Optimized Test Preparation – Increased Efficiency with Diagnostic Simulation

Due to the rapid increase in electronics and software in the vehicle, testing the 50-150 ECUs, depending on the vehicle, is becoming increasingly complex. It is no longer only individual systems that have to be tested, but also the interactions between the systems. The test effort increases disproportionately. 

Test Automation Reduces the Test Effort

One possible key to the solution is test automation. However, further work must be done here on effectiveness and efficiency: reliable results must be available more quickly. While good results are already being achieved in many areas of vehicle electronics through simulations, this step still needs to be taken in vehicle diagnostics. It is obvious: An external device, the diagnostic tester, is developed or adapted to perform the test - but the necessary counterpart in the form of an ECU or vehicle is missing to test the tester.



Diagnostic Simulation Significantly Accelerates Automated Testing

Softing TCS provides a configurable diagnostic simulation with real communication in good time, which considerably accelerates the creation of automated tests. Each test routine can thus already be verified during implementation. The diagnostic simulation solution consists of a device that can act autonomously as an ECU and vehicle simulation, an automation interface that enables integration into test automation, and an administration interface.  Since the diagnostic simulation is not only performed as a pure software simulation, but also via a real device, the entire chain including VCI and cabling can be verified. In addition, the simulation can represent good and bad cases. Thus, as with real ECU testing, behavior that may occur can be verified. 

The greatest challenge, however, is the creation of a reliable simulation. This must support all required diagnostic protocols, provide the entire variance of diagnostic functions of different ECUs, and be easily convertible to different variants of vehicles - be it shoring variants or software versions. Softing TCS supports the CAN, CAN FD and Ethernet bus systems. The physical connection is made either via an OBD socket or via the D-SUB connector typical in the CAN environment. UDS, OBD, KWP2000 on CAN and, in the future, SAE J1939 are supported as diagnostic protocols. The simulation is configured via simulation files that are loaded into the device in each case.

The only source for implementing the simulation can be the diagnostic specification, which today is usually also available as ODX data. The simulation files are generated at the push of a button: After selecting the ODX data valid for a vehicle, the relevant ECUs and diagnostic services are selected. The required simulation is then generated automatically according to a number of presettings. It is immediately functional. Changes can then be easily made in a convenient user interface. Different ECU variants can be easily stored in the simulation file. Likewise, different ECUs can be merged into an overall simulation in order to map shoring variants. Existing ECUs are also easy to add: the communication is simply recorded with a tester. The trace is then converted into a simulation at the push of a button.

The timely use of a simulation such as Softing TCS in test preparation enables a considerable gain in efficiency. Already during the development of test routines, these can be verified together with the entire test setup. This means that the actual test can be started immediately when the DuT arrives. Time-consuming loops for troubleshooting are thus obsolete. The integrated diagnostic protocols are tried and tested, which means that no new problems can arise here. The use of simulation files makes it easy to create variants with minimal setup times.

Further Information


Softing TCS

Fully-featured configurable simulation of ECU diagnostics.

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