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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | Changing tech landscape raises pressure on test schedule
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With automotive industry moving towards electrification and autonomous operation, test engineers face drastically increasing system complexity. National Instruments (NI) offers tools to accelerate the entire development process by providing a platform that allows for maximum reuse and unifies design, validation, and automated test. In this interaction with Rakesh Rao, Jeff Phillips, Head of Automotive Marketing, NI, explains the effect of developments in automotive industry of test & measurement (T&M) equipment market.
How is NI helping auto OEMs and auto component suppliers in T&M space?
The automotive industry is undergoing a tremendous amount of change, resulting in a new era of mobility. Three critical technology trends in ADAS, EV, and V2X are bringing with them new test challenges and pressures beyond the here and now. The quickly evolving technology landscape raises the pressure on any test schedule as requirements cease to change. NI ensures that test managers are confident in their ability to overcome the pressure of rapidly changing test requirements, using an open and easily upgradable platform that is designed for test system openness and flexibility.
The automotive industry is a priority market for NI, and we are well-positioned to help the test departments keep pace with the changes. Semiconductors are part of the electronic revolution, and we are bringing the same platform that helped revolutionise the testing of semiconductors with PXI and parallel multi-DUT testing to automotive, confident we can bring the same advantages to testing automotive components.
How is the demand for NI automotive test systems?
In a word – high. The demand is being driven by the rapid evolution of the device under test, whether that’s an EV inverter, sensor fusion ECU, or the mirror assembly. The once disparate methods to validate the behavior of the SW (ECU), the electronics (sensors), and physical measurements (durability) are all now converging on each other. Nearly every automotive component blends all three together into a single workflow, adding tremendous pressure to the test organisation’s challenge of ensuring the safety and security of the vehicle.
Is the rise in electronic components posing new challenges for auto OEMs and auto component suppliers with respect to T&M?
Absolutely. I often use an example to illustrate this point. We had a family friend get rear-ended in a target parking lot. It damaged his passenger side taillight. It was approximately $ 500 in parts alone to fix it. He was exasperated. He drove a 2018 F150. I looked up the cost of the same part for the 2017 F150 – it was $ 60. Huge difference. The new taillight assembly had 2 ECUs, a camera, and multiple additional sensors built into it. Validating the behavior of that vs a “dumb” lighting assembly and bulb is much different.
Will the rise in number of electric vehicles lead to increase in demand for automotive testing instruments?
It’s still to be determined if it will increase the demand, meaning demand this year compared to demand last year. What I am sure of is that this will change the instrumentation that is demanded. Higher voltage capabilities, power-electronics HIL, charger testing, heat dissipation, etc. These are all evolving challenges that will surely change the landscape for EV. Additionally, there are new validation labs being stood up across the globe, being instrumented from the ground up with new and updated technology.
What are your growth plans for India?
We are a global company with direct sales in over 70 countries. India is one of our hotspots for automotive, particularly with end-of-line production lines being stood up (along with Latin America and Eastern Europe). They are facing the same challenges, potentially to a more extreme extend because of the distribution of the population relative to other countries.
Power Electronics HIL
Electrification And Autonomous Operation
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