Due to the increasing complexity of embedded systems and software in vehicles, the automotive industry faces an increasing need for testing and verification of components and subsystems under realistic conditions. At the same time, development cycles must be shortened for vehicle manufacturers to be competitive on the global market, and an increased amount of testing and verification must thus be performed in less time. However, simply increasing the testing volume can be prohibitively costly, meaning that testing and verification processes must be made more efficient to reduce the need for more prototypes. This paper presents a concept for distributed testing and verification of vehicles in real-time, with the aim of improving testing and verification efficiency. Through a novel combination of software tools for distributed collaborative engineering, real-time simulation, visualization, and black box simulation, the realized system makes it possible for vehicle manufacturers and their subcontractors to work more concurrently and efficiently with testing and validation. An early implementation of a system prototype is described and future development plans for the system are presented. The main software components used to build up the system are ADAMS/Car RealTime, Matlab/Simulink and a Java-based real-time visualization module originally developed for the gaming industry. A main benefit of the concept is that different disciplines involved in the product development process can use the system to enhance the concurrency between them. Control systems and mechanical engineers can view ongoing tests in real-time and change designs, and efficiently re-simulate and influence ongoing tests in a distributed manner. Through advanced visualization of simulation results and measurement data, engineers can get a clearer view of how the system or product behaves, thereby improving the quality of the validation process. The concept for distributed real-time simulation and visualization described in this paper will gather more information during the early stages of product development, and speed up the product development process due to its real-time nature. The fact that engineers can stay at their home office and only follow the test when needed will enhance their efficiency.

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