How engineers test today

Test Case Automation (TCA) from IAV makes measurements more efficient and less prone to error – thus advancing digitalization in the core business. The tool chain ensures reliability and high quality of the data generated. Furthermore, testing is possible remotely, as the engineering specialist does not need to be directly on site

Fast, consistent, error-free: With Test Case Automation (TCA), IAV has developed a tool chain that significantly simplifies the execution of test cases on the vehicle with the INCA application system. Until now, such tests have involved a great deal of effort, with IAV carrying out around 10,000 of them every year. Until now, a specialist has had to prepare, perform and evaluate each individual measurement manually. Errors occur sporadically in all manual processes. With the help of the TCA tool chain, repetitive tasks in the creation of test environments are automated so that test cases can be processed easily and efficiently. In this way, the tool chain significantly reduces the risk of errors. In addition, TCA makes it easier to perform testing remotely, as engineers do not have to be in the vehicle themselves for the test, but can hand over the task to test drivers, as all essential steps can also be automated during execution.

How does TCA work?

TCA is a tool chain for automated test case validation that uses the INCA software as an application system. In practice, it looks like this: The specialist plans the test case using the “Testcase Manager” tool. From this planning, an INCA database with the required data is automatically generated. Each test case is linked to an INCA-FLOW process for the automation of the execution. Subsequently, correctly named measurement data and metadata are automatically stored in a folder.

For the test itself, the presence of specialist personnel is not necessary, which significantly simplifies trials abroad in particular in terms of personnel requirements. The test drivers only have to save the folder with the test environment on a measurement computer and can then start the “Testcase Executor”. This starts the linked INCA-FLOW process with the stored test configuration at the push of a button and automatically establishes a connection to the measurement hardware in the vehicle. In pop-up windows, the person at the steering wheel receives additional instructions that are necessary for the execution of the specific test case, for example on the driving profile or on manual actions such as an ignition change. Extensive technical knowledge is not required to perform the test. With another click, the test case starts: Through TCA, the measurement runs automatically, while the driver can fully concentrate on the INCA-FLOW-guided execution of the test case. Finally, the measurement can also be terminated at the push of a button. As a result, all data is stored automatically and with the correct naming convention. The exact and transparent filing makes the measurements reproducible at any time and thus simplifies the obligation to provide evidence. The result is test case-based assurance documentation, which is necessary to meet high quality requirements (e.g. A-Spice).

What further developments of TCA are planned?

TCA was developed for engine control unit applications in the automotive sector, but can be used flexibly wherever engineers perform tests in connection with an application system. Conceivable applications include the engine test bench or the hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) system as well as integration in tool chains, for example in vehicle networking. In the future, IAV intends to offer the creation and provision of the test environment and the add-on as a service for customers. To this end, two application systems have already been adapted for INCA-FLOW, and the integration of the CANape software is in preparation.