TestDrive - Vehicle Simulation

Fully programmable powertrain and vehicle simulation for ECU-in-the-loop testing.

The best solution for Open Loop testing on the market..


• Fully automated Automotive Power Train and Body Electronic ECU tester
• FPGA-based Electrical motor models and resolvers for hybrid vehicle power train
• FPGA IO boards with Integrated signal conditioning optimized for automotive ECU (12 V and 24V)
• Fully programmable IO boards:  no internal hardware settings using manual jumper for automated and tracable configuration setting
• Integrated Power moding on each IO board (5 voltage values applied based on key positions: accessory, off, crank, run)
• Real-time GUI based on LabVIEW
• Open-loop or close-loop models implemented with MATLAB, SIMULINK and RTW 
• Compatible with industry standard engine models (Gamma tech, …) and car dynamic software (CARSIM …)
• Test units can be deployed without requiring MATLAB licenses
• Several units can be interconnected for full vehicle simulation  
• Integration with breakout box and fault insertion units for fully integrated HIL systems


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RT-LAB TestDrive Real-Time ECU-in-the-Loop Simulation for Model-Based Design and Model-Driven Development For expansion, our ECU-in-the-loop simulation hardware easily accommodates new I/O types and additional channels.



 TestDrive Software tutorial video

For testing higher levels of integration, such as a chassis/powertrain combination, multiple TestDrives can be brought together through the built-in SignalWire real-time serial link. In addition to its capability as a standalone tester, each TestDrive can serve as an I/O processor in a multi-CPU RT-LAB Engineering Simulator for closed-loop real-time simulation using high fidelity plant models.

TestDrive is your only solution for ECU-in-the-loop simulation.

Graphical user Iterface

Software for test set up and simulation control running from Windows host PC. Both TIM and Windows-based GUI can be physically separate from the TestDrive so simulators can be centrally located for lab space optimization

Networking Features

NETWORKED SIMULATION Whether you are sitting next to it in the lab or accessing it from your office through the network, the same user interface software allows you to configure and run a simulation. System configuration along with test scripts can be stored on a networked server or a configuration management system for enhanced test repeatability.

REMOTE ECU TESTING To guarantee real-time performance, the system allows test automation scripts to be downloaded and run directly on the real-time processor. Outputs from a running simulation can be channeled to data files for post-processing, which makes TestDrive a perfect fit for lights-out testing.

I/O Features

  • Base configuration with sufficient I/O for engine, transmission, powertrain, and vehicle simulation
  • I/O expansion through plug-and-play modules
  • All I/O channels include configurable conditioning stage and protection mechanisms
  • Software selection of output stage type, channel configuration, signal range and scaling
  • Resistive loads included with ECU output channels. Use of custom loads or actuator loads supported


  • Fully compatible with Matlab/Simulink. Interface to MATRIXx available
  • Add computing power with additional CPUs using the RT-LAB Distributed Real-Time Platform

Based on the RT-LAB Distributed Real-Time Simulation Technology, TestDrive uses an off-the-shelf PC core that can be readily updated. It also provides an upgrade path to the model development and distributed simulation environment for which RT-LAB is widely recognized.

Fully Programmable Powertrain and Vehicle Simulation for ECU-in-the-Loop Testing

  • Cost-Effective Replacement of Static Simulators
  • Scalable Solution for Open and Closed Loop Testing
  • Networked Simulator for Remote Development

As the number of ECUs, and the amount of software, continues to multiply in a vehicle, it has become increasingly difficult to fully test each individual ECU and the ECU-ECU interface using static simulators. New requirements have emerged, including test repeatability, inter-related dynamic signals, higher number of I/O signals in new ECU designs, and the ability to configure a simulator for multiple ECU programs.

May 2009 Real-Time Simulation of HVDC Systems with eMEGAsim
Authors : Jean Bélanger, Authors : Jean-Nicolas Paquin, Authors : Wei Li
Abstract : This document provides users with benchmark models to evaluate the OPAL-RT Technologies system configuration needed to develop research models for the following three HVDC transmission systems: • Bipolar HVDC model, •...
Aug 2005 Electronic Platforms and On-Board Systems on Smart Vehicles: Dealing with Information in "Real-Time"
Authors : Jean Bélanger
Abstract : This presentation describes Opal-RT's next generation hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tools to be used for the next generation vehicles. An in depth look at the challenges and solutions of developing testing strategies...
Jun 2005 Hardware-in-the-Loop Design Optimization with CarSim-RT and iSight
Authors : Damon Becker, Authors : Paul Goossens
Abstract : Using CarSim-RT with iSight, engineers were able to demonstrate the optimization of a braking system with an ABS ECU connected to the design model. In this example, demonstrated at the iSight User Conference in Detroit,...

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