The connected car evolution
Fifty years ago, a computer less powerful than a hand calculator allowed sending men to the moon. Today, autonomous vehicles are real supercomputers.
Autonomous vehicles demand complex systems in order for direction systems, braking systems and acceleration systems all communicate at the highest speed, interacting with one another in order to adapt in real time to changing driving conditions. Services such as enhanced traffic information, multimedia, vehicle relationship management, and emergency call capability all rely on the quality and reliability of the vehicle’s connectivity. They also create huge volumes of data. As such, auto wireless connectivity solutions embedded into vehicles need to support multiple air interfaces.
Ensuring wireless connectivity performance and reliability
Each air interface needs testing separately across the worst-case network conditions that the vehicle is likely to encounter, as well as for interoperability between each air interface. Testing modem redundancy is also important to meet reliability requirements.
To help address these challenges, auto manufacturers can accelerate their test programs by adopting methodologies that are already used extensively in the mobile industry, which has a strong focus on performance and short development cycles.
Virtual drive testing involves using a lab-based performance and interoperability test automation environment. This uses data captured in the field to emulate real-world RF network conditions, including network settings, signalling to and from the car module, satellite signals, and the RF environment in and around the car. This in turn leads to reliable and cost-effective device benchmarking and resolution of issues found in the early stages of development.
Using these proven approaches will speed up automotive system development. They enable testing of the performance of in-vehicle software and hardware modules against international mobile operators’ requirements under real-world network conditions, prior to their final integration into the vehicle. This in turn can cut the costs and time involved in performance-related testing, by highlighting any system issues much earlier in the vehicle development cycle.
Par Sean Cloud