Powertrain Control Systems

Powertrain and engine calibration and testing

Using rFpro driving simulators and Workstations in-the-loop with a drivetrain dyno to test and calibrate powertrain and engine control systems saves time and money. AVL estimate that using rFpro has saved them 30% of their up-front costs on such powertrain projects. The benefit of rFpro's highly realistic driving environment, with high quality graphics, ensures that the car is driven and controlled realistically by the test driver.

Accurate modelling and simulation of road surface

rFpro's detailed road surface at 1cm resolution ensures that the transient engine effects caused by changes to the road surface, bumps, slope and camber, that affect traction, exercise the real drivetrain so that longitudinal compliance, traction control, torque vectoring and other drivetrain and engine control systems may be calibrated and tested very quickly and at reduced cost, in controlled, repeatable conditions.

Hybrid testing

The vehicle dynamics effects of hybrid EV/IC transitions as well as EV transitions from charging to drive can also be evaluated on the rFpro driving simulator. rFpro driving simulators are sufficiently fast to allow accurate and representative testing of detailed vehicle dynamics effects, allowing powertrain strategies to be developed, and tested by human drivers, while still at the model based engineering stage.

Pre-test validation

For engineers testing engine and powertrain control systems, being able to hand drive the car model allows engineers to perform a subjective test of the latest version of ECU code before committing a test team to a Proving Ground visit. Testing in rFpro, at a Workstation, exercises the system in a way that the human test driver will drive the car and allows identification of problems that might not have been identified in automated tests. In some cases the combined costs of sending a team of engineers to a test facility and hire costs for the facility mean that the rFpro system can pay for itself the first time a problem is identified and fixed that would otherwise have resulted in a wasted test.

Early in the development of new powertrain concepts, decisions are made regarding fundamental architecture which have far-reaching consequences. Many of those decisions influence the subjective feel of the vehicle and require driver feedback to supplement objective data, in order to ensure the optimum choices are made. Simulation software from rFactor Pro not only provides the greatest possible graphical realism for the driver but also the ability to ‘feel’ events such as gear shifts and vehicle movements and experience them in ways that are not possible with offline desktop simulation
Erik Bognor

Manager for Driveability and Simulation, Engineering & Technology, Powertrains Systems dept. AVL

It is important that the road model captures the road surface accurately, but also that it can be validated to ensure that our vehicle model is running on the same road surface as the real car. TerrainServer impressed us with its ability to run complete contact patches for all four tyres in real-time on a road surface built and validated over the original point-cloud.
Giacomo Tortora

Head of Simulation, Ferrari