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HIL demo: connecting physical ECUs to simulation software
Embedded electronics specialist Xylon is offering live demonstrations of its complete demo HIL system that converts sensory data generated by a software simulator into real automotive stimuli for the attached parking assistance ADAS ECU. To develop the demo and explore different methods of connecting hardware ECUs to simulation software, the company teamed up with rFpro, an expert in driving simulation software.
The setup consists of the PC that runs rFpro’s advanced simulator, Xylon’s logiRECORDER automotive HIL video logger in smart I/O mode, and Xylon’s surround-view ECU. rFpro simulates the car model, its surroundings and four 1920x1080@30fps video cameras. Camera image generators convert native RGB888 pixels into common sensors’ YUV420 pixels and add a fish-eye lens distortion that is typical for optics in this ADAS application. Xylon’s data transfer plug-in connects to rFpro’s interface for externals, originally developed as an interface for soft-ECU models, and hands the simulated camera videos over to the streaming application. Video data is formatted into standard MIPI packets typically generated by real-world sensors, and time-stamped before being transmitted to the logiRECORDER via a 10Gb Ethernet link.
The logiRECORDER de-encapsulates Ethernet packets and, based on encoded timestamps, converts synthetic videos to four native automotive GMSL2 interfaces. The ECU receives raw sensory data through four video inputs regularly used for GMSL2 video camera connections. Fully unaware of the synthetic nature of its inputs, it generates a surround-view video of the simulated scene.
The ECU displays complete 360° surroundings of the car by stitching together video inputs from the simulated cameras placed on the car model’s front grid, the rear and within the side-view mirrors. The car model and its environment can be viewed from different perspectives, set up by a mouse-controlled virtual flying camera.
The demo also integrates the loop-back feature. The ECU’s responses connect back to the logiRECORDER through the automotive CAN interface and are sent via Ethernet to the simulator. As the simulator can adapt scenarios based on the received ECU responses, the complete demo setup becomes a fully featured virtual test drive simulator.
Instead of working in a special diagnostics mode, the ECU runs production firmware. Inputted raw data is generated to a level that enables full sensor fusion and perception testing, as well as full ECU controls. The surround-view ECU can be exchanged with other types of ECUs.