Developers working in the autonomous vehicle market will likely face the difficult decision of whether to build their own drive-by-wire platform or to purchase a premade one. With pros and cons to both, it’s important to weigh the options before making a choice that could impact both the development timeline and budget. New Eagle’s control system experts weighed in on some of the most important questions to consider in this pivotal decision-making process.
Do You Have Automotive-Grade Hardware and Software?
If you’re intending your vehicle to reach production, safety standards like those set by the International Organization for Standardization are stricter than ever. Meeting these standards can prove difficult on do-it-yourself systems.
Hardware, for starters, needs to be automotive grade. While some DIYers are drawn to common microprocessing units like Raspberry Pi or Arduino because of their versatility and low sticker price, they can actually end up costing developers more in the long run. Intended for educational and prototype projects, these hardware components are not designed to withstand the harsh environments end-vehicles will be exposed to on the road, nor are they compliant with production safety requirements for road vehicles, such as redundant ROM and a secondary processor.
Similarly, software plays an important role in ensuring your drive-by-wire system is automotive grade. DIYers may turn to manually write C-code. Generally, this manual approach is frowned upon in the automotive industry, as it’s not only time consuming, but also error-prone.
Instead, an embedded model-based software design approach is considered an industry best practice. Eliminating the need to hand-code, embedded model-based design significantly reduces the amount of time to develop software, as well as the risk of error.
Additionally, embedded model-based design tools like Raptor are designed to meet automotive-grade requirements, using CAN messaging conventions and fault-handling in drive-by-wire software. Testing tools, like RaptorTest, also help validate hardware-in-the-loop both before and after installation in a vehicle.
While purchasing a premade drive-by-wire control system may seem expensive at first, it offers a more sustainable and cost-saving solution in the end. Developers have the assurance that an automotive-grade system can withstand harsh, on-road environments, as well as the confidence that their system is better-aligned to meet the automotive safety requirements for production in the future.
How Easy is it to Control Steering and Speed?
If developing a drive-by-wire vehicle is your ultimate goal, you’ll want to maximize precious computation power, while minimizing your end user’s need to calculate and communicate with the machine.
Some premade drive-by-wire solutions, like ours, accomplish this through custom automotive-grade software that has common calculations built-in. For example, our engineers build software that automatically calculates the amount of braking or acceleration needed to achieve desired vehicle speed. Similarly, built-in software automatically calculates the amount of steering torque needed to pivot the vehicle the desired angle. This eliminates the need for the user to calculate and communicate this, helping to maximize computation power to focus on building a great autonomous machine.
However, should you decide to build your own drive-by-wire system, you’ll need to consider how you’ll address important control challenges like speed and steering so your machine is both safe, as well as simple to operate for end-users.
Are You Prepared to Handle High-Voltage Systems?
Many autonomous systems consume a large amount of electrical power. For electric and hybrid vehicles, this power is readily available from the high voltage battery. However, not everyone is comfortable modifying high voltage wiring.
Without the right experience, navigating this process can be time-consuming, expensive, and even risky as any error could lead to a dangerous malfunction. If you don’t have the expertise, budget or timeline to accomplish high-voltage system modification independently, augmenting your team with safety-certified engineering experts can help.
Similarly, opting for a premade drive-by-wire kit can give you greater confidence in your vehicle’s high-voltage safety and sustainability. Kits like ours, for example, include the OEM connectors, sealed junction boxes, and high voltage interlock system (HVIL) protection needed to ensure modifications meet industry safety standards.
Above All, Consider Flexibility
If your goal is to create the best autonomous vehicle you can, you’ll want to make a decision that is, above all, safe and flexible. While building your own drive-by-wire system from scratch may, at first, seem like the best way to accomplish this, it’s important to note the considerable time and safety risks that come with doing so.
Instead, consider a premade, customizable drive-by-wire solution that is better aligned to meet safety standards. With ones like New Eagle’s that can be customized for nearly any vehicle, successful plug-and-play drive-by-wire control may actually prove better-aligned with your project’s goals.
For more information about drive-by-wire systems, or to discuss another other control system challenge, contact New Eagle’s team of engineering experts.
Did you catch New Eagle in the November 2018 MATLAB Digest? As an official MathWorks partner, the digest featured Raptor™ as an ideal model-based software development platform to assist developers from prototype through production.
What is Raptor™?
Raptor™ is a family of tools that allows users to develop software directly in the Simulink environment using both Simulink-native and customizable library blocks. After code is generated and debugged using online calibration techniques, it can target production-ready controllers, displays/HMIs, and other off-the-shelf hardware. With development, calibration, test and connectivity options, Raptor offers an alternate approach to coding that is more efficient and cost-effective than traditional programing.
Find Out More
When planning your vehicle development strategy, have you considered how you will address the safety requirements your machine must meet to move into production? Scrambling to meet these requirements can keep your vehicle stuck in development with expensive rework, instead of out on the road. Avoid this by understanding what you need to know about ISO 26262.
Before we get into ISO 26262, it’s important to first understand Automotive Safety Integrity Levels (ASIL). ASIL dictates the safety thresholds that apply to the development of functional safety of electrical and electronic (E/E) components for vehicles. In order to be considered road safe, vehicles intended for production must meeting or exceeding ASIL thresholds. While this may be new territory, it is critical to creating a safe machine and avoiding legal liability.
ASIL grades vehicle safety based on risk of hazard. Systems within the vehicle are awarded either a QM, A, B, C, or D ranking. “QM” is the lowest risk of hazard, and “D” the highest. With this type of ranking, ASIL defines what needs to be done in development of the associated systems in order to ensure that E/E systems are designed and tested with the appropriate levels of integrity.
The goal of these ASIL classifications is to ensure that there are no safety-related single points of failure (SPOFs) in the electrical system of a vehicle.
This is important because it challenges engineers to consider events of malfunction, allowing them to address potential problems in development rather than discovering them in post-production which could result in the expensive rework, timeline delays, and safety risks to the end-users: the drivers.
If your intent is to contribute to putting a vehicle into production through designing any of the electronic systems, you should be considering the ISO26262 process. Failure to correctly meet these standards or perform an accurate hazard and risk assessment (HARA) could create liabilities for the manufacturer, who could be legally culpable in the event of an accident.
The ISO 26262 process can be complex and overwhelming. Although the standard has been around for over eight years, it is still relatively new for many companies and engineers and can be difficult to know how to apply it to the many unique applications and vehicle platforms. There are also special provisions for unique circumstances such as low volume production and commercial vehicles that are important to consider. New Eagle is experienced in applying the standard to a variety of different applications and powertrain control strategies.
When developing, it is key to have effective tools in order to help increase your team’s capability. Different tools may assist in the requirements traceability, efficiency of code authorship, fault tree analysis, and requirements based testing of the system. New Eagle offers an embedded model-based development tool (eMBD), Raptor-Dev, which significantly increases the efficiency of software development and can be used with associated Mathworks™ toolboxes to provide traceability back to the requirements. Additionally, New Eagle offers Raptor-Test to perform automated regression tests of the software and hardware together to make sure that the system meets the requirements during the final stages of development.
In order to correctly comply with ASILs and meet ISO 26262, safety should be at the center of your control system strategy. Selecting control engineers who are Automotive Functional Safety Engineers (AFSEs) or Professionals (AFSPs), to serve as project-leads, for example, can help your engineering teams get into the habit of repeatedly evaluating work to look for any errors, redundancies, and SPOFs that could cause malfunctions in end-vehicles.
AFSEs have successfully completed rigorous training that covers the best safety practices in everything from hardware and software design to correct execution of HARAs. This assures that the engineers are safely developing control systems that meet or exceed ISO 26262 requirements.
If you’re concerned about meeting ASIL requirements and ISO 26262 because your team is not AFS certified, an engineering service consultant like New Eagle can help by augmenting your team. With the ability to assist with E/E system design, performing and documenting the necessary HARAs and confirming the safety of your vehicle, our engineers can help move your machine more quickly–and safely–into production.
Early November brings the start of wintery weather here at New Eagle’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We’re excited to announce that with the changing season comes the release of Raptor_2018a_2.2.12283, our latest Raptor™ software update! In addition to this new software release, we have also introduced a new Raptor™ controller to our hardware line. Finally, we’re excited to share the inside scoop on the application of Raptor™ Telematics in an at-sea marine vessel.
What’s New with Raptor_2018a_2.2.12283
Raptor_2018a_2.2.12283 is FIPS compliant* and includes the New Eagle Licensing 12.3. This licensing improves the installation compatibility with Windows 10 and enhanced machine security. Check out the Raptor-Test regression reports for more details on security.
Here’re the latest Raptor_2018a_2.2.12283 improvements:
- LIN capacity Enhancements
- Added Ethernet TCP/UDP client and server support
- Added Wake-On-LIN and Wake-On-CAN capability
- Added 33K baud rate for CAN2 and CAN3
- Added Fixed Nonvolatile (EEPROM) capability
- Added Redundant Nonvolatile (EEPROM) capability
- Updates to the Redundant Non-Volatile Memory Management
- Resolved XCP communication issue
- LIN Enhancements
- Updates and Fixes for CAN Tx and Rx blocks
Introducing the GCM 5607B-80-1804
Our latest product addition to the Raptor™ hardware line is the GCM5607B-80-1804. This Raptor™ Controller features:
- MPC5607B, 64 MHz
- 32 Inputs / 16 Outputs
- 6 – 16 V Operating Voltage
- 4 CAN 2.0B / 1 LIN BUS
- 32KB EEPROM
This new GCM will be supported by the Raptor™ 2018b release, which will become available at the end of November 2018. In the meantime, get the in-depth details on the GCM5607B-80-1804 by reading its datasheet.
Raptor™ Telematics for Marine Application
One of our consultants, Kossel Controls, recently accepted a client with a marine application requiring rugged, qualified controllers and displays for an electric foiling vessel. Since the vessel operates in an ever-changing environment at sea, control software needed to be updated frequently and quickly. Kossel Controls turned to New Eagle to develop these controls for the vessel using the Raptor™ Control Platform.
Meeting the control system requirements was easy, but the vessel presented an additional challenge: the consultant needed a way to develop and calibrate software on the vessel from shore to avoid time-consuming, frequent and costly trips to sea.
Find out how Raptor™ Telematics solved this control challenge by reading the case study.
Learn more about Raptor™ Telematics
Want to learn more about Raptor™ Telematics? Check out our video overview.
When New Eagle began in 2008, it was the brainchild of visionary husband-and-wife duo, Rich and Mickey Swortzel. With respective backgrounds in engineering and business, the couple decided to take their idea to make control software development faster, safer and easier for developers to the market by launching a small software startup in the way many do: out of their living room.
Rapid Growth, Award-Winning Team
Ten years later, New Eagle has multiple locations serving a global customer base. While no longer operating out of the Swortels’ home, New Eagle remains headquartered in Ann Arbor, the heart of a thriving tech and research community. With access to Detroit’s growing mobility market, New Eagle serves as a thought-leader and trusted partner for electric and autonomous control solutions for emerging machines.
Named Ann Arbor’s Coolest Place to Work by Crain’s Content Studio Detroit and recipient of the 2017 Best of MichBusiness Award in the technology category, New Eagle has driven both economic and technological advancement locally and globally.
Grounded by Values
Though New Eagle may have launched into flight from the right idea at the right time, Mickey and Rich attribute their business’s sustained growth to its team and foundational values.
“We’ve got a great crew here. Really incredible, savvy people who are passionate about doing what they do well. Our values, I think, are what drive that. We haven’t lost sight of what we stand for, even a decade later,” comments Mickey. “Teamwork, excellence, charity, integrity and passion – that’s important, and our team gets that. Everything that comes out of New Eagle has those values woven into it.”
Rich shares his wife’s enthusiasm. “We grew incredibly quickly in ten years. Our partners, suppliers, and team, of course, have driven our success, and we’re very grateful. I’m excited to see where we’ll be in another decade.”
Summer 2018 might be coming to a close, but with so much going on at New Eagle, you’d hardly notice things cooling down! As we motor into fall, check out what’s happened in our 2018 third-quarter recap.
New Hardware Offerings
We’re pleased to announce that we’ve added new product offerings to our shelves that make it even easier for you to take control of your machine’s electrification process.
Introducing the GCM80 EV-HEV supervisory controller
The GCM80 is the newest controller in the Raptor family of vehicle controllers. Featuring dual microprocessors and 4 CAN channels, it offers many discrete inputs and outputs to safely perform your EV or HEV design. You can easily program the GCM80 using the unique Embedded Model-Based Development (eMBD) technique with Raptor software tools. The GCM80 can be purchased as a component, or in a New Eagle system built on the Raptor control platform. Single-unit DC-DC converters are available, as are combined unis to make integration even easier. Learn more by contacting our team.
Our new EV High Voltage products, like the 1.5 KW DC-DC converter and the Combined Charger/DC-DC Converter and PDU for 400V systems, are now available as components or in a New Eagle system built on the Raptor control platform. Single unit Chargers, DC-DC converters are available, as are combined units to make your integration effort easier. Learn more by contacting our team.
New Eagle Awarded Crain’s Detroit 2018 Cool Place to Work
Crain’s Detroit Business has awarded New Eagle with a 2018 Cool Place to Work award in recognition of our company culture, employee benefits and overall team satisfaction. On its list of 100 winning companies, New Eagle earned Ann Arbor’s number one spot and metro-Detroit’s fifth spot. Check out the coverage on Crain’s Detroit and Ann Arbor SPARK!
We’re chalking the W up to an awesome team, a great set of partners and suppliers, and, of course, a set of corporate values that keep our eagle eyes focused not just on working well, but on doing good in the world. Interested in joining our team? Learn more about career opportunities here.
New Eagle at the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Tech Expo
New Eagle exhibited at Novi, Michigan’s Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo (EVT) on Sept 11-13 in booth 316. We had a great time showcasing our latest EV/HEV innovations and connecting with our partners and suppliers!
The annual EVT Expo features the latest and greatest EV/HEV technology all under one roof. It’s a can’t-miss show, but if you couldn’t make it this year, no worries – just check out our refreshed EV page to learn how New Eagle can help you take control of your next EV/HEV development cycle!
Let’s Innovate Together
From all of us at New Eagle, we wish you a wonderful autumn. As always, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts if you have any questions. We’re committed to your success as together, we develop a better world through technology.
New Eagle has been awarded one of Crain’s Detroit 2018 Cool Places to Work! The award recognizes employers that take extra steps to make employees feel appreciated, as determined in-part by the benefits and perks offered by the company, and by the sentiment of the employees themselves.
Supportive leaders, strong values
With a strong, supportive leadership team and a culture rooted in values that put people first, we’re thrilled that New Eagle has been recognized as a leader among Michigan businesses.
A range of opportunity
New Eagle offers a variety of employment opportunities, ranging from business and supply chain to software and systems engineering. We are proud of our crew that, despite different roles, still manages to work together as an optimistic and united team.
Come soar with us
As a company, we firmly believe it’s our people that let us soar like eagles. We’re always looking for bright-and-brainy team players to join our award-winning business. If you’re interested, check out our open positions to see if there’s one for you.
Summer 2018 is quickly coming to a close as we turn our calendars to the month of August, and our team has been hard at work! We released the 2018A Raptor update, scheduled a webinar, improved control-software development on embedded modules with the BCM 48, created a customizable add-on for Raptor-Service, and have an exciting trade show on the horizon. Here are all the details.
Register for Our Webinar
Contact our team to register for the the 2018A Raptor webinar, which will be held on August 7, 2018. In this webinar, we’ll review the new features in the 2018A Raptor release for Raptor-Dev, Cal, CAN and Test. We’ll have a designated time for Q & A and will also give you a sneak peek of what you can expect from Raptor for the remainder of the year.
Develop with the BCM 48
Now, you can save money by developing control software on an embedded module that has four CAN, four LIN, and Ethernet channels. The BCM-5646-1404 (BCM 48 for short) features a freescale MPC 5646 microprocessor, ethernet supporting both TCP and UDP, LIN master and slave functions, and a wake-up on CAN and LIN. Learn more about the BCM 48 by visiting our product wiki.
If you use Raptor-Service, there’s now an even better way to make it more personal. Our latest add-on, the Raptor-Service Customizer, lets you brand the tool with custom colors and scripts that can be packaged and distributed to your customers. You can learn more about this latest add-on on our product wiki.
Save the date for the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Tech Showcase
New Eagle will be in Novi, Michigan on September 11-13, 2018 at the Suburban Collection Showcase in booth 316 for the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo. Registration is free. Come see us there to talk the latest in electric vehicle control system innovation.
Raptor-Dev 2018a_1.0.12120 Release
· MathWorks 2018a Support
· CAN DBC Block User Interface / Parser upgrade
· ECM/GCM196 J1939 Library Support Added, Third-Party Calibration Tool Support updates
· ECM196 Engine, Diagnostics updates
· GCM70 12bit ADC support, CAN updates
· BCM48 Ethernet fixes for UDP, EEPROM update
· XCP Calibration robustness enhancements
· Resolved 70 issues, features, bug fixes from software.neweagle.net
· Numerous datasheet, help, and documentation updates.
Raptor-CAL 2018a_1.0.11391 Release
· Improvements to the Display Grid
· Resize the grid on the fly. Just right-click on the grid name and choose “Resize Grid”.
· Zoom in/out with the key combinations CTRL+”+” to zoom in and Ctrl+”-” to zoom out.
· Row and column headers can be frozen. No need to scroll to the beginning of the sheet to resize a column.
· Improved connect/disconnect functionality. Connecting or Disconnecting from the Signals Tree is smoother and more responsive.
· Connect to and view displays of multiple instances of the same firmware build. Great for modularized applications.
· Resolved 38 issues, features, bug fixes from software.neweagle.net
Raptor-Test 2018a_1.0.10373 Release
· Added support for new ECU targets
· Fixed LITE mode issue with MotoHawk targets
Raptor-CAN 2018a_1.0.10198 Release
· Added New PC Gateway Tool (CAN Reverse-Engineering Aid)
· Fix for sending and receiving IEEE754 floating point CAN DBC fields
· Added multi-select of signals in log analysis tool
· DBC loading robustness improvements
· Added multi-CAN bus monitoring capability
You can find the full release notes here.
If you need access to our software website or if you have any questions, please contact New Eagle at email@example.com .
We’ve updated our product versions for commonality:
X = Major release
Y = Minor release (e.g. service pack)
Z = Internal build number which aids in tracking product and resolving any issues in the field.
To design and calibrate OBD monitors, especially misfire, expensive and complicated development ECU hardware is typically used to collect data quickly enough to analyze each individual firing event, like the picture below.
This expensive development hardware is no longer a requirement thanks to Raptor and the ECM196, according to New Eagle Engineer, George Kelly. In Raptor, he set up a trigger to capture and store faster data in the ECU that would not be available over the slower CAN XCP link. Basically, all one has to do is trigger it once and it fills arrays in the ECU memory at a high speed, then you can read out those arrays more slowly over CAN XCP later.
Two pictures below are parts of the misfire detection using Raptor ECM196. Raptor is an Embedded Model-Based Development (eMBD) development tool for rapid development of production control systems. The ECM196 is an open automotive controller programmed with Raptor and exclusively available from New Eagle and its network partners.