Wire networks fault localization

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Charles-Henri Garih, managing director of automotive diagnostic specialist Novorizon, responds to a recent opinion piece by Doug Burcicki, director automotive, Siemens – Generative design for autonomous vehicle electrical systems. 

I read the article about autonomous vehicle electrical systems with particular interest. I agree with the author, and from my own perspective, I also see the concerns about vehicle electrification on two different levels: firstly, the increase of the wire network criticity due to autonomous system requirements on one side. This brings safety and security questions as the wire network integrity becomes more and more crucial to the reliability of the system and secondly, increasing currents in the power lines on the other side.

The growing number of electrical systems added to the electrical powertrain requirements demands more and more power transit through the whole vehicle. These current levels also prompt new questions regarding safety and security, where both passengers and maintenance technicians are concerned.

I strongly believe that wire network design will have to take into account the need for live monitoring of critical lines in the short to medium term, to ensure that any defect or failure in the network is immediately located and corrective actions can be triggered accordingly, wherever possible. For this very reason, in fact, I chose to move away from my earlier speciality, OBD diagnostics, to dedicate myself to wire networks fault localization.

Within Novorizon we already deliver cable faults localization methods with extremely fast and simple solutions, to the benefit of workshop technicians. This helps reduce the vehicle troubleshooting time and thereby the overall vehicle downtime.

Our aim – something we’re very actively working on – is to bring embedded counterparts of our offboard solutions to the market. These can be built into existing hardware and connected to the vehicle wire networks to ensure that any critical system can be live monitored. In doing this we would be enabling corrective actions whenever a default would be detected and localized, and would also permit predictive maintenance ahead of a defect becoming critical (for example, corrosion, water ingress, vibration or friction).

Damage to a monitored power harness, for instance, could be contained prior to anyone being potentially subjected to a high current leak.

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