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Expo exhibitor interview: Felix Ottofülling, Ipetronik

Ipetronik’s head of product management addresses current testing and development challenges of connected vehicles and explains how data logging technology can help OEMs overcome the most problematic issues


What are the biggest trends affecting measurement and data acquisition at the moment?
The car is evolving from being purely a mode of transportation to a work space and a highly connected environment with broadband internet access. The smart car, with its ability to connect to smartphones and the internet, gives drivers a lot more functionality to use their time in the vehicle not only to commute from A to B but to also be productive and do work or private activities.

The instrument dashboard supports app technology such as Apple CarPlay or MirrorLink, and gives the driver the ability to personalize the car with their preferred apps.

Vehicle safety systems are also fundamentally changing from being passive systems such as airbags to ADAS. This includes sophisticated environmental sensing systems like optical, thermal, and ultrasonic visioning and camera systems that support adaptive cruise control functions. Intelligent vehicle-to-vehicle communication is providing new possibilities to increase safety by considering telematics information from the surrounding traffic flow, too.

The latest generation of cars could be regarded as highly connected IoT (Internet of Things) devices. From a development point of view, the validation and testing of vehicle functions is becoming very complex.

Due to new vehicle-to-vehicle communication, telematics systems and intelligent safety sensing systems, a new generation of TCU (telematics electronic control units) are emerging, together with new in-vehicle bus architecture that goes beyond the limited data transfer capacities of the well established CAN bus network.

The latest generation of vehicles consist of a hybrid-based communication bus and protocols environment with a mixture of CAN, CAN FD, LIN, FlexRay, automotive Ethernet (Broad Reach), Most, etc.

All these different communication networks and ECUs need to interact, which causes an increased complexity for diagnostics and vehicle system integration testing. The increasing diversity of the communication infrastructure with new high profile TCUs to process a large volume of Ethernet-based data streams, is challenging the automotive data logger manufacturer. 

How is Ipetronik meeting these challenges?
A vehicle is composed of so many different systems that need to be tested including the powertrain, HVAC, safety systems, brakes, and ADAS. Most suppliers are focused on data acquisition and data logging technology to meet the needs of a specific set of testing applications; it is almost impossible for one vendor to cover all testing aspects. Ipetronik’s portfolio covers data logging for road fleet testing to validate powertrain ECUs together with thermal management and acoustic analysis.

We see that the intelligent vehicle is composed of a hybrid bus and communication protocol infrastructure and that our data loggers need the ability to cope with this complex environment in which an increasing amount of data needs to be recorded and analyzed.

What will Ipetronik be displaying at the show?
This year we plan to present new data logging hardware, measurement modules for acoustic applications and an integrated data acquisition software solution, as well as our cloud-based services, too. The new IPElog2 data logger is based on the successful predecessor, which was introduced in 2012.

This new system has increased capabilities in terms of CAN, LIN and Ethernet-based measurement inputs reaching up to 18 interfaces. The device also supports LTE broadband wireless and wi-fi data transfer to our IPEcloud services for logger health status monitoring and data post processing.

This new data logger hardware is the bedrock on which to grow future solutions, with an evolution of the TESTdrive data logger operating software, into new markets that cover new applications for diagnostic measurements and high-volume full CAN and Ethernet traffic measurements.

We will also present the Mx-SENS2 4, a 100kHz high-speed sampling analog input module including IEPE supply for microphones and accelerometers. This module complements the IPEmotion 2016 release, which supports acoustic data analysis.

The ability to measure a large range of protocols together with the system’s signal analysis functions, which can be used for example to create Campbell diagrams, is of high value to our customers.

Ipetronik will be at stand 1714 at Automotive Testing Expo Europe 2016, which takes place on May 31-June 2 at Messe Stuttgart, Germany.

May 5, 2016


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