Delivering Next Gen V2X Certification Services

This month's newsletter features Danlaw, well known to us in the automotive electronics industry as a global solution provider with over 30 years experience in telematics, infotainment, vehicle network communications, embedded systems development, testing and manufacturing. We talked with Andrew Donaldson, the Project Manager for Connected Vehicles Certification Testing, about Danlaw's vision for a successful deployment of V2X and the importance of the certification testing.

Danlaw was one of three testing organizations selected to work with the USDOT to create the procedures, equipment and facilities to be available for the Connected Vehicle Pilots. According to the USDOT website, the CV pilots are initial real-life deployments of V2X technology and applications as "an opportunity for stakeholders and partners to develop operational systems that exist well beyond the life of the program". Interoperability testing and certification testing are key enablers of successful CV pilots leading to national deployment.

Andrew Donaldson, recently joined Danlaw bringing 20 years of experience in program management and testing, largely from Teradyne a company known to the automotive electronics for their automated test equipment. Andrew describes Danlaw's vision for the deployment of V2X. "We are committed to making the Connected Vehicle a reality. The growth of new compelling applications will drive the need for products and services in support of the OEMs and Tier suppliers. They will need these new capabilities to meet the upcoming regulatory requirements and customer demanded applications. We are true believers that the connected vehicle will happen."

Danlaw is well suited to provide these new capabilities and to deliver the next generation of certification services. Andrew explains, "For over thirty years Danlaw has provided mission critical software development and engineering support to the global automotive OEMs and Tier ones. We have over 350 engineering professionals who provide embedded electronics solutions worldwide. Our areas of expertise extent to telematics, infotainment, vehicle network communications, embedded systems development, testing and manufacturing. We know the vehicle electronic systems inside out."

We asked Andrew why Danlaw joined the Affiliated Test Beds. He was quick to say, "Our membership has significant benefits as it allows us to participate in real-time testing which will bring knowledge and expertise to enable us to be the leaders in this industry. We intend to be the go-to source for test, validation and development. Our industry leading tools and services will enable our customers to be first to marketing with the hardware, software and applications that will fuel the growth of this technology. We are investigating the application of automated test tools such as our Mx-Suite™ Embedded Software Test Environment. It is an example of how embedded software verification and validation testing can be automated. We need to apply the industry best test practices to this project."

Already active in various test pilots, Danlaw provides hardware and supporting systems for the UMTRI elderly driver study called Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers (LongROAD). This five-year $12 million project generates the test data needed by researchers to understand physical and cognitive functions, medial conditions, medications and vehicle technologies in driving safely.

We asked Andrew to provide us with an overview and insights regarding the important certification initiative. "Certification testing as well as the interoperability testing process is vital to ensure that future DSRC based devices communicate accurately and with high reliability to realize the potential for safety enhancement. Interoperability is the key to successful connectivity." Note: The USDOT PlugFests were launched in January 2014 and provided an open forum for suppliers to conduct interoperability testing with representative DSRC systems and components. Andrew continues, "We were chosen to design, build and operate a test facility to certify hardware and software modules for the connected vehicle industry. Ultimately the key deliverable is the provision of the certification service to our customer to enable them to successfully participate in the connected vehicle space."

When asked about the work plan and deliverables, Andrew clarified that the first phase of the project is to determine the scope of the certification and to understand the data flows to and from the vehicle to the infrastructure and the important data storage elements, such as the "Situation Data Warehouse". Our readers should be very familiar with the diagram below that describes the Michigan CV architecture and shows the various data flows.

The project is divided into six key phases with the end -goal that the first certification activities are conducted early in the first quarter of 2016. A key goal is that Danlaw and the other two entities in this project "will independently set up facilities to be commercially available and sustainable for the CV pilots by the end of 2016.

Project Phases

  • Project Extent - What will and will-not be considered for certification testing

  • Device specifications, standards, specifications are still changing, we will agree on a version of each and an interpretation of each for the next pilots

  • Definition of test procedures and equipment requirements

  • Test facility construction

  • Operation of test facilities for the pilots

  • Update from lessons learned

We will hear more about the project at the upcoming SAE World Congress in Detroit as part of the process to obtain stakeholder input. A "Chat with an expert" session will be held at the congress on Thursday, April 23 at 3:00PM. The session will introduce the approach and the concepts for Certification Testing to qualify a device for the Test Bed. USDOT, Danlaw, OCS, and 7-Layers will be available to answer any questions on the project described in the USDOT announcement.

Andrew concludes out interview by adding, "Danlaw is well positioned to provide the USDOT feedback as we work directly with many OEMs and Tier suppliers to ensure that the certification program meets the real needs of customers. Everyone benefits from this project and the pilots. Of course, there the many benefits that we have heard about around enhanced safety and mobility. And, we can expect to discover new applications and see exciting new products demonstrated and tested in the pilots. The future connected vehicle must have a common language and set of rules for testing. This project will ensure the pilots are successful as that we move on towards large-scale deployments."