When designing EVs, automakers must strike the right balance between performance, driving range, cost, and efficiency. They also need to address challenges posed by the harsh operating environment of vehicles and the interaction between electrical and mechanical components in this environment. Many OEMs have opted to use more hardware and software to bring intelligence to their vehicles, along with fewer electromechanical parts for enhanced efficiency.
Creating the electronic systems supporting EVs has unleashed challenges around hardware design, software development, and system testing. For example, early design space exploration, selection of electrical components, complexity of software development and integration, functional safety testing, and the cost of prototyping are all key considerations.
Traditionally, automotive designers would use bench testing to validate electronic systems. But test benches can be costly, and it’s virtually impossible to perform fault injection without destroying the hardware. More importantly, with the highly competitive and accelerated pace of EV design cycles, running tests on a test bench means that design problems would be discovered too late.
Virtual prototyping provides a comprehensive option for validating the entire EV electronic system, without having to depend on physical hardware. This means that development teams can start their processes earlier and productively scale the verification and validation of their electronic systems. Such an integrated and collaborative approach, spanning hardware to software to systems, can facilitate faster EV systems development. Further, in this era of more prevalent work-from-home arrangements, virtual prototyping severs ties to the test-track or the lab and enables testing from anywhere, anytime.