National Instruments (NI) and OPAL-RT announced today they have signed a strategic agreement to accelerate the development of hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation technologies for the automotive market, with a focus on testing electric vehicles.
The agreement will establish a deeper partnership between the two companies with years of experience developing innovative HIL solutions. NI and OPAL-RT plan to deliver powerful FPGA-based solutions that combine NI’s flexible and open test platform with OPAL-RT’s expertise in high-fidelity power electronics modeling and deployment.
NI and OPAL-RT’s combined technologies are designed to help customers increase productivity and drive rapid innovation through an efficient workflow built on an open and customizable platform.
“Through this strategic partnership, we will strive to solidify the workflow for test departments to validate today’s EV powertrain while we deliver a flexible approach to meet the rapidly changing and high-performance needs of the future,” said Chad Chesney, vice president and general manager of the NI Transportation Business.
“We believe our combined strengths can provide customers with an innovative test solution that enhances their flexibility and helps them build advanced test competencies on a common platform to generate a competitive advantage for their organizations,” Chesney added.
Jean Belanger, CTO and CEO of OPAL-RT, said, “We are very pleased to announce this strategic partnership with NI. We believe this collaboration enables us to develop an end-to-end solution covering the full HIL automotive spectrum, and it offers our clients an economical, modular and scalable solution. The partnership facilitates the development of FPGA-based electrical solvers on popular NI hardware platforms, such as PXI and CompactRIO, which enables us to maintain our focus on cutting-edge HIL technologies.”
HIL simulation is well suited for the challenges of developing and testing complex electric drivetrains in electric and hybrid vehicles as well as autonomous transportation systems. It can support test scenarios that are too costly, time consuming or dangerous to test in the real world. It can also enable developers to build a comprehensive database of test results under a well-defined combination of corner case conditions.
Though electric and hybrid-electric vehicles are delivering new levels of versatility and economy, the interactions between electric, electronic and mechanical components are growing more complex and creating problems that are difficult to identify or analyze using traditional test methodologies. Many of these issues can be addressed with real-time HIL simulation.
The technology that the NI and OPAL-RT strategic partnership will produce is expected to enable powerful solutions to help customers reduce their electric vehicle test development times, resulting in shorter design cycles and time to market.