Expo speaker interview: Dr Christian Donn

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IPG Automotive’s business development specialist for powertrain systems tells us about the company’s open hardware and software environment for virtual test driving

What is the new test platform you have developed?

Our development and test platform is an open hardware and software environment for virtual test driving. The solution consists of real time-capable simulation models for the vehicle, road, driver and environment – pedestrians or traffic, for example – in combination with visualization, test automation and the possibility of integrating models as well as hardware components and systems.

In addition, IPG delivers standardized and customized hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems (Xpack4) to run these simulation models. In providing these features – and due to its open interfaces – the CarMaker product family can be seamlessly used as an add-on for different types of test benches (engine, powertrain, steering, etc) to bring road tests to the rig and to benefit of all advantages model-based testing offers.

Why did you decide to develop the platform?

I think that model-based testing using virtual prototypes will completely change automotive development processes over the coming years; it enables both a huge reduction in cost and development times, and new methods on the test bench, for example, virtual powertrain electrification or real driving emissions investigations. The combination of real time simulation and testing will be key to tackling the challenge of future automotive development.

What are the benefits of this approach?

One of the greatest benefits is that the overall vehicle and subsystem testing under real world conditions can start before real vehicle prototypes are available. Virtual test driving saves a lot of time and money within the development cycle, and all system and software interactions can be checked and tested in an early stage of development. This approach enables engineers to manage current challenges relating to ADAS, connectivity and powertrain electrification.

Where will you go from here?

IPG Automotive will continuously work to improve its tools and solutions. Its aim is to support customers in optimizing their development and helping them to be successful by bringing virtual test driving into their development processes. We believe that the testing of mechatronic systems will be more and more important in the automotive industry within the next few years. We will further develop our open development and test platform to enable this in a user friendly way, and for a smooth exchange of software and subsystem models between OEMs and suppliers, which will be essential in the future.

Christian Donn will present further details in a presentation at the Open Technology Forum to be held alongside Automotive Testing Expo Europe in June.

May 14, 2015 

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About Author

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive, marine and entertainment divisions. Currently editor of Automotive Testing Technology International, Crash Test Technology International and Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as co-chairman of the annual Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards and can be found sniffing out stories throughout the halls of several of UKI's industry-leading expo events.

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