Testing: NI’s PXI-Based Hybrid Vehicle Testing Saves Subaru Corporation 2000 Man Hours.
PXI, which is PCI extensions for Instrumentation (PXI), is used for building electronic systems and automated systems. The applications of this technology go beyond just product testing and manufacturing. It’s interaction with FPGA’s and executing real time-tasks allow it to be used in the early phases of development too.
Automobiles these days have many ECUs which are used to provide extra functionalities along with advanced controls. In hybrid vehicles, ECUs play a vital role as it responsible for the interaction between the electric motor and the engine, along with the power systems. The Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is the primary attempt targeting the North American and Japanese markets. Their prototype did not meet the rigorous testing conditions, making it unready for the market. It failed to meet the safety requirements for the driver and passengers. Various stages of the designing process called for the need of hardware-in-the-loop(HIL) system to check the motor ECU with the real-time simulation which represented the usual vehicle motor. The real motor ECU and PXI-based HIL system is what composed the different verification system which simulated the vehicle operations. Operating scenarios of the motor can be represented (using resistances) by setting parameters. They realized National Instruments was the supplier to meet their requirements since they required high computational performance. NI FlexRIO, FPGA-based PXI modules formed basis of the core system hardware.