Vehicle Powertrain Simulator For Test Board Environments | DTB

DTB | Lab Vehicle Powertrain Simulator

The DTB powertrain simulator allows you to perform test board verification in a more controlled environment, in a more repeatable manner and at a reduced cost compared to vehicle prototypes or HIL.

The system simulates engine and other dynamic signals, allowing production intent components to be tested as if connected to a real vehicle.

It simulates key vehicle signals including the crankshaft, CAM shaft, wheel speeds, fuel levels and injectors, and is fully Simulink®-programmable.

So, DTB allows you to perform more verification before the prototype phase, reducing the number of prototype vehicles required per development programme.

“add2’s main strength is in innovative and appropriate technology for automotive applications. Simply put, this reduces the work required for the OEM customer to achieve desired test cases.”

Kyaw Kyaw Soe, E/E Core Systems & Software Engineering, Ford Motor Company | Read the full case study here


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Technical overview:

During the design lifecycle of a vehicle, at some stage it is necessary to put together a system that uses real parts – such as switches, actuators, electronic control units and the intended wiring harness – to allow functional debugging and testing to be performed. This important stage exists to try to resolve system integration and software issues prior to building prototype vehicles. Prototype vehicles are a very costly investment, meaning test boards offer a lower-cost test platform.

Verification engineer using DTBadd2’s Dynamic Test Board Vehicle Powertrain Simulator, ‘DTB-01-565’, is one of a new kind of test board simulators. It is designed specifically to deliver improved levels of functional testing at the breadboard, lab-car, yellowboard or plywood buck design phases.

Available with a mature platform of hardware and supporting software out of the box – along with cables and interfaces, the DTB is up and running in no time. A pre-built GUI is provided to configure the vehicle specific information, to monitor the system and to control the tests in open or closed-loop driving modes.

Integrated robustness test hardware

DTB simulators have built-in hardware to perform robustness testing such as cranking, transient bursts, ramping or captured waveforms.

Animated vehicle crank waveform

Powerful control GUI

DTB simulators are monitored and controlled via a windows-based GUI. This GUI is used to choose the vehicle from easily configured data.

DTB Control Screen

Crankshaft and camshaft sensor simulation

All DTB simulators can be configured to simulate the engine by generating the sensor signals for crank and CAM.

Animated crank waveform and cam waveform

Low power modes testing

Each DTB comes with two channels of ultra wide, high dynamic range current measurement, allowing measurements from around 1mA to 1000 Amps without any switching.

Quiescent current draw of controllers diagram

Dynamic Test Board simulators can dramatically improve on traditional breadboard testing by including aspects that can normally only be performed on prototype vehicles. This allows testing to be performed earlier in the design lifecycle and can reduce the number of real prototype vehicles required.

DTB hardwareAttractive cost of ownership compared to full HIL simulators is  another of the many benefits of using DTB simulators, due to the reduced quantity of simulated I/O required.

In addition to offering many testing advantages, the DTB simulator is portable enough to be deployed across multiple breadboard set-ups, as the all-in-one unit contains a CPU, I/O conditioning and measurement system, with standard connectivity.

DTBs can extend test coverage, including:

• Infotainment systems

• Cruise control systems

• Instrument cluster testing and calibration

• Wiring harness integrity

• Autolocking, seatbelt and restraints warnings

• Basic ABS controller functions

• Auto-transmission locking functions

• Fuel level warning and fueling protection

• Systems level low voltage standards testing

• Electrical robustness testing

DTB powertrain simulator on test board

• Engine running scenarios

• Driving scenarios

• User interface and driver controls testing

• Real I/O stimulation for missing parts 

• Electrical robustness testing, such as cranking

• Quiescent current investigations

• Test automation



Target MICROGen
Processor 32-bit floating point
Onboard memory Up to 4Gb SD memory
Additional distributed I/O Unlimited
Available I/O 96
Development environment Compatible from Matlab 2012a onwards
Battery simulation LVTGO-VBS
Waveforms delivered Cranking, Fast Transient Burst Noise, Voltage ramps, MicroCUT, Constant slope ramps, Captured CSV waveforms
Unit supply range 20V, 30V, 40V, 60V, 80V
Support for standards including ISO 16750, LV 124, CI 265, VW 80101, GMW 3172 and more
Test automation support COM, DCOM
Current measurement Sens-X
Maximum CAN baud rate 1MBaud (factory set, default 500kBaud)
Sample rate Up to 1000S/s
Minimum resolution 0.3μA
Maximum current measurement Up to 1000A (subject to PSU)
Distributed Simulation Genix H3 and H4 modules
Simulation includes Injection capture, wheel speed, fuel consumption, cruise control testing. More functionality is available on request.
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