1 7 F o c u s mechanical links inside vehicles are being replaced by electronic systems, giving the vehicle the characteristics of a complex overall system with a multitude of flexibly coupled, single components. To develop systems with this kind of complexity, new tools and new methods are required. ‹F›: What kind of new development procedure is needed to respond to the changing requirements? ‹Conrad›: It is crucial that the increased interaction between each of the powertrain components, the interaction between the powertrain and the vehicle and the communication between the vehicle and the environment – keyword: “connected powertrain” – must all be taken into account during development. Another factor to be considered is that innovation cycles are getting shorter and shorter. I.e., a more complex system must be developed at a faster pace and without ever compromising on the quality. This means that vehicle development today must become more agile: Iteration loops have to be accomplished and concepts validated at an ever increasing pace. One could compare this trend with that in the software industry, which similarly applies much more agile methods of developing software than it did in the past. ‹F›: Does this new kind of procedure lead to changes in organization and processes? ‹Voigt›: The classic V-Model remains valid. The biggest difference from our previous approach is that now components and sub-systems are already validated as to their compliance with sub-specifications at a very early stage, i.e. in the V-Model, connections have to be established at all levels between the draft/simulation branch and the integration/ validation branch. It helps to imagine these connections as bridges, connecting the two parts of the “V” – and it is these bridges which AVL makes available with the Integrated Open Development Platform. Requirements Product ‹F›: How did AVL respond to these new demands in powertrain development? ‹Voigt›: AVL responded at many levels. To begin with, the company underwent a major change: we evolved from being a pure engine developer to an overall-powertrain developer. As part of this strategic expansion of our portfolio, we were practically forced to deal intensively with the subject of system design and validation. At the same time, we decided to expand our portfolio of instrumentation and test systems. Today, we offer test bed solutions ranging from component validation to powertrain validation in real-world vehicle operation. This chain of tools provides the basis for AVL’s ability to offer integrated solutions which are being used by a large number of major OEMs all over the world. ‹Conrad›: We shifted our development philosophy from a productcentered approach toward a system concept. One important move in this respect was the introduction of the software-suite concept in 2009. The demands are now specified at system level and subsequently broken down to the level of individual products. This ensures optimum performance across the overall system. A further challenge is achieving consistency of development systems throughout the entire development process. Photos: Helmut Lunghammer Earlier Integration and Validation Development Time Component System System Integration and Validation Virtual Development > AVL Integrated Open Development Platform: virtual development on the left side and system integration/-validation on the right side of the V-model are connected through consistent tool chains.
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