ETAS India, the local arm of ETAS GmbH, a global company that provides solutions for the development and maintenance of embedded software, is eyeing the growing requirement of testing, validation and calibration tools within the automotive R&D domain in the wake of the incoming BS VI emission norms.
The company, which has been engaged in the automotive R&D domain for over two decades and is also a 100 percent subsidiary of the Bosch Group, has displayed varying solutions across software applications, testing, validation, measurement, calibration and diagnostics at the ongoing Automotive R&D Expo in Chennai.
In particular, the company has highlighted its hardware in loop (HIL) system, which, as the company officials say, is conceptualised and designed for India. The simulating device provides real-time algorithms to the electronic control unit (ECU) to optimise the concerned parameters such as fuel efficiency, mandatory emission regulations and also the power delivery from the engine.
Explaining the need for these tools, a company official said, “Old Maruti 800 cars had no ECU. The Maruti Alto and Tata Nano class of cars have close to 5-10 ECUs operating among the electronics. The Maruti Swift and Mahindra Scorpio class of cars could be classified as models with 10-20 running ECUs. A Mercedes-Benz S-Class is equipped with more than 100 ECUs, which control the many features of that model.”
“On the other hand, a regular Honda motorcycle has one ECU for the engine management system (EMS). Bikes with ABS could have 2-3 ECUs running in them. However, a majority of two-wheelers in India do not have ECUs at all. With mandatory ABS norms and stricter emission legislations, the vehicles are bound to be equipped with multiple ECUs in their respective electronic systems. This is why the OEMs will eventually require test, validation and calibration tools in their R&D while developing and validating the vehicles,” he elaborated.
The HIL systems, or simulating devices, for 2-3 ECUs are simpler to understand and easier to operate, say the company engineers. These are likely to be used more by the two-wheeler OEMs.
These simulating devices can also be scaled up, depending upon complex vehicle requirements. In view of the upcoming BS VI norms, passenger cars are expected to be equipped with more ECUs to electronically monitor newly added functionalities. ETAS has solutions that are scaled up to match the validation requirements of a passenger car, luxury vehicle or commercial vehicles.
The company has also showcased its calibration tools that are used in the R&D engineering by the OEMs. According to a company official, ETAS commands over 80 percent share in the market for calibration tools globally.
“Calibration determines the output from an ECU to the engine (or other areas that could be brakes, lighting depending upon ECU functionality). This output from the ECU (and also the input into the same) are in the form of algorithms. For BS IV norms, which is also the first stage of emissions where ECUs come in picture, ETAS calibration devices are programmed with upto 100s of variables. In BS V norms, these calibration devices are programmed for say 25,000 variables. In BS VI, this goes up to, say, 90,000 variables. These different variables are defined inside the ECUs that control the features of the vehicle,” explained a company engineer.
The Stuttgart-based technology company, known worldwide for its specialisation in engine management systems (EMS) has subsidiaries and sales offices in 14 countries in Europe, North and South America and Asia.