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The demand for innovation is universal across industries, as new products are required to meet higher performance standards without slowing the overall time to market. This reality is perhaps most apparent in the automotive industry, where a wide range of technologies must come together seamlessly if a new product is to be successful. China Euro Vehicle Technology (CEVT) is using new development techniques to bring new technologies into passenger vehicles, and ensure successful integration of the many systems present in modern designs.

One of those technologies is system-level modeling that uses specialized software to model the interactions across an entire system. By taking a system-level modeling approach, CEVT is creating a powerful testing and simulation platform that can be used to verify the functionality of their new automotive technologies at earlier stages in the design process. With its Modelica standard for system-modeling components, the team decided to evaluate MapleSim from Maplesoft as the modeling and simulation tool for their larger simulation platform.

CEVT is aiming to create a powerful simulation platform that can validate a wide range of design components — from software controllers to individual hardware subsystems — in what is known as “in-the-loop” simulations. For these kinds of simulations, the system-level models are created not only to be highly accurate, but also capable of very efficient computation for real-time usage on test platforms. MapleSim was chosen for its ability to create efficient, royalty-free code that can run in real time.

In order to avoid slowdowns involved with learning a new modeling tool, CEVT partnered with Chalmers University of Technology for customized training services provided by Maplesoft. The Chalmers team was given in-depth guidance on system-level modeling practices relevant to their work. During a three-day training program, modeling experts from Maplesoft helped the Chalmers team become proficient with MapleSim. The team quickly worked through the basics of model creation before moving on to training related to their specific project needs, including code generation, exporting models to the Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI) standard, and creating custom components to account for their specific designs.

Working with Maplesoft's modeling experts, the teams at Chalmers and CEVT were able to easily and efficiently develop workable processes for integrating MapleSim with their own tools such as the CarMaker simulation platform. They now use MapleSim to create vehicle models and export them into Functional Mock-up Units (FMUs), which then connect into the rest of their toolchain. The training also provided MapleSim model optimization techniques so they could make quick iterations on design concepts before moving testing to in-the-loop simulation platforms.

The approach taken by CEVT in evaluating MapleSim and training as a team in system-level modeling is a sign of their larger commitment to new, innovative approaches in vehicle design. By looking to integrate powerful system-level modeling tools like MapleSim, CEVT is maintaining its position as a leader in virtual engineering techniques.

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