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Effective Methods for Evaluating Telematics Systems

Supporting Connected Car Development via Cellular Protocol Evaluation and IP Network Connection Environments

Implementing intelligent transport systems using vehicle to vehicle/people/roadside network (V2X) services, etc., will, for example, help assure the safety and security of people and property by providing emergency responders to an automobile accident with easy access to the latest regional maps and visual data via video streaming services and web data. The communications technologies and protocols related to wireless communications supporting the 'connected car' cover many fields and are increasing in complexity as represented by the appearance of new automobile wireless standards, such as eCall.

Telematics system development engineers developing and evaluating these wireless communications technologies are suffering from increasing daily workloads which slows deployment. Is there some way to improve the efficiency of telematics system development and evaluation to help lighten the burden?

 

Issues in Connected Car Wireless Communications Tests

Telematics service technologies using the latest advances in cellular communications are being developed worldwide with a central focus on the 'connected car'.
Telematics is based on using cellular protocols supporting data exchange and calls between in-vehicle wireless equipment and terminals, as well as IP networks offering various services.
Evaluation of telematics systems is based on laboratory simulation of actual communications networks.

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Laboratory Simulation of Cellular Protocols and IP Networks for Evaluating Telematics Systems

Development and evaluation of telematics systems requires implementing every possible laboratory test prior to full-scale field testing, as well as troubleshooting issues to maximize efficiency and cut wasted time at later field testing. This helps improve the quality of telematics systems as well as reduce overall costs.
These goals are achieved by configuring various cellular protocol environments in the laboratory to evaluate the telematics system at each development stage. The cellular protocol evaluation environment configuration uses a so-called signalling tester to reproduce and measure various communications conditions between the wireless base station and wireless terminal, but the following issues must be solved to implement a cellular protocol and IP network evaluation environment in the laboratory.

Issue 1. Creating Test Scenarios

Generally, the laboratory cellular protocol evaluation environment is created using test scenarios provided by the wireless measuring instrument vendor. The scenarios are programmed manually (in a programming language) to run the tests. However, test scenario creation is difficult and requires specialist knowledge of cellular protocols.

Issue 2. Verifying Connection with Service Server using IP Network Connection Test

Evaluating the telematics system onboard wireless and dashboard equipment, such as the TCU, before full-scale commercial release requires a test environment as close as possible to the actual operating environment. Consequently, in addition to the cellular protocols, there is a strong requirement for quality verification tests in line with actual service and use cases, including IP network connections to test servers and actual servers.

Solving these issues increases the efficiency of telematics system development and evaluation and helps cut workloads.

 

– All-in-One In-vehicle Wireless Terminal Communications Test–Anritsu Telematics Solution–

The Signalling Tester MD8475A is a base station simulator for reproducing various communications conditions between a base station and in-vehicle wireless terminals. It has a built-in SmartStudio user interface for easy reproduction of these communications conditions, which eliminates the need to create test scenarios and enables inexperienced developers with only basic knowledge of wireless technologies to easily implement the optimum cellular protocol evaluation environment. Additionally, since the Signalling Tester MD8475A also supports various communications technologies, such as 2G, 3G, and LTE, it can be used for mobility testing with multiple communications technologies and base stations. And all-in-one support for VoLTE tests using a built-in IMS server plus communications functions for connected car function tests assures better cost performance than competing systems.

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The Signalling Tester MD8475A is the first base station simulator to support IP network connection tests. It supports product quality verification using test and actual servers in the laboratory prior to commercial release when live network testing cannot be used, helping cut field testing time and costs.

 

Example= Mandatory eCall, ERA-GLONASS

Typical telematics services like eCall and ERA-GLONASS use communications services to help protect life and property, making assured communications a key issue. These services offer rapid response assistance at auto accidents by using cellular networks; in Europe, all new vehicles sold from April 2018 will be fitted with eCall communications equipment while ERA-GLONASS will be fitted to all new vehicles sold in Russia from January 2017.

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eCall, ERA-GLONASS Communications Cellular Protocol Evaluation Environment Configuration

Evaluation of eCall communications modules and vehicles with installed equipment requires testing using the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) test case, which requires test data that can be handled by the test case. Similarly, evaluation of ERA-GLONASS communications modules and vehicle installations requires GOST R 55530 certification testing in accordance with the Russian government ERA-GLONASS standard. Evaluation and certification of eCall and ERA-GLONASS communications modules and system operation requires configuration of a cellular protocol evaluation environment following these dedicated test cases and is a key part of each development stage.

The Signalling Tester MD8475A supports the ETSI eCall EN 16454 conformance standard and the Russian emergency response system ERA-GLONASS GOST R 55530 standard. Measurement of both these systems can be automated, helping cut the time required for user measurement. Moreover, the MD8475A supports pre-testing according to the ERA-GLONASS standard under the same test environment as used by certification standards organizations as mandated for Russian government approved testing bodies. Evaluation is implemented using these eCall and ERA-GLONASS test cases, which return OK or NG evaluation results based on the standards and helps prevent increasing evaluation costs at subsequent regression testing.

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