Development in the automotive sector has long been international and involves various manufacturers, suppliers and service providers. Standardization and cooperation in networks have become central issues.
Uniform standards are necessary to ensure efficient cooperation between companies, to use synergy effects and to enable smooth functioning and cooperation of the solutions later on. MicroNova participates in the development of such technological standards for the automotive industry within the scope of various projects - not least in order to ensure manufacturer-independent compatibility of its own testing solutions.
The ACOSAR project (Advanced Co-Simulation Open System ARchitecture) started in September 2015 and is scheduled to run for a total of three years. Manufacturers, suppliers and research institutes from all over Europe are working together on standardization for modular, distributed and open system development. It is intended to reduce costs in the development process in the long term. This is made possible by a system interface with which test benches from different manufacturers can be connected to form a real-time capable overall co-simulation - even across geographical distances. The aim is to create an industry standard.
As an official project participant, MicroNova is working with the ACOSAR standard to easily interconnect test systems from different manufacturers to form test bench networks. Prototypes already exist: Together with the Volkswagen Group, a NovaCarts engine test stand is operated as a use case in combination with a brake test stand from a third-party manufacturer.
The Association for Standardization of Automation and Measuring Systems (ASAM) consists mainly of international automotive manufacturers, suppliers and engineering service providers. Here, too, the aim is standardization: All tools of a development process chain should be compatible with each other and thus enable a continuous data exchange. The ASAM standards define protocols, file formats and application programming interfaces (APIs) for software development and ECU testing.
MicroNova's hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) simulators already have an ASAM standardized XiL interface. With this API, NovaCarts systems can be easily and quickly integrated into ASAM-compliant test environments according to the "plug & play" principle. In parallel, MicroNova has developed a connection of the test automation solution EXAM provided free of charge by the company to the XiL interface. The Volkswagen Group uses EXAM Group-wide as a standard solution for test automation. The tool is also used by automotive suppliers and companies outside the automotive industry.
MicroNova is continuously developing the XiL API together with the other members of the ASAM and is actively involved in the introduction of the XiL standard. So far, the so-called MA port and the EES port have been implemented. The cross-tests carried out with other manufacturers in the ASAM XiL working group have already proven the successful implementation of the ASAM XiL standard by the HiL platform "NovaCarts".
The goal of the international development partnership AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture), founded in 2003, is to create an open and standardized system architecture for ECUs in the automotive industry. The focus is on embedded systems and the control of cross-domain functions. Different vehicle and platform variants are taken into account in the architecture as well as system availability and security requirements. This should prepare everyone involved in the development process for future technologies.
MicroNova supports all AUTOSAR standards relevant for test systems. This includes the description of the communication behavior in the ECU network in automobiles in the so-called ARXML standard. Residual bus simulations, for example, can be created largely automatically.
The Fuel Cell Cluster BW was founded in 2013 in Baden-Württemberg and connects players and competencies in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technology. The members from research, politics and industry network drive forward innovative mobility solutions in the automotive sector. The aim is to further develop hydrogen and fuel cells as key technologies until they are market-ready. MicroNova uses the fuel cell cluster for knowledge exchange and contributes with its automotive testing know-how, e.g. with Fuel-Cell Control Units.
The Cluster Electric Mobility South-West - funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and supported by the state of Baden-Württemberg - brings together more than 150 players from industry and science on the topic of electric mobility. In the cooperation cluster, companies network across sectors with research institutes and politics to investigate and speed up on innovation processes.
MicroNova, as an actor within the cluster, actively contributes technological competence to this network: Especially in the field of development accompanying tests for electric mobility components, e.g. battery management systems, fuel cell control units and electric motors, MicroNova has comprehensive expert knowledge. Participating in the cluster further strengthens MicroNova's ability to innovate, so that we can always provide leading, secure and mature solutions for our customers based on the latest technology. The cooperation network fosters both the regional added value and employment in the cluster region and intensifies national and international contacts of its members.
The OPEN Alliance is a non-profit Special Interest Group (SIG) in which the automotive industry and technology providers work together to establish Ethernet-based communication as the standard in automotive network applications. This is intended to reduce both the complexity of the networks and the costs for cabling. In addition, an Ethernet-based communication network is an important infrastructure element for future technologies such as autonomous driving and connected car.
The automotive Ethernet solution from the NovaCarts product family supports the BroadReach (100BaseT1) protocol standardized by the OPEN Alliance. MicroNova's test systems are therefore ideally suited for the simulation of automotive Ethernet networks. NovaCarts also supports faster data rates up to 1 Gbit.