"The connected vehicle in all of its manifestations (Car2X), and autonomous driving, which are going to dominate the discussions centered on the automobile and its development."
Interview with Grégory Gackel of PSA
Grégory Gackel is Electronic Integration & Verification Manager at PSA Peugeot Citroën. As part of a project, the department for testing electronic vehicle components equipped existing test systems with a powerful test environment. Of the 44 existing National Instruments test systems, ten were compatible with CarMaker/HIL. The project aim was to achieve the first-ever porting of the software CarMaker to existing NI platforms.
Mr. Gackel, mobility has been changing dramatically in recent years: Where is this journey heading in your view?
For me, it is completely clear: There are two topics, connected services, in other words the connected vehicle in all of its manifestations (Car2X), and autonomous driving, which are going to dominate the discussions centered on the automobile and its development. The evolution of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) will be making rapid progress. At the moment, for example, adaptive cruise control (ACC) is being installed. In the next few years, traffic jam assists, followed by automated driving on freeways, will be playing an increasingly important role in new vehicles.
What systems do you specifically test with the solution of CarMaker in combination with NI platforms?
Everything, actually – from the engine and the transmission ECUs as well as powertrain control units to chassis ECUs, such as ESC and EPS. In the field of ADAS, the range is very wide as well. For instance, we are testing ACC, emergency braking and park assist functions, traffic sign recognition and lane keeping assist systems. The interaction between all these systems is very complex and one of the main reasons why our test effort has increased. And that exactly was the crucial factor which motivated us to start looking for a new testing solution. Our objective was to find a dynamic test environment with a broad scope of tests delivered by a single provider with a very comprehensive view of vehicle development and testing. In the final analysis, CarMaker best meets these requirements.
Can you specifically name the benefits that the utilization of virtual test driving provides you with?
For one, we are obviously saving time or gaining time for more extensive tests. For the other, the answer, clearly, is that we are saving a lot of money with it. In eight projects, we cut the number of prototypes by a total of about 30 %, which in this specific case corresponds to several hundred thousand euros.