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MathWorks, a leading developer of mathematical computing software, has its programmes ready for the future of mobility including automated driving and electric vehicles. The US-based software company recently conducted a seminar in Chennai, focusing on system design, development, and analysis using MATLAB and Simulink. The session focused on upcoming technologies in the industry like data analytics, IoT, automated driving, EVs etc.
“EVs and automation are the trends we are seeing. Every company, OEM, and Tier - I suppliers are working on that. Every automotive organisation is now focussing on these 2 trends. We are seeing this as a huge interest coming and we are trying to engage with them,” Vijayalayan R, Manager of Control Design Application Engineering, MathWorks, told AutoComponentsIndia.
He further said, “We will have the same products for the EVs as well. Let it be an electric vehicle or a conventional powertrain, the workflow remains the same. In Powertrain Blockset, we have added some reference application for EVs and hybrids. This brings the possibility of having an architectural model there. The customer can use this as a reference to put their data and make a particular model, use it for the engineering decisions. It also helps them to simulate at a specific drive and arrive at a conclusion.”
A Powertrain Blockset, released in 2016 provides fully assembled reference application models of automotive powertrains, including gasoline, diesel, hybrid, and electric
systems. It includes a component library for simulating engine subsystems, transmission assemblies, traction motors, battery packs, and controller models. The product also provides a standard model architecture that can be reused throughout the development process. Similar to this, many such products were brought in by the software firm to help and ease engineers in the automotive industry.
Speaking on the new products they have brought into the market for the current trends, Vijayalayan said, “It is not just about new products. What we have observed from the Indian and the global automotive industry is that a major transformation like the automated driving, electrification, fleet data analytics etc is happening. Because of these, we see multiple industries coming together. What used to be only an automotive sector is now a convergence of industry. For example, because of automated driving, we see semiconductor companies getting into that space. For us, the connecting point is that we
provide a platform in which multiple industries work together. What we try is to provide a platform for system simulation, performing data analytics and an environment in which they can test, and develop the algorithm which is mainly for the automated driving. We call this verification and validation. An automaker will not get the time to go to the field and do the testing each and every time. That is where they rely on methods like simulation to create a virtual test ground to verify the algorithm.”
MathWorks has released updated products and also added capabilities to the existing products. “With automated driving coming into play, there is a need to focus on vehicle dynamics. For this, we launched Vehicle Dynamics Blockset in 2018, that focusses on modeling the vehicle dynamics both longitudinal and lateral. This will help the engineers to test the chassis controller or even the automated driving algorithm. With this, we also provide an integration with a gaming engineer called Unreal, where we can create scenarios with the road, etc. So one can mount the sensor on the vehicle and test it in Matlab simulation and at the same time witness it in a 3D world also.” On the other trends of the automated driving, Vijayalayan said that there are 3 challenges that the customers face. First, the automated driving depends on sensors. Second, dealing with a lot of videos and third, the scenario creation. With the understanding of this, they came up with another product called Automated Driving System Toolbox that provides algorithms and tools for designing and testing ADAS and autonomous driving systems. One can automate ground-truth labeling, generate synthetic sensor data for driving scenarios, perform multisensor fusion, and design and simulate vision systems with this. “The challenge for the engineers is basically how do they visualise the information coming from the sensors and extracting the sights out of this. Next, they will be dealing with a lot of videos that are to be part of the intelligence system. For that, they have to make a perception algorithm. So, to make that you need to get the real time scenarios from the videos while doing videos one need to label the objects that are present in the video and that is what is made into the algorithm. This is a very time-consuming work. The scenario creation in automated driving is all about how the algorithm can work for the edge cases also. Our products provide a reference platform for performing sensor fusion, synthetic scenario generations and also visualising the sensor data. It will also be the reference platform and make sure that the engineers do not need to go to the basics to build the algorithm, as they have a quick reference model available. In this way, we are trying to reduce the development and testing time,” he said.
Adding more, he said that the data analytics is where they trend now. There are a lot of data available in the market with the OEMs and the
Tier-I suppliers. The questions are how to extract data from the insight materials. As they are huge it will be tough handling them. That is where they are in need of AI.
“There is a shortage of data scientists and with Mathworks, we are going to provide the capabilities that enable engineers to turn as a data scientist. So, if they wanted to learn machine learning or deep learning we provide them apps that are user-friendly. In 2018, we came up with a new predictive maintain toolbox, where we use the simulation models to simulate the failures and get a data out of it. So one can use the models to generate results by injecting failures,” he stated.
Nowadays, simulation plays a major role in the R&D sector. They use simulation to make sure that their ideas and conceptualisations work better. The spokesperson states that, “System level simulation occupies a major role in concept proving and just by looking at a text one cannot decide whether it is feasible or not. It helps the people of R&D to
conceptualise their ideas in forms of executable models and they can know whether this works or not. With this, they can develop and improve a lot more.”
Speaking about the vehicle lifecycle these days, he said, “What we see is, a time taken for building a vehicle has drastically come down over the period of time. The main challenge is the developmental time and the amount of software that has gone into a vehicle have increased. What used to be a 5% of software in the vehicle has now become around 20-25% and it keeps growing. The question is also for the manufacturers and Tier-I suppliers, on how do they handle the particular challenge of meeting the shorter development time, and also keep adding a new feature to your vehicle. This is where the model-based design is helping. So, when they make a model for one vehicle tool, most of the functions can be reusable for the other vehicle development. Reusability is important. And now, it is no more a traditional hand coding.
Model-based designing is where I can make a model of the vehicle and it is also where multiple things work together and integrate. That is where Simulink platform is required. The same model can also be reused for the code generation. Instead of you writing the codes it can automatically generate the code from the model and deploy it. This saves an immense amount of time.”
On the 100% of vehicle simulation by engineers, VIjayalayan said, that it cannot be fully virtual. He feels that the time of the process can be reduced and that will not eliminate the physical prototype. To validate a particular model one need real data, he said. Speaking about the future, he stated that the software firm wanted to give a platform to the automotive organisation in all trends and work closely with customers. “By working closely we get feedback, and that will help us in enabling the engineers across the industry to leverage the use of our tools and make them work faster, smarter,” he signed off.
Vijayalayan R, Manager of Control Design Application Engineering, MathWorks