Volvo Trucks, Mentor Graphics Complete Autosar Project

by : Rain Stockton

Mentor Graphics Corporation has recently announced successful results of an AUTOSAR demonstrator project recently completed in collaboration with Volvo® Trucks. AUTOSAR is the standards organization working to create an open standard for automotive engineering architecture. Mentor is a premium member of AUTOSAR.

The project, the goal of which was to increase the knowledge about AUTOSAR within the Volvo group as well as evaluate commercial viability of the AUTOSAR concept itself, entailed completely redeveloping an existing climate control system using AUTOSAR technology.

AUTOSAR recently released its first set of specifications (release 2.1, January 2007) for use as basis for product development. Automotive OEMs and suppliers are looking at the possibility of basing their products and systems on AUTOSAR technology but the AUTOSAR partnership has stressed from the beginning that commercial vehicles should not be explicitly considered when developing the AUTOSAR concept. AB Volvo - also maker of top of the line , being a commercial vehicle manufacturer (trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine engines) as well as an AUTOSAR Premium Member, decided to evaluate the AUTOSAR concept from a commercial vehicle manufacturer's perspective to verify whether the AUTOSAR standard can handle the special needs of this domain, without causing problems.

Mentor Graphics was the main contractor for the project responsible for developing and integrating the entire basic software. A key factor in Mentor Graphics tool development for this project was the adaptation of VNA (Volcano Network Architect) into the design flow, enabling predictable network communication over CAN (Controller Area Network) even in the context of AUTOSAR.

Five months after the start of the project the prototype was successfully integrated and tested in a real truck. Results from the demonstrator project indicate: (i) the major AUTOSAR concepts are working; (ii) it is possible to handle special needs for commercial vehicles; and (iii) AUTOSAR components and tools are mature enough to start concept studies targeting product development.

"Mentor's expertise in AUTOSAR and its commitment to the customer showed in the timely delivery of products as well as technical support for the integration effort that led to a successful closure of the project within a very short time," said Serge Leef, general manager, Mentor Graphics System Level Engineering Division. "We believe our investment and commitment in this area will ultimately lead to tremendous benefits for our customers. These recent results are an important milestone in the road to commercial deployment of AUTOSAR standards."