Test & Measurement

Modular solution tests the brains of autonomous vehicles

24th September 2019
Mick Elliott

A solution to test the computing platform for autonomous vehicles (AVs) has been released by NI. AVs are complex systems to test. At the heart of the AV is a powerful computing platform that analyses the environment around the vehicle and determines the appropriate action to help ensure the safety of the car and its surroundings.

As automotive companies design and build their own AV supercomputers that combine automotive-specific networks and sensors with consumer electronic components for this computing platform, a critical balance must be struck between high computing power and adequate efficiency.

Validating this balance in the computing hardware requires a flexible test platform that can continually be adapted through software.

NI’s solution for testing the complex computing platform consists of modular hardware with a configurable set of I/O that includes power measurements, thermal performance, automotive networks, sensor interfaces and PCB electrical measurements.

The inherent flexibility in the modular design of NI’s solution means that automotive test teams can add measurement capabilities to the test system without buying a new system or starting from scratch.

The footprint of the PXI-based system is also much smaller than that of a system composed of benchtop instruments.

The holistic platform approach simplifies system complexity and reduces the burden on test teams to integrate disparate pieces of test equipment.

This test platform, scalable to production, is ideal to test the custom supercomputers that will enable the deployment of AVs.

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