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Ford Motor Company Position Paper

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Ford Motor Company Position Paper: Managing Vehicle Control System Architecture is a Key Enabler for Strategic Reuse National Workshop On High Confidence Automotive Cyber-Physical Systems April 3-4, 2008 Troy, Michigan (USA) Introduction Today's automobiles are becoming increasingly complex systems. Technology is evolving at a rapid pace and for automobile manufacturers to stay competitive they need to deliver more feature content and improved vehicle attributes all while reducing cost and improving quality. This operating environment puts an enormous amount of stress on the traditional engineering designs and processes. Subsystems that were once independent are sharing sensor information and competing for the use of the vehicle's actuators (E.g. brake calipers). With the dizzying array of features available, it is becoming imperative for engineers to take a vehicle level approach to the control of the subsystems in the vehicle. Traditional areas such as engine control, transmission control, and braking control are morphing into distinct two areas: Vehicle Controls and Subsystem Controls. The Vehicle Controls are focused on controlling the entire vehicle while the actuators in the Subsystem Controls area are focused on delivering the actuator behavior requested by the Vehicle Controls. Challenges for Vehicle Controls Development Beyond the technical challenges of delivering a Vehicle Control System that meets the customer's functional requirements of an individual vehicle program, engineers need to cope with a variety of challenges, including • Timing – Shorter product development cycles, shorter life of a vehicle line. • Limited resources – Less people, less prototypes, hardware cost reductions. • Proliferation of variants – Different vehicles, different feature content within the same vehicle line, different market requirements. Shifting the Process In a typical development process, the Vehicle Control System artifacts (requirements documents, algorithm designs, FMEAs, software implementations, etc.) are created using a Copy-Paste methodology. Engineers determine what existing assets most closely match the new product that is being engineered. Engineers then take a copy of those assets, paste them into the new project and begin modifying the artifacts to produce a working version of the new control system. This methodology results in ad-hoc reuse and a focus on today's project. This method is not sustainable in the face of the challenges outlined previously. In the Copy-Paste methodology, the Vehicle Controls engineering team is forced to manage multiple parallel paths that will inevitably diverge as time progresses. Eventually the task becomes too difficult for the engineering team to manage. Figure 1 outlines an alternative to the traditional controls development process. In a product line approach, the focus of effort is on Domain Engineering. Assets are not developed in a context of a single vehicle program; rather they are developed in the context of a family or product line of vehicles. These assets are then used across multiple vehicle programs. There will always be a certain amount of customization and uniqueness for each individual program. This customization takes place in Application Engineering. This product line approach requires significant management commitment as the needs of a single product may be downplayed to support the higher needs of the product line.Ford Motor Company Position Paper: Managing Vehicle Control System Architecture is a Key Enabler for Strategic Reuse National Workshop On High Confidence Automotive Cyber-Physical Systems April 3-4, 2008 Troy, Michigan (USA) Figure 1: Typical approach to vehicle controls development as compared to a process designed around a product line. 1 Control System and Software Architecture Management A key enabler for successfully delivering assets that will meet the needs of the different vehicle applications is architecture management. Software intensive systems such as a Vehicle Control System require a shift in importance away from individual system performance to soft criteria/quality attributes/non-functional requirements. When engineers are delivering assets that need to support an entire product line, they need to focus on delivering assets that meet all of the desired quality attributes such as extendibility, testability, dependability, and so on. Architecture impacts all areas of the systems engineering Vee, from requirements down to software implementation and back up to vehicle level validation and verification. Architecture is about guiding and constraining the design; it is not about stipulating the final design. A good architecture description leaves a fair amount of design choice for the Vehicle Control System engineers. The architect's job is to decide what aspects are important to constrain, what aspects require guidance, and what aspects should be left open for the systems engineers/controls 1 More information on the product line approach is available through the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. http://www.sei.cmu.edu/productlines/Ford Motor Company Position Paper: Managing Vehicle Control System Architecture is a Key Enabler for Strategic Reuse National Workshop On High Confidence Automotive Cyber-Physical Systems April 3-4, 2008 Troy, Michigan (USA) engineers/software engineers/test engineers to define. The ultimate goal of the architect is to help the engineers who are delivering the reusable assets to create elements that meet the product line's quality attributes. For the vehicle control system to be fully functional it must not only meet the customer's functional requirements, it must meet the needs of the business – the non functional requirements. Conclusions Future research thrusts in Cyber-Physical Systems should include controls development processes with a focus on how to shift from today's ad hoc reuse toward tomorrow's strategic reuse. Research into architecture management practices will help give engineers the tools to bring more emphasis on the non-functional requirements of a system. Acknowledgemnets The author would like to thank Tony


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