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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | Automotive testing Setting up a new quality benchmark
Automotive testing Setting up a new quality benchmark
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Rise in stringent emission norms, electric & connected cars, engine downsizing, increasing electronic components, etc are some of the developments that need accurate and rigorous testing of automotive parts. This, in turn, is pushing the demand for automotive test equipment in India, writes Rakesh Rao.
From fossil fuel fired vehicles to electrically driven cars, automotive industry has been witnessing constant evolution with technological innovations. Today, auto makers are even experimenting with autonomous (driverless) vehicles and adding new features such as advanced communication devices, Internet of Things (IoT), etc. All these changes require new automotive test equipment to measure performance and quality of not just the individual components but also the entire vehicle.
“The automotive industry is accelerating its electronic technology revolution and fusing with the clean energy ecosystem. By 2020, 90 percent of cars will be connected and by 2030, 30 percent will be electric. With the rapid advances in e-mobility, autonomous driving, connected cars, and automotive electronics, the capabilities we marvel at today may seem basic in just a few years, opines Sandeep Kapoor, AD MSM – EMEAI & Marketing Manager India, Keysight Technologies - which empowers automotive industry designers and manufacturers with the latest innovations in design and test solutions to help create high-quality and high-performance products while mitigating safety risks.
Nowadays various wireless connections are incorporated in connected cars to improve safety, security, performance, reliability, and infotainment. Automotive designers and developers need to verify many types of wireless technologies including 2G, 3G, 4G LTE and LTE-Advanced (and soon 5G), WLAN, Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC), and more to guarantee the reliability and the performance of the communication capabilities. As a result, auto testing equipment companies need to provide solutions that enable transmitter/receiver tests and various measurements, including noise figure, phase noise, modulation analysis, and electromagnetic interference (EMI).
“Wireless technologies have acquired increasing importance during the last decade in the automotive industry, making the experience of driving safer and more comfortable. All these wireless standards - including mobile, short range wireless and navigation - help to keep the driver connected everywhere, while broadcast technologies are now utilised to keep all of the car occupants connected and entertained,” says Madhukar Tripathi, Senior Manager (Sales & Marketing), Anritsu India Pvt Ltd – which offers a comprehensive range of high performance test systems to test and develop all aspects of the modern car mainly wireless connectivity, safety and driver aids, in-vehicle networks, intelligent transport systems and EMI.
In addition to FM/AM radio, today's vehicle incorporates digital radio (DAB) as well as video broadcasting, including DVB and ISDB standards. Auto OEMs must test these technologies at all stages of the product development - from R&D to production - to ensure their products comply with the latest industry specifications.
Testing times ahead
The increasing use of infotainment and telematics systems disrupts OEMs and traditional suppliers, changing the ways in which industry players design and develop new products and services. On the consumer side, the demand for high-performance vehicles is growing, while, at the same time, there is a rise in safety concerns among customers. These trends are leading to increase in traction for test and measurement (T&M) equipment in India.
“We are seeing an increase in traction for our products in India. We are investing a lot in electrical areas and our engagement with major automotive vehicle manufacturers are increasing. Rapid technological advancements in electric (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) require comprehensive power tests for various in-vehicular systems designed for conversion of kinetic energy to battery energy. State-of-the-art electric powertrain systems require comprehensive tests during development and test phases to ensure maximum safety and seamless operation before the vehicle goes on the roads,” opines Sandeep Kapoor.
He adds, “Keysight’s rich expertise in high-power test and measurement, from fuel cells to batteries, addresses the mechatronics test needs, ensuring that only the best quality products move from the factory floors onto the roads, whether they are electromechanical components, power electronics, microcontroller chips (eg, engine control units or ECUs), and/or control software. We also provide solutions to help manufacturers develop a highly efficient, safe, and reliable electric circuits, especially in the critical stages of evaluating the final circuit characteristics.”
According to MarketsandMarkets report, global automotive test equipment market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.95 per cent from $ 2.2 billion in 2018 to $ 2.9 billion by 2025. The automotive test equipment market is influenced by factors such as technological advancements in automotive test equipment, increase in electronic architecture in modern vehicles, growth in vehicle manufacture, the rise in stringent emission norms to prevent environmental impact, etc.
Sandeep Kapoor says, “By 2025, every car on the road will be “connected” in some way. The connected car combines the vehicle, communications, and the Internet of Things. Given the mission-critical safety requirements of modern vehicles and the need for interchangeable multi-vendor components to work together reliably, designers face more challenges than ever before.”
Another factor driving demand for testing equipment is 5G. Keysight is partnering throughout the 5G and automotive ecosystems to deliver the technology and standards necessary to realise the vision of V2X and the full potential of ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) via self-driving vehicles. Its T&M solutions are helping accelerate design and manufacturing of technologies critical to implementing autonomous vehicles with advanced 5G technology.
Rising challenges due to electronics
According to Madhukar Tripathi, automotive sector is new emerging market for electronics components. “More electronics is being incorporated in cars and other vehicles. Integration of these electronics components is very important for smooth driving of cars which will lead for safer driving,” he adds.
Rise in electronic component is posing new challenges before auto OEMs and auto component suppliers with respect to testing & measuring. “Electronics are creating smarter automobiles capable of detecting and alerting drivers to any fault. Whether it’s monitoring tyre pressure, delivering advanced driver assistance systems, operating the engine, body or airbag control units, today’s car is a complex supercomputer. Assuring driver safety requires thorough testing of all the intelligent electronics controlling the automobile’s moving parts. Keysight provides a comprehensive range of functional test solutions for automotive electronics to help them cut down on product development and manufacturing lifecycle time,” says Sandeep Kapoor.
The suppliers of electronic components to auto industry need to test the electrical integrity of increasingly shrinking and complex assembled printed circuit boards. However, test access to these boards can be extremely challenging. T&M companies need to in-circuit test (ICT) and boundary scan test solutions for automotive electronics manufacturers.
Automotive radar is now rapidly becoming the front end that guides adaptive cruise control, collision, and safety warning systems, collision mitigation systems, and vulnerable road user detection. “The major applications of automotive radars are advanced emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, adaptive cruise control, parking assist, front and rear cross traffic alert, stop-and-go, and more. Higher frequency radar systems offer much higher spatial differentiation resolution between objects, enhancing the vehicle’s ability to respond to potential dangers on the road. Globally, there is also a push towards standardising usage of 77–79 GHz high-resolution vehicular radars. Designing and integrating high-frequency radars requires the latest analog and vector signal generators, spectrum analysers, vector signal analysers, and vector network analysers. From the simulation of an arriving wavefront with multiple emitters to testing precision components in a receiver, our solutions are ready for the complexity of radar test applications,” claims Sandeep Kapoor of Keysight.
Madhukar Tripathi adds, “Automotive radar technology is rapidly evolving as ADAS and autonomous vehicle development drives demand for multiple, high resolution radars on each vehicle. Testing both radar capabilities and the interaction of multiple radars has never been more important. Anritsu provides equipment to help radar engineers validate performance of components throughout the R&D process.”
EV: A huge opportunity
With electrification gaining momentum in India, rise in number of electric vehicles could also lead to jump in demand for automotive testing instruments in the near future. “This is true. More and more features are being added into passenger cars and other transport medium. Automotive electronics R&D is emerging and contributing to intelligent transport system (ITS) or connected cars. Most OEM and ODM (original design manufacturer) need test and measurement instrument for R&D and prototype testing. Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) encompasses a broad range of products and services aimed at helping drivers drive more safely; while providing technologies that move vehicle development towards autonomous driving. Anritsu provides test and measurement equipment for ADAS services that make use of cellular, radar and DSRC,” opines Madhukar Tripathi.
Electrification trend is offering a new avenue of growth for T&M companies. “Electrical vehicles are a major trend. A lot of investments are happening within this segment on developing new battery techniques, developing new business models for them and recharging stations. Keysight is working aggressively on helping the major automotive players in the market. We are investing in developing new products and solutions, and expertise within our teams for catering to these requirements. Our innovative automotive Ethernet design and test solutions help manufacturers to meet industry standards from physical layer 1 through higher-layer protocols up to level 7. We also continue to provide a variety of serial bus tests serve the automotive industry's networking needs.”
Positioning and localisation technologies are now key in the connected car, and they must be tested to ensure compliance with international standards. Madhukar Tripathi opines, “Adding more electronics into cars is creating interference issue to entire control system. Right selection of test and measurement tool helps to remove this problem. The automotive industry is constantly increasing the presence of technology in vehicles. In excess of 100 separate control units will be part of average modern car, all generating more and more applications for informing and entertaining the passengers. All these devices, connected with each other, are constantly sending data to central computers or displays.”
Many vehicle manufacturers are opting for emergency call (eCall) system to ensure safety and quick response times from emergency medical services in the event of a traffic accident. Here again automotive test equipment companies are helping auto OEMs to meet the test and measurement requirements for eCall system – which could save millions of lives. Madhukar Tripathi opines, “Test and measurement instruments play vital role in automotive sector. Emergency call testing is one of the important testing and most of high end car have planned to add this feature to cars.” Anritsu offers an eCall tester based on a complete network simulator and a software tool simulating Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP).
New capabilities in embedded testing, IoT testing, machine learning, and connected devices validations are required to holistically address the needs of infotainment and telematics systems. According to experts, the QA and testing spend globally is predicted to increase to 40 per cent of the overall IT budget by 2019. This upward trajectory, which indicates the industry’s enthusiasm to adopt emerging technologies and automation techniques, will propel demand for auto test equipment in the near future, thus prompting T&M companies to shore up investments.
Sandeep Kapoor says, “The focus and push that the automotive industry has received in the previous year have been enormous. Besides global developments, the local government announcement of shifting to electric vehicles has also added a lot of acceleration to the whole process. With the present increase in traction and inquiries for our automotive equipment segment, we are seeing a lot of growth in the automotive segment.”
Given the mission-critical safety requirements of modern vehicles and the need for interchangeable multi-vendor components to work together reliably, designers face more challenges than ever before.
- Sandeep Kapoor,AD MSM – EMEAI & Marketing Manager India, Keysight Technologies
Test and measurement instruments play vital role in automotive sector. Emergency call testing is one of the important testing and most of high end car have planned to add this feature to cars.
- Madhukar Tripathi,Senior Manager (Sales & Marketing), Anritsu India Pvt Ltd
Electric And Connected Car
And Electromagnetic Interference
Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
Engine Control Units
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