dSPACE Hosts EcoCAR Workshop

This week students from the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge teams had the opportunity to attend the dSPACE Workshop. Leadership-level competition sponsor, dSPACE, hosted the exclusive workshop at their facility in Wixom, MI. This workshop has been specifically constructed for the Propulsion Controls and Modeling (PCM) sub team. The PCM sub team is responsible for developing the hybrid supervisory controller, which acts as the “brains” of the teams’ vehicles. This involves modeling, testing, and controls development. Throughout the week, EcoCAR teams came in two waves of six teams in order to receive two days of thorough, hands-on training.

The students that attended the dSPACE Workshop received a wide variety of training to prepare them for rapid prototyping advanced automotive control systems. They learned how to develop and deploy software to dSPACE MicroAutoBox II controller hardware, which is a prototyping controller designed to enable rapid development and testing of control algorithms. In order to test their algorithms, they also learned how to develop applications with dSPACE Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulators; these HIL systems will emulate the signals that will be present once the MicroAutoBoxes are implemented into the teams’ 2019 Chevrolet Blazers.

Teams also learned how to use ControlDesk to interact with software running on the MABXII and HIL systems in real time. The ControlDesk software enables seamless Electronic Control Unit (ECU) development by performing all of the necessary tasks in a single working environment. ControlDesk allows teams to do all sorts of testing including data acquisition of signals and fault injection simulations (you purposely add faults into your system including faulty wiring, incorrect signals, etc., to see if your supervisory controller hardware reacts appropriately and safely).

After a full day of training, dSPACE invited the teams to The Backyard Axe Throwing League to test their axe throwing skills. It was a tough competition, but congratulations to Drew Hayworth from Virginia Tech and Mahaveer Kantilal Satra from Ohio State University for being crowned Axe Throwing Champions of the dSPACE EcoCAR Fun Night!

Thank you to dSPACE for hosting and sponsoring a successful workshop. Take a look inside the workshop below and view more photos of the event HERE!