Quality Assurance for Autonomous Systems and The Challenges Ahead

The last few years have seen a tremendous advent in the field of autonomous systems, especially when it comes to vehicles. 

Companies are racing to produce a solution that’s capable of handling the challenges of driving unassisted, and we can already see some pulling ahead of the curve. There are a few interesting concepts that are currently emerging and in this article, we’ll look at some of them, the benefits they offer, as well as the challenges that lie ahead. 

Electronic Control Systems: Things to Consider 

Right off the bat, the improvement of advanced assisted drive functionalities, as well as of autonomous systems, will definitely require a serious transformation in the architecture of the control systems of the vehicle. 

These new and advanced vehicles present a lot of challenges to electronic systems which tend to be complicated enough as it is. They are also driving the demand for substantially improved computing performance, connectivity, increased safety, as well as highly diligent quality assurance, guaranteeing all that. 

When it comes to the autonomous vehicle market, there’s no shortage of predictions. Some are even as bold as to predict that 75% of all vehicles will be entirely autonomous in 20 years. But it’s important to know that legislative governance, as well as consumer acceptance, will be the deciding factors when it comes to the proliferation in the market. 

It’s also worth considering that autonomous passenger cars will be created through the addition of assisted-drive, as well as navigation assist functionalities that will shift the control from the driver to the vehicle and it’s something that we are already seeing with certain manufacturers. 

The maintenance of full local decision-making functionalities in every single distributed vehicle system can also result in overly complex implementation which will require very high communication bandwidth, 

Now, let’s talk about another trend that’s massively growing in popularity in the past year. 

Internet of Vehicles: What You Need to Know

The technological revolution impacts every industry, without an exception. The reason is relatively simple – we have an inherent desire for more connected and intelligent devices. This is the reason for which surveys predict the number of IoT (Internet of Things) connected devices to grow to a staggering 64 billion by 2025, which is less than 5 years from now. In general, this is a trend that will drive the advent of autonomous systems even further. 

This is where the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) comes into the picture. It’s a concept that allows vehicles to exchange data, be more efficient, and perhaps what’s most important – be safer for the passengers. 

However, ensuring this is no easy task. Did you know that the average modern car comes with about 100 million lines of software code written for it? All of this needs to go through the proper quality assurance procedures to guarantee that the autonomous system won’t malfunction and cause a safety hazard. Yet, the benefits are so substantial that companies invest millions for development and quality assurance to further build on this growing trend. Here are just a few of the advantages that this concept offers. 

Let’s take a quick look at an example architecture of IoV for autonomous vehicles and how it looks like. 

  • Perception

This includes all the sensors that your vehicle contains. This layer stores the environmental information necessary to detect events, situations, and various driving patterns. It also comes with radio frequency identification (RFID), which is especially important for autonomous systems because it helps with vehicle position and other objects that are on the road.

  • Second layer – network 

As a second part comes the communication layer. It guarantees connectivity to all other networks and includes Wi_Fi, Bluetooth, 5G, or WLAN, for example. 

  • Application

This particular layer of the architecture of autonomous vehicles is responsible for the analysis, processing, storage, and decision-making when it comes to different risk situations. 

Now, here are some of the benefits

As mentioned above, using this technology is well worth it because it offers a lot of different advantages. Here are just a few. 

  • Convenience

This is undoubtedly the biggest advantage of IoV – it improves the convenience for the user. It offers an ability to offer a vehicle remotely, enables remote door locking capabilities, and greatly enhances autonomous systems

  • It’s environmentally friendly 

Another thing to consider is that IoV technology boasts serious improvements for the environment. An autonomous vehicle is always going to be a lot more efficient than one operated by a person because it has this efficiency pre-determined and embedded in its millions of lines of code. 

  • Indefinite flow if information 

When coupled with other emerging technologies such as machine learning, this becomes a factor to be reckoned with.

Quality Assurance: A Critical Consideration

While all of the above might sound particularly promising, quality assurance is perhaps the most important step of the way. 

It’s absolutely paramount that these systems are taken under strict and rigorous safety checks to guarantee the safety of those who use them. 

FPT Software is an AUTOSAR partner and boasts an extensive verification and testing process which includes, but is not limited to the following steps: 

  • Creating comprehensive specifications for the text
  • Developing test models for MCAL API verification through Labview
  • Extensive test suites to confirm parameter range and error processing methods
  • Analyze the migration from AUTOSAR 3.0 to 4.0 
  • Executing the tests carefully
  • Create documents and checklists required for ISO processes