Vehicle Powertrain Simulator Software Suite & Development Environment

DTB Software

The functionality of the DTB is defined by the powertrain simulator software, and specifically the plant model downloaded to it. It’s then configured and controlled during normal test operation via a bespoke GUI running in VISUALCONNX. This allows the DTB to be physically ‘driven’ by a human operator via a touch screen interface or by test automation. Alternatively the production pedals, steering wheel, gearstick and other controls can be used to drive the simulation.


A simulation model is used to define the desired dynamic behaviours, as well as control the signal flow and configure and scale the I/O, as required. The simulation model for the DTB is written in MATLAB Simulink®, with add2 being able to provide full assistance in this process from requirements specification to the final production.

Simulink Target Support Package diagramVehicle plant models are created using the MICROGen flexiTARGET blockset which can support up to the latest version of MATLAB. It includes support for GCC and other low cost compilers, as well as supporting the latest MICROGen hardware.

Typically, the DTB is able to run models at a speed of 5ms or better, depending on the complexity of the model. This enables the DTB to provide functional testing for complete vehicle systems and sub-systems.

The MICROGen hardware and associated H3 modules within the DTB provide the necessary I/O for communication with the model. Models are downloaded to the DTB with VISUALCONNX.


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Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for the DTB run within VISUALCONNX, which is our real-time systems interface creation software. VISUALCONNX allows GUIs created via drag and drop mechanics to control real-time systems. Interfaces can be augmented via scripting through a variety of languages including Python, VBScript and JScript.

Vehicle dashboard for control verification

add2 is able to provide and develop a GUI for any vehicle model simulation. VISUALCONNX can store multiple vehicle configurations. These can be selected on the main menu, depending on the vehicle model being used. It is also possible for users to design their own interfaces using a VISUALCONNX Developer licence. Once complete, a GUI can be distributed to individual test boards and run using a single Run-time licence.

In different modes, the GUI or model can control a broad range of elements, such as engine speed, wheel speed, battery voltage, clutch, brake, accelerator, fuel level and transmission.

How it works

MICROGen control prototyping system within DTBVehicle plant models are created using the MICROGen flexiTARGET blockset which can support any version of MATLAB up to the latest release. It includes support for GCC and other low-cost compilers, as well as supporting the latest MICROGen hardware.

VISUALCONNX touch screen interface for vehicle verificationVISUALCONNX, our real-time interfacing software, can run on a control PC and be operated via touch screen. This can be manually ‘driven’ by the test, by the controls on the GUI, or by scripting to automate tests.

Prototype vehicle controls on test boardA tester with driving experience can sit within the test board and ‘drive’ the ‘vehicle’. They can control physical components manually or through the GUI. This allows for look-and-feel testing to take place within the confines of the workshop.

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