- National Instruments (NI) and Opal-RT announced 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 (EV).
The agreement will establish a deeper partnership between the two companies with years of experience developing HIL solutions. NI and Opal-RT plan to deliver FPGA-based solutions that combine NI’s test platform with Opal-RT’s expertise in power electronics modeling and deployment.
“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.
Jean Belanger, CTO and CEO of Opal-RT, said, ‘’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 NI hardware platforms, such as PXI and CompactRIO, which enables us to maintain our focus on cutting-edge HIL technologies.”
HIL simulation is suited for 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.