Introducing the “Engine” Behind UWAFT’s Vehicle Design


EcoCAR 2 Platinum-level sponsor dSPACE Inc. recently donated a Mid-Size Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) Simulator to the University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team (UWAFT) along with each of the other 14 teams competing in EcoCAR 2. dSPACE’s donation is an invaluable tool that helps develop vehicle controllers quickly and safely. UWAFT will use the HIL to test the supervisory controller, which will later be used on the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu.

An HIL Simulator such as the one donated by dSPACE is used for testing automotive vehicle controllers systematically and automatically. Vehicles sold today typically have a dozen controllers. These include engine, transmission and anti-lock brake controllers, among many others. A tool that allows for systematic and automatic testing can save automakers and part suppliers millions of dollars; hence dSPACE’s HIL is critical to the development process.

So how does dSPACE’s HIL work? A model of a component is first programmed on a computer. For example, UWAFT programs its engine model using MathWorks’ MATLAB and SIMULINK. These models are then run in real-time on the dSPACE HIL. The engine controller is then connected to the HIL and tested. If the computer model of the engine is done correctly the engine controller cannot tell the difference between the HIL engine and the real engine.

The neat part of the engine system is automation. UWAFT can program a series of tests on HIL and see how the engine controller will react. For example, the HIL can simulate an engine overheating or a low oil situation. If the engine controller is programmed correctly, it should shut down the engine to prevent damage. Using this testing method is much cheaper than breaking an actual engine, and therefore saves companies millions of dollars – and UWAFT a few broken engines!

The dSPACE Mid-Size HIL Simulator in UWAFT's Garage

The dSPACE Mid-Size HIL Simulator in UWAFT’s Garage

The other benefit of the HIL is that concepts can be tested before being implemented on the actual vehicle. This allows UWAFT team members to test various cutting-edge ideas without the risk of damaging expensive prototype components. Overall the use of the Mid-Size HIL Simulator will enable UWAFT to safely integrate and implement a vehicle controller, resulting in a quicker and better design than would have been impossible without dSPACE’s invaluable donation!

  1. I enjoy you because of your entire hard work on this web site. My niece really loves doing research and it’s really easy to understand why. A lot of people learn all about the dynamic way you provide reliable items on your web site and even strongly encourage response from website visitors on that article plus our own simple princess has been being taught a whole lot. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the year. You are always conducting a dazzling job.

  2. nice site

  3. You are so cool! I do not suppose I have read something like that before. So great to discover someone with some unique thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

  4. Quality content is the key to interest the users to
    pay a visit the website, that’s what this web site is providing.

  5. Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  6. Having read this I believed it was rather informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  7. Thank you for a very informative website. What else may I get that type of information written in such a perfect means? I’ve a mission that I’m simply now operating on, and I’ve been at the look out for such information.

  8. A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you should write more on this issue, it might not be a taboo matter but usually people don’t speak about such subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!

  9. Just wish to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  10. I therefore really enjoyed your site. Great written content. You need to keep ad these types of amazing cotent.

  11. I think this is among the such a lot significant information for me.
    And i am satisfied reading your article. But should remark on few common things, The site style is wonderful, the articles is
    truly excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  12. your artical is very good ,thanks for ur sharing and i have learn many things from it .

  13. Нey I κnow thіs іs off toрic
    but І was wonderіng if you knew οf any widgets I cοuld adԁ tο my blog that
    аutomаtiсally tωeet mу newest twitter updateѕ.

    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  14. Hello there, just became alert to your weblog via Google, and found
    that it is really informative. Numerous other folks will likely
    be benefited from your writing about Pokerstars Dayton.

  15. I am only writing to let you understand what a outstanding discovery our girl gained viewing your web page. She noticed numerous details, which included what it’s like to possess a very effective coaching character to let others very easily learn specific grueling issues. You truly did more than readers’ desires. Many thanks for showing such practical, trusted, informative and in addition unique tips about that topic to Mary.

  16. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  17. Hi! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  18. I am really enjoying the theme/design of your website.
    Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility issues?
    A few of my blog readers have complained about my blog not operating correctly
    in Explorer but looks great in Opera. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this issue?

    Here is my web blog: null

  19. Thanks so much, Evan! Im glad that my book is helpful

Leave a Reply

Recent Blog Posts

Mini Tweets