03/03/2017
AutoRevista
Interview to Doug Farrell, Senior Product Manager, NI because of Mobile World Congress 2017
“There are definitely advantages for automotive manufacturers to move towards cloud solutions”
Doug Farrell, Senior Product Manager NI. Doug Farrell, Senior Product Manager NI.

AutoRevista.- How is NI working on 5G technology and what type of changes can it mean for automotive industry engineers? When can we see this technology in applications in processes or products related to the automotive industry?

Doug Farrell.- NI is working to provide a platform for researchers to prototype new technology candidates for 5G to help accelerate the time between initial idea and a proven technology that can be turned into a product. We see 5G technologies enabling new applications like car-to-car communication for self-driving vehicles because of the improvements to ultra-reliable machine type communications. We also see 5G bringing improvements to the number of devices that can be connected to a network simultaneously which will allow the industrial internet of things to flourish.

We also see 5G bringing improvements to the number of devices that can be connected to a network simultaneously which will allow the industrial internet of things to flourish.

AR.- What are your forecast about automotive industry companies (OEM, Tier 1, 2, 3...) move their processes to environments as Industrial Internet of Things, Cloud solutions, Big Data..? How will it extend to the whole value chain?

D.F.- There are definitely advantages for automotive manufacturers to move towards cloud solutions. In fact you already see companies like Tesla doing this. They record most aspects of a vehicle’s and driver’s performance and upload it to the cloud. They then make use of this “Big Data” through machine learning techniques to fine tune their self-driving algorithms.

AR.- In what specific cases are OEM or Tier 1 using NI's prototyping and testing wireless communication systems? What are the main advantages they can get with this systems and tools?

D.F.- Peiker and Harman have both made use of the NI’s wireless prototyping and test products as part of the development of their infotainment and e-call modules. The NI products provide a level of flexibility and customizability beyond what other products in the markets do. This means that customers like Peiker and Harman can easily adapt their test systems as new wireless technologies become mainstream.

A smarter test system based on a modular platform based approach that can adapt as technologies change is the only way to meet these demands.

AR.- How do you boost the automotive industry use smarter automated tests?

D.F.- Automotive customers are facing a lot of pressure from both consumers and their own industry to deliver cutting edge technology, at low costs, in a very fast time frame. These cost and time pressures are exacerbated by rapid pace of technological innovation. A smarter test system based on a modular platform based approach that can adapt as technologies change is the only way to meet these demands. Additionally, with autonomous vehicle development, the number of test scenarios that need to be validated can quickly spiral out of control, and a smarter test system helps provide the test system coverage needed to prove these vehicles are safe and ready for mainstream adoption.

To prove out their safety, autonomous vehicles need to virtually travel hundreds of millions of kilometers

AR.- What about the HIL applications in the automotive industry? Do you think virtual reality an real world are closer?

D.F.- There are several trends simultaneously happening in the HIL space for the automotive industry. The first is a push towards smaller desktop based HIL testers, this allows validation testing to be done at the development engineers desk much earlier in the design process when software bugs are much cheaper to fix. The second is integration of autonomous vehicle technologies like radar and cameras into the simulation. To prove out their safety, autonomous vehicles need to virtually travel hundreds of millions of kilometers to test out the vast array of scenarios the vehicles will actually encounter in the real world. Driving simulation software like IPG Carmaker helps automotive companies accomplish by allowing validation engineers to create all of these scenarios and virtually “drive” the vehicle through them. The last HIL trend is the need for more integrated sub-system testing. As sensor fusion technologies continue to emerge, you can no longer just test the radar ECU or the camera ECU or the brake ECU, but must test the entire system together to make sure all of the various discrete components are working properly together in concert. That means testing everything from radar target simulation all the way through making sure the brakes activate properly.

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