FEV is leading the way in the use of co-simulation for automated driving by using the Distributed Co-Simulation Protocol, which serves as a valuable enabler in the effective development of automated vehicle systems.
Automated driving features, in particular, connected vehicles contain unique development challenges. Collaborative systems offer significant safety advantages through direct communication with nearby vehicles. For instance, to see through physical obstacles and predict nearby movements before they happen. However, the highly complex and unpredictable environment in which these systems operate includes new challenges for development and validation.
Elmar Börner, Senior Group Director for ADAS (advanced driver assistant systems) and AD (automated driving systems) development, FEV said: “Collaborative embedded systems (CES) in vehicles create new challenges such as increased security risks and heightened performance requirements to enable safe and effective operation in dynamic and unpredictable environments. The unpredictable operating conditions for such systems present a nearly limitless combination of potential use cases, which makes comprehensive physical testing impractical.”
To master these challenges, a virtual test environment empowered by co-simulation is required. The term ‘co-simulation’ refers to a virtual development approach that integrates multiple simulation tools, enabled by a co-simulation master such as xMOD. Traditionally, model inputs can be compiled and directly imported from slave applications. However, certain models, such as the 3D environmental models developed in tools like CARLA, are bound to their executing platform and thus cannot be imported into a co-simulation master.
To address this challenge, FEV has utilized the new Distributed Co-Simulation Protocol (DCP) for time-synchronized execution of models on distributed platforms. DCP support in xMOD enabls easy integration of new simulation models and even hardware into co-simulation that are incompatible with previous integration methods.
Börner added: “Virtual testing is mandatory for automated driving applications since on-road validation is not feasible. Complex cyber-physical system simulations and co-simulators play a key role in virtual testing, and FEV is proud to be the first user of the DCP co-simulation standard within an automated driving context globally. Our approach enables the user to integrate and handle different simulation platforms available on the market and to deal with the highly dynamic situations occurring in real traffic environments.”