VAIVA GmbH - Safe Mobility


Virtual development at VAIVA – A success story

Theresa Ley,

With the virtual development of vehicle functions, VAIVA is an indispensable partner of long-standing expertise of the Volkswagen Group. For more than 10 years we have been doing our part to bring safe production vehicles to the market. With a focus on the replication of functional and driving dynamic properties of a real reference vehicle, VAIVA realizes digital prototypes.

For more than 10 years VAIVA has been developing complete vehicle simulations and simulation tool chains within the Volkswagen Group. The first project was the realization of a virtual twin for an innovative electric vehicle. Based on this twin, new operating strategies for the powertrain were virtually proven. In the following years, the experience gained was used to develop virtual vehicles for other model series. These virtual replicas were used for virtual development and testing in the areas of body electronics, driver assistance systems, integrated safety, chassis and powertrain. This wealth of experience was pooled for the first time in the development of an all-electric series-production vehicle, so that a reliable virtual vehicle was already available in early project phases. Currently, VAIVA is focusing on the development of the virtual vehicles for the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) and Scalable Systems Platform (SSP).

The whole-vehicle simulations are used in the model/software and hardware-in-the-loop domains. The focus is on emulating the functional and vehicle dynamics characteristics of the real reference vehicle. The models are realized by means of graphical programming and consist of several hundred libraries. VAIVA thus covers the complete profile of development here. The many years of experience from the development of vehicle software according to the ASPICE process model also come into play. At the beginning of development, technical requirements for the virtual vehicle are derived on the basis of customer requirements and linked to technical documents from vehicle development. Based on this information, the architects carry out a design of the model architecture and, if necessary, of the simulation framework. The next step is the modeling of individual submodels based on this functional and technical decomposition from the areas of: Vehicle Dynamics, Powertrain, Energy Storage Systems, Infotainment/Connected Car, ADAS and Residual Bus Simulation. These models are developed by VAIVA itself, but also by OEMs, Tier 1 and other partners.

After completion of the models, VAIVA performs the integration to a complete vehicle model. For this purpose, the results of the component tests and supplied versions are first checked for validity. After this consistency check, the vehicle model can be built and adapted, for which a CI/CD infrastructure is also used. Usually, anomalies occur during the integration. These are discussed by VAIVA with the process partners and a remedy is brought about. After the integration of the model has been completed, the focus is on the validation of the simulation model, which takes place in several stages. In the first stage, driving situations are re-simulated in Simulink and compared with desired reference behavior (criteria/time series). Subsequently, the model is also validated on a real-time target according to the same criteria. If the tests are successful, the complete vehicle model is released for use by the partners in the Group.

In addition to providing a virtual complete vehicle, VAIVA has a very high level of expertise in the realization of model and software-in-the-loop systems. In the field of model-in-the-loop simulation, the replicas of vehicle functions are replaced by real states of the vehicle function. In the current architectures of the virtual vehicle, this is done by simply exchanging the modules, since the replicas in Simulink use the same interfaces as the real reference. For the realization of complicated software-in-the-loop systems based on virtual ECUs, the tools of well-known manufacturers are used. In these tool chains, the Autosar SWC’s or function modules are integrated into an emulation of the basic software and then integrated into the overall simulation as an FMU.

So the virtual development at VAIVA is already a success story, which is continued every day.

by Mirko