Subaru Uses Simulation Technology to Reduce EV Testing Time and Expenses

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【Summary】Automaker Subaru has begun using simulation technology from National Instruments. It's estimated that this virtual "Hardware-in-the-Loop" system will reduce EV test development times by 90%.

Mia Bevacqua    Apr 26, 2018 9:15 AM PT
Subaru Uses Simulation Technology to Reduce EV Testing Time and Expenses

We no longer live in the era of carburetors and ignition points. As vehicle technology advances, it only makes sense that testing strategies do, too. That's why many manufacturers are moving toward virtual testing. Subaru, for one, has adopted Nation Instruments (NI) Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulation technology. 

Virtual testing for electric vehicles 

The HIL system is built on NI's PXI products and LabView software. Simulation testing allows Subaru to avoid environmental factors associated with the real world. For example, extreme temperatures and icy roads. The automaker is especially interested in using this approach to test electric vehicles. NI's HIL simulation can replicate parts of the embedded system and assess them in a virtual environment. 

"By using NI PXI products and LabVIEW, we were able to completely implement a customized HIL system in just one to two weeks and develop our software in-house," said Daisuke Umiguchi, Electrified Power Unit Research and Experiment Dept., Subaru Corporation. "This helped us keep product purchasing costs to around one-third of the cost of adopting solutions from other companies, and, because of our familiarity with LabVIEW, keep our software development costs to around one-sixth of the cost of commissioning an outside developer."

Using the technology from NI, along with a HORIBA dynamometer and CarSIM vehicle dynamics software, Subaru has been able to create virtual road conditions. Source photos show a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek being tested in such a simulation. 

Time and cost reduction 

Initially, Subaru will use this test method as a final quality check of its electric vehicles. Further down the road, it may be implemented on other vehicle types as well. The automaker expects this simulation system to cut labor time in half. Supposedly, Total test development times will be cut by 90%, and purchasing costs will decline 33%. 

Less time, less money – and no pesky environmental factors. Subaru and NI seem to be on the right track with virtual testing.

Source: Nation Instruments 

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