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University Students Coached By Dspace Model Automotive Concepts Using Hardware In The Loop

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Best Practices in Existing College-Industry Partnerships

Tagged Division

College-Industry Partnerships

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1301.1 - 15.1301.5

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Paper Authors

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G. Marshall Molen Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems at Mississippi State University

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Matthew Doude Mississippi State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Mississippi State Students Coached by dSPACE Model Automotive Concepts Using Hardware-in-the-Loop


The development of prototype vehicles using conventional automotive test procedures on an actual vehicle is both expensive and time-consuming. Engineers are increasingly using modeling and simulation tools to aid in the overall Road-to-Lab-to-Math (RLM) development process which strives to bring engineering design and assessment out of the physical world and into the virtual environment. One such tool widely used by automotive powertrain engineers is hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing. HIL uses some of the vehicle’s actual computer control units and inserts them in a control loop with a computer-based simulation platform which simulates response of actual vehicle components, such as the engine, transmission, and battery. dSPACE is the premier developer of automotive development tools, including HIL technologies, and is a sponsor of EcoCAR. Their engineers are coaching the Mississippi State University team so that the students can take full advantage of these advanced capabilities, including HIL hardware and software donated by dSPACE. The showcase laboratory is an invaluable tool to student engineers involved in the vehicle development process for EcoCAR, and is an asset to the automotive instructional program at Mississippi State University. The breadth and depth of students’ understanding of this development tool has already been greatly enhanced.

Introduction EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge is a three-year, student-led engineering design competition which challenges 17 universities from across North America to develop solutions to common technological issues facing today’s automotive industry. This will be done by redesigning a stock 2009 Saturn VUE as a hybrid, thereby improving the vehicle’s fuel efficiency and emissions, while maintaining or enhancing its level of utility and consumer acceptability. Teams are provided a wide range of components and tools from an array of competition sponsors. The competition is headline sponsored by General Motors (GM), which is providing the platform vehicle, and the United States Department of Energy (DOE). There are also numerous other competition sponsors, including dSPACE Inc., which is a leading developer of automotive controls development tools. Their tools allow engineers to test and validate automotive control components and strategies in the lab, before prototype vehicles have to be developed. This speeds up the development process, and allows for a better finished product through more thorough design. It also saves a substantial amount of cost by allowing components and architectures to be simulated through a virtual environment, as opposed to developing prototype platforms or test stands. A specific part of the controls development technology offered by dSPACE is hardware-in-the- loop (HIL) simulation. This is a model-based simulation method, which allows testing and validation of actual vehicle hardware, such as electronic control units (ECUs). The ECUs are connected to an HIL simulator via a production-style wiring harness, and vehicle plant models are loaded onto the simulator. dSPACE’s software tools can then be used to provide inputs to

Molen, G. M., & Doude, M. (2010, June), University Students Coached By Dspace Model Automotive Concepts Using Hardware In The Loop Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky.

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