In the past, product testing was seen as a cost that had to be spent as a support function in the development and manufacturing process. Now, leading companies have successfully transformed testing from a burden into a strategic asset, a key first. One step is to have your own test architecture. In Chapter 4 we describe how leading automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers are doing it.
List of contents
・ What Edwin Hubble has taught us about continuous innovation
C-V2X Open Loop Test System
Quickly integrate V2X use cases with a software-defined approach
Has its own test architecture to meet the ever-expanding test coverage needs
The Future of Automotive Testing: A Conversation with Jeff Phillips
Implementing IVI/Automated Multimedia Test Automation, Solution Brief
Infotainment and telematics production testing
The credibility of ADAS, connected and electric vehicles
More and more automotive consumers around the world are making purchasing decisions based on the automotive user interface or human-machine interface (HMI) experience. In-vehicle infotainment (IVI) or car multimedia systems and digital cockpits can significantly impact people’s driving experience. Although HMI-related automotive electronics code accounts for 70% of all automotive code, rapid verification of systems and production infrastructure is becoming more difficult as new features such as augmented reality heads-up displays and over-the-air programming continue to emerge. Leading automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers have successfully transformed their test organizations into strategic assets to enhance their differentiation and market competitiveness.
Optimize test organization to stay competitive
As the IVI and automotive multimedia markets continue to grow, infotainment systems are also being used in a wide variety of vehicle types. Non-core players such as electronics and software companies are trying to capitalize on their large user base to participate in the market and try to reduce the average selling price (ASP) of infotainment systems. But HMI systems need to integrate other subsystems and ensure quality in order to maintain a competitive advantage; therefore, it is imperative to optimize the test organization while ensuring operational efficiency without sacrificing quality.
Why not a general purpose or multifunctional test system?
Universal or versatile test systems, while appealing, are rarely successful. Without clearly defined pain points, you may only focus on technology and see standardization as the only lifeline, often frustrating leadership and internal stakeholders. Unless multiple teams, internal clients, or end users are all applying the same standards, it’s hard to get results and get the expected return on investment (ROI).
General-purpose or versatile testers may be too rigid or over-engineered for different product life cycles, and not scalable to meet product testing needs beyond expectations. On the contrary, given the design principles and strategies of an automated test architecture, if an enterprise adopts an automated test architecture, it will allow all departments of the organization to align, reuse the same test assets and components, and achieve dynamic resource utilization. This architecture can be applied to the entire product life cycle, helping to reduce quality costs, helping companies bring better products to market faster and improve economics.
In the past, product testing was seen as a cost that had to be spent as a support function during development and manufacturing; now, leading companies have successfully transformed testing from a burden into a strategic asset, a key first. One step is to have your own test architecture. During the standardization process covering the entire life cycle, it is critical that the test architecture or test standard is treated as a product and its roadmap is known to all stakeholders within the organization.
So, how do you turn a test organization into a strategic asset? Approaches include: creating standard test platforms; developing valuable test-based intellectual property; increasing the efficiency of test teams while reducing operating costs; and achieving business goals by continually improving product margins and quality and reducing time-to-market.
People, Process and Technology
In order to standardize the test architecture, three elements need to be considered: people, process, and technology:
People – In order to build a high-performing elite team, a Center of Excellence (CoE) should be established. The adoption of the standard is the most challenging key step, and the CoE, as the core team, should have its own internal standard or test framework and promote it to different teams and throughout the product development cycle.
CoEs should seek input and support from internal end users such as test engineers, and leverage test standards expertise to manage external engineering resources to expedite test system development.
Process – Treating internal test standards or architectures as products is the key to advancing standardization efforts, as well as speeding up test code development and improving test asset utilization to increase productivity. Standardization is not just about technology; rather, as end-user needs continue to align with new technologies, the standardization process will change. The impact of testing strategy and standardization is broad, so prioritizing a roadmap is critical. Roadmaps are developed based on business metrics to drive the progress of the project, highlight early results and help ensure senior management buy-in to drive its deployment and optimization.
Technology – Gain buy-in throughout the standardization process and easily measure ROI through comprehensive financial Model comparisons and quantitative analysis results. Take Information Technology (IT) as an example, IT started out with just support functions such as standard computing functions, data storage and automation of routine tasks.
But now IT has become a strategic asset that helps companies make smarter investment decisions on a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model, and in leading companies, IT also helps streamline key business processes, helping managers get the job done right the first time Make core business decisions. Moreover, TCO can effectively advance test standardization efforts, helping companies understand the hidden costs that can be optimized throughout the internal test standardization process.
How Industry Convergence Affects Test Architecture
According to Gartner’s 2014 report, Industry Convergence: The Digital Industrial Revolution, “Industry Convergence is the most fundamental opportunity for organizational growth.” Testing organizations can learn from other industries and pool resources to accelerate innovation.
We see increasing technological convergence in the areas of IVI and automotive multimedia systems, such as the convergence of wireless standards. Leading automotive companies tend to use well-established semiconductor and mobile industry test architectures. The software-defined automated test architecture is completely vendor-independent and has separate software layers and hardware layers. The two main software layers include the test management layer and the test development layer. High flexibility.
The test management software layer is also the test execution software, which is responsible for the execution of test tasks and is independent from the test development software layer. Test executive software executes and deploys test sequences or scenarios and calls almost any test code using software such as LabVIEW, C++ or Python, so that both old and new versions of test code can be easily integrated into a test sequence.
The software can also perform parallel tests and generate results or log data to various databases. TestStand is the industry’s leading out-of-the-box test execution software, adaptable to various I/O combinations through a flexible modular hardware architecture, and PXI has become the world’s fastest growing mainstream modular automated test standard.
Once a standard test architecture has been identified, the next step is to evaluate matching solutions on the market in order to keep pace with the changing technology market. For example, building an RF test bench for IVI verification testing requires multiple RF generators for radio, navigation, multimedia, and connectivity testing. The combination of PXI-based RF instrument modularity and third-party signal generation software such as Averna’s AST-1000 helps users develop and manage flexible IVI RF test platforms in less time.
The flexible modular test architecture also enables further automation, signal emulation, and cost optimization: such as adding RF switch modules to support multiple devices under test, or using redundant array of independent drives (RAID) for record and playback capabilities, duplication The actual RF signal collected in the field.
For telematics or V2X emergency call (eCall) testing requirements, base station emulators such as NOFFZ sUTP 5017 BSE can be incorporated into the testbed.
Also, because you have your own test architecture, you can customize the test system to your needs, and because the ecosystem is based on a software-defined automated test architecture, you can quickly meet basic test specifications. The PXI platform includes a software-defined automated test architecture, so these specifications can also be met when using the platform to test IVI or automotive multimedia systems.
The NI automated test ecosystem includes not only RF test, but also audio, video, automotive bus, NFC and wireless charging, machine vision, and motion control to meet changing test requirements and automation needs. Because the test system is based on your own test architecture, you can confidently manage the test system even if you need to completely outsource the development of the test system.
The test architecture defines which parts or layers are responsible for each stage of the system life cycle from initial development to the test system, and thus becomes a common guideline or common language among test organizations and system integration partners.
With new capabilities emerging, it becomes more challenging to validate systems and meet production deadlines, and you might be asking, “Is the rate of innovation from an instrument vendor meeting my business needs?” But perhaps we should be asking more Yes, is this question worth my risk to find out? But whether you choose to buy an off-the-shelf test system or develop your own, having your own test architecture is critical.
Successful automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers have their own standard test frameworks and have successfully transformed test organizations into strategic assets that provide a solid basis for decision-making and maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. These companies demonstrated that a software-defined test automation architecture provides guidelines and strategies for test organizations to align, enable them to reuse test assets and components, utilize resources dynamically, and deploy throughout the product lifecycle, which helps Bring better products to market faster, reducing quality costs and improving company profitability.