Leveraging the Automotive Open System Architecture (AUTOSAR) standards, the AVISTA team helps our customer build and test AUTOSAR-compliant application components that are re-usable across families of industrial agriculture vehicles across their enterprise.
Utilizing the PREEvision modeling tool, requirements and software architectures for reusable modules can be specified at a level of precision that makes automatic code generation for the interfaces possible. The AUTOSAR standard defines the Virtual Function Bus (VFB), which represents precise interface and runnable (task) semantics between multiple application components that can be implemented on the same ECU or distributed over several networked ECUs.
Several communication paradigms are supported, including Sender/Receiver (data flow), Queued Sender/Receiver (asynchronous events/messages), and Client/Server in both synchronous (blocking) and asynchronous (unblocked) modes. Coupled with the standardization of the Run Time Environment (RTE) and Basic Software (BSW) implementations for OS interfaces, AUTOSAR services (e.g. diagnostics, NVRAM, configuration and calibration, the communication layer, etc.), IO hardware abstraction, and complex device drivers, it is possible to build real time control systems out of generated code using no hand-written code modifications.
As our customer began adopting the AUTOSAR paradigm across their enterprise, AVISTA was contracted to join this R&D effort to determine the efficacy of the chosen methodology and tool chain and uncover issues. Using a feature that had variant implementations on Ag Sprayers across the globe, a prototype of this feature was built that could be reused on every variant. Using comprehensive system requirements, several architectures and designs were built and evaluated. The chosen design was specified and wrapped within a simple application controller, and an extensive tool chain was exercised from an architecture specification using PREEvision down to bench testing using the TriCore tasking debugger and a CAN network analyzer.
Lessons learned were shared with the customer, and this effort was used as the basis for follow-on work. Indeed, that work has been seamlessly integrated within the larger architecture described below.
The customer then began a wholesale migration of existing Ag Sprayer Control functionality using AUTOSAR. The software architecture began from scratch with the intention to support all variants and even consider reusability for other non-sprayer types of vehicles. The AVISTA team proposed a layered architecture approach separating user interface dependencies using the proven Model-View-Controller approach. Business logic for all variant features was separated from physical sensor monitoring and actuator control. Models of the plumbing and propulsion (pumps) system were designed to isolate plumbing changes from the feature logic and user interface. The architecture was designed to support increased Sprayer/Vehicle automation.