Auto Electronics

Under the hood of the Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen worked with several partners to implement AUTOSAR-compliant software into an ECU in a production Passat. Using the expertise of Hella, Elektrobit, NEC and The MathWorks, the team implemented an AUTOSAR-compliant comfort and convenience electronic control unit (ECU) into an existing Volkswagen ECU network. One of the project goals was to integrate functions developed in MATLAB and Simulink into this body/comfort ECU.

The participants had defined roles. Volkswagen integrated OEM-specific software into the AUTOSAR basic software (BSW) and performed the ECU system integration and test within the vehicle. Hella built ECU hardware and performed hardware test, configuration, initial startup of AUTOSAR BSW and the application integration. NEC's support included a V850 microcontroller, compiler, evaluation boards and debugger. Elektrobit provided the AUTOSAR BSW, including the configuration tool TRESOS. The MathWorks' MATLAB and Simulink, Stateflow, Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder and AUTOSAR development kit (ADK) were used in the model-based development effort.

According to Andreas Köhler of Volkswagen, options for implementing the software transition to AUTOSAR, the AUTOSAR basic software in runtime environment (RTE) and lower modules, include: a single-sided RTE within an OEM standard software core (SSC), an OEM SSC with AUTOSAR modules or AUTOSAR BSW with OEM SSC modules. For the VW project, the third option was chosen. Experience gained in the AUTOSAR application layer consisted of refactoring of existing software, development of software, integration of legacy code and integration of existing application MATLAB models.

The MathWorks Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder with the ADK was used to generate AUTOSAR software components (SWC). The ADK allows the importing and exporting of SWC descriptions, as well as the creation of automatically generated code. MATLAB and Simulink were used as an authoring tool in the AUTOSAR process chain. Software code that was modeled in MATLAB and Simulink and transferred to the AUTOSAR architecture, include aspects of the central locking control system, comfort functions via remote control, anti-theft devices, and coding.

Bernd Kunkel, project manager at Volkswagen responsible for the initiative said, “We worked with The MathWorks to integrate model-based design, which accelerated the generation of code, eliminated many of the errors associated with hand-coding, and helped us contribute to developing open standards.” In addition to The MathWorks, other suppliers' tools were used. Vector CANtech's CANoe was used for ECU tests, Green Hills provided the development environment and NEC's emulator was used for the microcontroller.

With the AUTOSAR software and hardware running on a production vehicle, the system will be evaluated daily over a 12-month period for the system aspects of software integration, migration opportunities, use of resources, SW runtimes, quality of specifications and cost. This will provide feedback regarding software updates and upgrades over the vehicle lifetime that can lead to improvements in AUTOSAR specification revisions.

Although the AUTOSAR-compliant ECU was integrated into a production model, no automaker has put AUTOSAR into a series production vehicle. According to Paul Hansen of the Hansen Report on Automotive Electronics (October 2006), BMW and PSA were the first to commit to using the AUTOSAR software platform in production vehicles, beginning in 2008. However, Audi may be among others with some aspect of AUTOSAR in a 2008 production vehicle. The results obtained from the Passat project will benefit ongoing AUTOSAR specification development.


“AUTOSAR-Compliant Functional Modeling with MATLAB, Simulink, Stateflow and Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder of a Serial Comfort Body Controller,” Andreas Köhler, Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg, Germany, Tillman Reck, Carmeq GmbH, Berlin, Germany, MathWorks Automotive Conference '07,

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