power electronics and power systems simulation, showcased its scalable system for testing battery management systems and demonstrated its embedded software on the traction inverter by simulating an electric motor.

AVL and HORIBA also showed their solutions for dynamometer-based test rigs for the entire electric powertrain.

In the technology demonstration area, Joergen Etter, electric vehicle business development manager at NI, presented a session on how to solve the unique challenges of testing electric vehicles.

Vehicle connectivity
The expo helped attendees explore the quest to make the vehicle more connected with V2X communications and vehicle telematics. They also learned how the automotive industry is moving to a service-based model with value-added services like fleet management, geofencing, health monitoring, and breakdown assistance.

Along with testing hardware, software, and communication stacks, establishing and testing the security-related aspects of vehicle communications remained a very hot topic among engineers and experts. Averna Technologies, NOFFZ Technologies, and S.E.A. Datentechnik GmbH were some of the companies who focused on testing the “connected car.”

Test systems and test data management
One of the expo’s focus areas this year was managing the test data collected from distributed systems or data farms and analyzing it to infer trends and gather design feedback. Because of the global scenarios in which most of us work, it was good to see the automotive test industry emphasize the importance of test data. Almost all major test and measurement players examined the need to manage distributed systems and the terabytes of test data generated by them.

The sessions and panel discussions sparked a lot of interesting conversations about performing machine learning algorithms on the test data available to conduct predictive analysis for design and process changes.

During his session, Lorenz Casper, senior automotive field marketing manager at NI, conveyed how engineers can make better decisions using test data if they manage the test systems and test data efficiently.

One of the more exciting developments of the expo was the increase in collaboration between different companies in the previously closed automotive industry. The convergence of various domains like sensors, connectivity, HMIs, communications, and software algorithms has made it impossible for a single company to address all the challenges alone. Hence, collaborations and partnerships are required to leverage the necessary domain expertise to be the “first to market.”

We’re excited about what’s in store for us at the Automotive Testing Expo 2020. What are your predictions for the future of the Automotive Industry?

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