Testing Automotive Infotainment for Advance Automobile

- Madhukar Tripathi | Head-Optical Business & Marketing, Anritsu India Pvt Ltd

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The automobile industry is entering a new paradigm with rapidly advancing technologies where vehicles of the future will incorporate mobile communications technologies and AI implemented as the CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric) revolution. Making CASE a reality will not only solve social issues, such as traffic congestion, energy consumption, and environmental pollution but will also lead to creation of new mobility services contributing to industrial and regional revitalization.

To bring self-driving vehicles and connected cars to market, automobile makers must accurately and reliably test the safety of mission-critical advanced technologies supporting CASE.

Today’s automotive industry is focused on safety and security through widespread adoption of self-driving vehicles and connected cars. The key to success is practical commercialization of advanced technologies, such as communications and artificial intelligence (AI), which requires cooperation with a variety of industry organizations.

Anritsu is a leader in test and measurement to support these automotive advances and ready to Future Cars and many systems inside car such as wireless connectivity, infotainment, ADAS, ITS , EMI EMC etc.

In-vehicle infotainment (IVI) communication systems provide automobile passengers with both information and entertainment.

The number of advanced automobiles with the latest wireless communications connections is increasing and infotainment systems are making large advances. For example, linking the automobile displays with a smartphone not only enables hands-free navigation, communications, messaging, and music entertainment, but also facilitates listening to news, weather, and traffic reports as well as making restaurant bookings, through integrated use with connected functions. Integrating various functions into one infotainment system provides passengers with driving support and better safety, playing a key role in providing users with an excellent ride experience.

High-function entertainment systems are supported by a variety of communications technologies, including cellular (LTE-A/LTE/UMTS/GSM), Bluetooth®, WLAN, digital/audio broadcasts, and voice control, resulting in high system complexity. As a result, system developers and production engineers face difficulties in identifying the causes and impact of interference.

Moreover, getting the best value from the many advanced functions not only requires tests at the module level but also requires integrated testing in the actual usage environment of completed products combining many modules.

Infotainment Testing Solutions

Infotainment testing can be divided into following parts-

  • Vehicle Acoustics Evaluation Solution for Wireless Communications Environment
  • Evaluation of RF Characteristics using Optimized OTA Measurement
  • Testing Automobile Cabin WLAN Characteristics
  • Bluetooth SIG RF Verification Test
  • Dynamic Maps Communications Evaluation Environment

Vehicle Acoustics Evaluation Solution for Wireless Communications Environment

The number of automobiles with built-in communications functions is increasing and communications, such as hands-free operation requiring the same voice quality as smartphone usage, is becoming commonplace. However, connections between peripheral equipment and IVS are becoming more complex, causing problems with communications latency and making evaluation of voice quality extremely important. Combining Anritsu’s Signalling Tester MD8475A/B with the ACQUA from HEAD acoustics GmbH, a leading company in audio evaluation, provides the perfect audio evaluation solution for configuring replay tests in the actual acoustics environment.

Figure 1: Audio Interface Between Drivers and Vehicle

Evaluation of RF Characteristics using Optimized OTA Measurement

Assuring WLAN quality is becoming more important as automobile cabin WLAN devices become common and data traffic volumes increase to provide infotainment while driving, map data updates, etc.

As part of its quality inspection regime, the automobile industry is favoring evaluation of WLAN device RF characteristics in an Over The Air (OTA) environment closely mimicking actual usage. With its wide dynamic-range performance, the Wireless Connectivity Test Set MT8862A not only supports evaluation of RF characteristics while the WLAN is connected, but is also the best solution for OTA tests where signals can be unstable.

Testing Automobile Cabin WLAN Characteristics

Evaluating the performance of standalone WLAN modules is inadequate for implementing stable communications using cabin WLAN products. As required by IEEE802.11b/g/a/n/ac (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz), the Wireless Connectivity Test Set MT8862A supports quantitative evaluation of TRx characteristics while the WLAN product is communicating in the actual usage environment.

Image of Cabin Measurement Results

Bluetooth SIG RF Verification Test

Automobile cabin infotainment systems use Bluetooth technology for operations such as playing music and hands-free communications, especially via smartphone. This technology is standardized by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) which also specifies the required test cases. The Bluetooth Test Set MT8852B supports all the Bluetooth SIG-certified RF tests and has a wide application range from R&D to production-line testing.

  • Supports Basic Rate/Enhanced Data Rate RF tests used by hands-free communications and infotainment systems
  • Supports Bluetooth Low Energy RF tests used by keyless entry systems, etc.
  • Supports tests of Adaptive Frequency Hopping (AFH) function for restricting impact of interference signals, such as WLAN, on Bluetooth channels

Dynamic Maps Communications Evaluation Environment

Cellular and Wi-Fi networks are the typical communications methods for streaming dynamic maps. Since the MD8475B not only simulates a cellular network, it also can simulate various faults and changes in the communications conditions that may occur when updating dynamic maps by using with a Wi-Fi access point.

High-Reliability Dynamic Maps Communications Evaluation Environment for Building Automated Driving Systems

Cellular and Wi-Fi networks are the typical communications methods for streaming dynamic maps. Since the MD8475B not only simulates a cellular network, it also can simulate various faults and changes in the communications conditions that may occur when updating dynamic maps by using with a Wi-Fi access point. With an Internet connection port, the MD8475B can be connected to live cloud and application servers. Additionally, intuitive GUI operation makes the setting of TCU cellular network evaluations easy without requiring specialist knowledge of cellular communications protocols.

Before
● Difficult configuration of cell edge connection environment due to handover between mobile cell base stations
● Cannot evaluate automated driving systems when message transmission to base stations stopped due to terminal transmission restrictions
● Cannot issue any rejection conditions for TCU communications request from mobile network
● Difficult to test automated driving system at dynamic switching between mobile cell and trusted Wi-Fi
After
● Reproduce weak electric-field tests when in-tunnel, etc., as well as 4G to 3G handover environment
● Generate Cell Barred at any timing and evaluate entire carrier network services
● Support overall automated driving system evaluations with configuration of various communications rejection environments at mobile network connection
● Configure optimized radio communications environment at vehicle-to-roadside communications using mobile and trusted/ non-trusted Wi-Fi networks

Proper testing of all infotainment components (in future cars) will be key parameter for customers satisfaction and acceptance of cars. Hence test instrument will play a key role in Future Car / Connected Cars performance.

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