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Sensor Fusion for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

4. Component-Level Overview

Here are brief descriptions of each system component and communications connection/bus:

  • Radar Engine Control Unit (ECU) — The main task of the radar sensor is to detect objects and measure their velocity and position relative to the movement of the host radar-equipped vehicle. The radar sensor is a monostatic multimodal radar and uses the 76 GHz frequency band with six fixed radar antennas. The sensor can detect other vehicles at roughly 250 meters. The radar is equipped with a heated lens that ensures full sensor availability, even in poor weather conditions such as snow and ice.The relative speed of objects is measured using the Doppler effect—change in frequency between the reflected and transmitted signals—and distance to the object can be determined by the time lag.
    The ECU handles the sensor fusion with the information from the camera and is responsible for functions such as ACC and AEB.

  • Camera ECU — The Camera ECU acquires images of the surrounding environment and provides several pieces of information such as distance from lane lines and other objects. This information is sent to the Radar ECU for sensor fusion, but in some cases(for example, road signs and lane keeping), the Camera ECU works alone. In this case, it sends CAN messages on the Vehicular CAN.

  • Video Scenario Generation — Video Scenario Generation is a simulator that includes a vehicle system that receives input from PXI-8512/2 through CAN communication and transmits info about the simulated environment. Radar data such as distance, radar cross section (RCS), angle of arrival, and speed is generated during simulation and is calculated in realtime based on the video scenario. Through the control panel in the second screen, it is possible to handle connection with PXI-8521/2, change weather conditions, adjust radar position, and spawn a new vehicle with defined speed and distance.

Figure 5. Vehicle Communication Emulation

This simulator has been developed using the Unity 3D Graphic Engine, a cross platform game engine by Unity Technologies. Using a modularized approach, the video scenario can be easily integrated with every third-party platform, plugin, or device like the Logitech G29 shown in the previous image.

Figure 6. ADAS HIL Test Environment

The radar object simulator is used in the HIL system for test and measurements. The flexibility, modularity, and scalability of the NI system enables users to easily integrate it with other I/O as part of a comprehensive HIL tester for radar design and test applications and to use the same system for both target emulation and radar device measurements, lowering the cost of device and system test.
The system is capable of:

  • RF measurements for sensor performance verification
  • Signal analysis: equivalent isotropically radiated power ( EIRP), noise, beam width, and frequency
  • Chirp analysis: linearity, overshoot, recording, and tagging
  • Radar target simulator for sensor functional verification
  • Single and multiple targets
  • Fixed and variable distance
  • Multiple object scenarios (distance, velocity, size, and angle of arrival)
  • Customizable target scenarios

Figure 7. Two-Target, One-Angle System Architecture

In Figure 7, the setup with onePXIe-5840 vector signal transceiver and one mmWave head can generate two targets with the same angle of arrival. Thanks to the PXI platform flexibility, the system could be easily extended to cover multiple targets with multiples angles of arrival. In Figure 8, the configuration with fourPXIe-5840 devices and four mmWave heads can simulate up to eight different targets with four angles of arrival.

Figure 8. Eight-Target, Four-Angle System Architecture

The radar object simulator chassis can be integrated with standard automotive bus communication (CAN or LIN) and other types of industrial communications required for the HIL system. The modularity of the solution allows car makers to test complex real-world scenarios with the possibility of handling multiple angles of arrival. Standard maneuvers provided by the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) guidelines can be tested automatically, saving test time and effort.

5. Conclusion

Altran has demonstrated how it is now feasible to perform laboratory validation of systems like RADAR and cameras that work standalone or integrated.
Both components are safety critical, so the ability to test in the lab before conducting vehicle tests is a crucial step.
Validating in this manner offers the following advantages:

  • Ability to anticipate validation at a stage prior to availability of the vehicle to allow corrective actions that otherwise would come too late
  • Overall development time is greatly reduced because tests can be started before the vehicle is available
  • Development costs are reduced by having a system that can work all day, seven days a week
  • No-regression tests can be carried out in greatly reduced time and with minimal cost compared to using the assembled vehicle

Although ADAS HIL Test Environment Suite was created by Altran based on NI software and hardware for verification and validation, its use is not limited to these scopes; in fact, it can be used to calibrate ECUs to discover parameters for vehicle tests.

ADAS can be fully integrated with other NI hardware products for HIL such as switch load signal conditioning (SLSC) hardware for standardization and routing of signals, switching loads, and signal conditioning. With VeriStand real-time test software, each component can be integrated in a framework that can interact with real-time HIL systems.

Figure 9. How SLSC Fits Into an HIL System

NI has also extended its platform with an ecosystem of industry-leading partners in the connected car and advanced vehicle technology space such as infotainment test, battery management system test, V2X communication, and vehicle noise and vibration analysis.

Figure 10. VX2, Lidar, and GNSS for the Connected Car

6. Resources

NI Demonstrates ADAS Test Solution for 76–81 GHz Automotive Radar
Altran Group
Using the SLSC Architecture to Add Additional Elements to the Signal Path of a Test System

Altran Group

Using the SLSC Architecture to Add Additional Elements to the Signal Path of a Test System

About Altran

As a global leader in engineering and R&D (ER&D)services, Altran offers its clients a new way to innovate by developing the products and services of tomorrow. Altran works alongside its clients on every link in the value chain of their project, from conception to industrialization.
For over 30years, the group has provided its expertise to key players in the aerospace, automotive, defense, energy, finance, life sciences, railway, and telecoms sectors among others.
In 2016, the Altran group generated revenues of €2,120bn. With a headcount of more than 30,000 employees, Altran is in more than 20 countries.
Altran has been present in Italy since 1996 and currently employs about 2,800 people. It is headquartered in Rome and is in much of the country: Genoa, Turin, Milan, Trieste, Verona, Padua, Bologna, Modena, Pisa, Florence, Naples, Pomigliano, and Brindisi. In 2015, it generated sales of 208 million €.
altran.com and altran.it

About NI

NI (ni.com) empowers engineers and scientists with a software-centric platform that incorporates modular hardware and an expansive ecosystem. This proven approach puts users firmly in control of defining what they need to accelerate their system design within test, measurement, and control. NI’s solution helps build high-performance systems that exceed requirements, quickly adapt to change, and ultimately improve the world.


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