Engine control unit (ECU) software is becoming increasingly sophisticated as automotive manufacturers strive to deliver improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and a better driving experience. In particular, tighter regulations on emissions require precise control over air-fuel mixtures and combustion timing.
With such complex systems and strict requirements, defects or design flaws found late in development can lead to significant rework and cost overruns. To avoid these problems, it is vital to have an accurate simulation model of the engine as early in the ECU development process as possible. Toyota Motor Corporation engineers developed an engine model that was used to front-load their development process, enabling model-in-the-loop (MIL) and software-in-the-loop (SIL) testing on a production vehicle program.
“Front-loaded development with Model-Based Design enables us to shorten development cycles and minimize rework, which allows us to deliver products earlier than our competitors,” says Dr. Hisahiro Ito, assistant manager at Toyota. “With MATLAB, Simulink, and Simscape, we create the control software, plant model, and closed-loop simulator in a single environment, which greatly simplifies control system development.”