CarMaker played a key role in the UNICARagil automated driving project


The UNICARagil funding project, which was completed at the end of May, applied new approaches to automated vehicles and their architecture and culminated in the presentation of four driverless prototypes. IPG Automotive was a part of the project, contributing its CarMaker simulation and test platform.

The project was funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and brought together industry specialists and leading universities in the field of automated driving. Based on the latest research on electromobility and on connected and automated driving, disruptive modular architectures in hardware and software for automated vehicle concepts were developed during the project. The result was four fully automated prototypes for the shuttle, cab, bus and cargo sectors.

One sub-project concerned the configuration and setup of a SIL and HIL environment for modular validation, for which IPG Automotive worked closely with the Institute of Automotive Engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt (FZD), which contributed expertise in modular validation, motion control and safe stopping.

The CarMaker system was used from the earliest stages of the research project, giving the partners an open integration platform with which to develop and test individual modules simultaneously. New concepts could be simulated in a test environment early on, thanks to the customised interfaces. The developers for trajectory planning started off using conventional vehicle and steering concepts, using the IPGDriver driver model as a trajectory controller.

Forms of motion such as parallel parking or steady-state turning were integrated into the simulation by extending existing steering models with individually controllable wheels that can be steered up to 90 degrees. The electric drive, brake, single-wheel steering and suspension were also mapped in a parameterisable way.

Additional interfaces between CarMaker and the final ECU were provided for the change from purely software-based SIL to HIL tests. The simulation and test platform was connected to a ‘middleware’ developed in the project, which enables modular updates. In addition, CarMaker transmitted synthetic navigation data to the ECU and provided an accurate time signal.

To support the development, a satellite display and the detailed 3D model of a prototype were added to IPGMovie, the visualisation tool for CarMaker. Overall, CarMaker provided more than 20 companies participating in the UNICARagil project with a comprehensive platform to support the development of novel vehicle concepts.

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About Author

Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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