Automotive Propulsion systems have seen a great disruption in past few years. The rapid adoption of EV and constant efforts in Fuel cell as the main driver of today’s automobiles has brought a lot of change in the vehicle architecture. Today’s vehicles consist of more complex systems that comparatively would require more rigorous testing. Moreover the constant evolution in the domain asks for accelerated Validation cycles with minimum cost and efforts. Traditional Validation techniques like Physical validation are time consuming and have a large cost associated with them. Though virtual simulation based techniques are prevalent most of them are limited to component level and do not consider interaction within different vehicle subsystems, the controller software and the hardware. An approach to develop an integrated closed loop virtual test environment incorporating system interactions controller behavior and inputs/outputs is explored. The architecture of i-CVT take its inspiration from the actual EV architecture, real component placing and the real system interdependencies on one another. In this approach plant models of physical systems with an appreciable level of fidelity are developed and integrated with respective controller software to mimic the real vehicle interactions and manifest a virtual vehicle environment which can be harnessed for various development and validation activities like i. Capturing the issues in Control Software at much earlier stage of the Software Development V-Cycle ii. Identify the potential design flaws and vehicle limitations before physical prototypes are built. Rigorous research on available testing methods and software for virtualization of automotive components and subsystems was done. Based on which a vehicle virtualization approach was chosen where plant modelling was done using ANSYS and simulations of integrated virtual system was done in MATLAB software. The Virtual Test Environment shall capture the control strategies flaws, hardware limitation. Thus reducing the costly design changes and rework late in development process. A holistic virtual vehicle closed loop environment was developed which is used to validated and identify potential safety issues, controller response w.r.t. issues observed. This reduced the validation lead time associated with physical testing and minimized the number of physical prototypes. Which also reduced the environmental impact of validation activities in the product life cycle. The current project deals with the functionality of EV subsystems and validation of EPT components. Chassis level CAE and CFD simulations can be integrated in the virtual environment to improve existing vehicle dynamics models and validate the same. This paper is focusing on building a flexible virtual testing environment that can be easily modified to validate different vehicle configurations to reduce validation efforts in product development life cycle.
Mrs. Bhakti Kalghatgi, Deputy General Manager, TATA MOTORS LTD