The research and development of wireless sensor network incorporated in data acquisition that can communicate vehicle data and states in real time is part of an essential chain for the automotive industry and society in general. One clear example is the verification of active systems that drive on our roads daily.
The development of a new vehicle is often nowadays limited to 36 months. This is a very short time; especially considering the high complexity bundled in a modern vehicles. The complexity includes a large collection of systems such as ABS, traction control, ESC, automatic cruise control (with radar), engine management, dual gearboxes, and viscous coupled four-wheel drive. All these systems must be verified individually and more importantly their integration in a system of systems must be verified.
Short development and verification periods with increasingly complex system of systems demand new test methods to ensure safe, comfortable and energy efficient vehicles. The proposed project enables the rapid instrumentation of a vehicle by using intelligent wireless sensor nodes and data acquisition. An example is the acceleration of a wheel hub on a gravel road. This information is necessary to verify the systems’ performances and the validating tools. One of these tools is vehicle dynamics simulation.
ECE R13H, which is an international standard to verify active safety, promotes the use of simulation to verify the performance of a vehicle and its systems as a complement to vehicle testing. However, the simulations need to be verified to be relied upon. This can be achieved through this chain of sensors on the vehicle (both the vehicle sensors and additional test sensors) and data acquisition that provide information to the simulation tool to certify both the performance of the systems as well as the reliability of the simulations. The latter is not only critical to complete a new vehicle’s testing but also later on to verify any change in hardware or software in any of the electronic control units of the vehicle. That is, it ensures life long quality of a vehicle at affordable prices. (Consider the case of a software bug. The whole vehicle and its many configurations would have to be retested.)