Automotive Applications and the Paramount Influence of Control Systems and Development 

As an aspiring engineering student, you must have a train of questions regarding the field of control systems design and development and its automotive applications. In this article, we offer an introduction to controls in the automotive space and the current market trends. 

The article also covers typical job roles and their functions in the entry-level, senior-level, and top management, along with a step-by-step guide on how you can get these jobs. 

State-of-the-Art: Control Systems in Automotive Space

If we delve into the domain of automation, we can segregate it into two types of vehicles:

  1. On-road
  2. Off-road

Here are some characteristics of each of them:

On-Road Vehicles

On-road vehicles carry people or cargo on public roads and highways that have certain characteristics such as:

  • Complex requirements
  • Complex control systems
  • The involvement of sensors and actuators
  • ECUs to DCUs

Off-Road Vehicles

Off-roaders feature large tires with deep, open treads, a flexible suspension, as-well-as caterpillar tracks. These vehicles have: 

  • Complex requirements
  • Complex control systems
  • The necessity of multiple ECUs
  • Safety and performance

Some other functionalities provided by control systems that get installed in vehicles include:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control: Adjust vehicle speed automatically while maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles.
  • Front Collision Warning: Designed to prevent or reduce the severity of a collision by monitoring speed.
  • Lane Departure Warning: Designed to notify the driver when the vehicle moves out of its lane on freeways or arterial roads.
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance: Assists the driver in maintaining his lane by providing speed limiters, steering angles, and monitoring the path traversed by the vehicle.
  • Lane Change Warning: It is a warning system meant to notify you of a vehicle approaching rapidly in your blind spot while exiting a lane.
  • Parking Assistance: This system uses ultrasonic sensors at the vehicle's front, rear, and sides to detect a parking spot.
  • Night Vision Pedestrian Detection:  It is a feature designed to assist drivers in avoiding potential collisions with pedestrians at night.

Some attributes of a control systems expert must include the ability to:

  • Understand system engineering
  • Know about mathematical modeling systems
  • Understand AI/ML models

Leading Software Solutions Providers

Here are some leading software solutions providers for control systems and automotive applications:

  • TCS & TRDDC (R&D Wing)
  • Capgemini
  • KPIT
  • Hella Automotive
  • Continental
  • Bosch
  • Delphi
  • IT Services (Wipro, HCL, L&T Infotech, Mindtree)

Leading Hardware Solutions Providers

The leading hardware solutions providers for control systems and automotive applications are as follows:

  • Continental
  • Bosch
  • Delphi
  • Renesas
  • Infineon
  • Hitachi

Entry-Level Job Roles and Their Functions

Here are some job roles and functions that these jobholders must fulfill: 

  • Embedded Systems Engineer (OEMs, Tier-1&2, IT Service Providers)
  • Plant Modelling Engineer (OEMs - On-Road, Off-Road Vehicle)
  • Simulations Engineer (OEMs, Tier-1&2)
  • Systems Engineer (Requirements and Analysis)
  • Automotive Engineer (OEMs - On-Road, Off-Road Vehicle, Tier-1&2, Service Providers)

Some renowned OEMs that have their TCI centers in India include BMW, Bosch, Continental, Ford, Daimler, Toyota, and others.

The Food Chain of Automotive Control Softwares

The food chain of automotive control software comprises about 43 premium members, 9 core partners, and 112 associate members.

The premium members include:

  1. OEMs: Original Equipment Manufacturers: The OEMs comprise Hyundai, Kia, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Porsche, Renault, Volvo, and Fiat.
  2. Tier-1: The OEMs are supplied by the members of Tier-1 that include Delphi, ZF, Visteon, Valeo, Lear, and many others.
  3. Standard Software and Tools: There exist standard software and tools such as Alpine, IBM, T Mobile Systems, Vector, Infosys, and many more.
  4. Semiconductors: Firms such as Freescale, Hitachi, NEC, Infineon, and Renesas supply hardware and semiconductors.

The core partners include: 

  1. Daimler Chrysler
  2. Opel
  3. BMW
  4. Ford
  5. Volkswagen AG
  6. PSA Peugeot Citroen
  7. Continental
  8. Bosch
  9. Siemens VDO

Some associate members comprise:

  1. Wind River
  2. ITRI
  3. Mando
  4. Preh

Indian Automotive Scenario: February 2020

Source

The automotive market in India is heading towards its doom as per the latest reports; however, as soon as the market stabilizes with electric vehicles and other car segments getting introduced, the markets could surge again.

A staggering 53.34% of the market share is occupied by Maruti Suzuki, while other contenders like Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Jeep, Renault, Ford, and others are trying to secure a fair share in the market as well.

Car Exporters and Giants

Source

Germany holds the rank of the largest car exporter in the world with a contribution of a whopping $151.9 billion, followed by Japan at $91.9 billion, and the U.S. at $53.8 billion.

China also now holds a humongous share of exporting automobiles across the world, with India also beginning to join the race with its rising worth in the industry.

Senior-Level and Top Management Job Roles and Their Functions

Here are some job profiles at the senior and the top management levels:

Technical Specialists/Engineering Fellows/Technical Fellows/VPs/AVPs

  1. Plant Modelling and Simulation Experts: Personnel in this expertise display the entire system concept within a virtual, interactive, and immersive environment to non-simulation experts.
  2. Virtual Validation Experts: Algorithms and models get tested on software before implementing them on vehicles, a job of the Virtual Validation Experts.
  3. Digital Twin Experts: It is a new subject and falls in line with the other sectors of the industry, especially with the Advanced Control Experts.
  4. Advanced Control Experts: Implementing algorithms for driverless cars or off-road vehicles get facilitated by AI/ML/ Algorithm Specialists.

Vice President - Virtual Engineering (OEMs, Top Service Providers)

The position of vice president is a voguish role in companies such as GE that has virtual validation platforms and requires skilled personnel for the position of virtual engineers.

  1. Digital Twin Lifecycle Development
  2. Manufacturing Engineering
  3. Embedded Systems Design & Development

Vice President - ADAS Systems Development (Tier-1&2, OEMs)

Companies such as Capgemini and KPIT offer VP positions for DAS systems development. The sub-positions include:

  1. Sensor Fusion Engineering
  2. Algorithm Development
  3. Embedded Systems
  4. Validation and Verification

Vice President - ML/AI, Advanced Controls

Companies like Hella and Altran are actively recruiting people skilled in ML and AI to develop algorithms for Automated vehicle manufacturing.

  1. AI/ML Algo Development
  2. Advanced Controls Modelling
  3. System Engineering
  4. Data Science & Analytics

Case Studies: Academia to Industry

This case study is meant to help you match your skills with the industry. 

Here, we will talk about ADAS systems. We have sensors that include: 

  • RADAR
  • LiDAR
  • Camera
  • Navigation

These sensors acquire information that gets inputted into the ADAS controller. 

We design a control system model, develop an ADAS controller, and develop all algorithms such as adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, and other applications.

The next step is moving to the actuation system, which comprises: 

  • Brake system
  • Steering system
  • Suspension system
  • Powertrain system
  • Battery system

The steps involved in the designing and testing of a system include:

  • Control Targets: We set attributes and parameters for the system before building.
  • Control System Configuration: This step is to ensure that all changes to a complex system are in the knowledge and consent of management.
  • Control Design and Simulation: This level helps you simulate dynamic systems, create controllers, as well as deploy control systems to real-time hardware.
  • Control Software Requirements Specifications: It is a document that describes what the software does and how it would perform.
  • Code Generation: A compiler's code generator converts some intermediate representation of source code into a form readily executed by a machine.
  • Software Verification:  We evaluate the development phase to ensure the accuracy of the software in this step.
  • ECU: It controls one or more of the electrical systems or subsystems in a vehicle.
  • Calibration: We compare the measured values produced by a device under test with those of a calibration standard of established accuracy.
  • Validation: This step establishes documentary evidence showing that a procedure, process, or activity maintains the desired level of compliance at all stages.

How to Secure Senior-Level Positions? - Niche and High-Paid Skillset

To understand the criteria that you must meet to secure senior-level positions, here are some guidelines: 

1. Inclination Towards Mathematics, Engineering, and Data

2. Basics of Control Theory: 

  • Linear Control Systems
  • Classical Control Systems
  • Stability Analysis and Modelling
  • Linear Algebra

3. Advanced Control Systems

  • System Identification
  • Artificial Neural Network
  • Non-Linear Dynamic Systems Modelling
  • Machine Learning Algorithms: Supervised, Unsupervised, Regression
  • Kalman Filter Design/Data Filtering Models

4. Practice With Tools

  • MATLAB/Simulink/Stateflow
  • Octave
  • Python, R
  • Coding with C, C++ (Basics)
  • AI/ML Tools for Data Processing and Analysis (Minitab, Python, R, MATLAB)
  • Embedded Systems

5. A Multi-Disciplinary Approach Towards Systems: Niche & High-Paid (12-22 INR LPA for 7-10 exp.)

Final Words

With automobile technology advancing at a rapid pace, you need to stay up-to-date with your skills and have a decent knowledge of control systems design and development for automotive applications.

Get yourself enrolled in the Control Systems Design and Development for Automotive Applications course provided by Skill-Lync to gain the intellect on the developing latest control systems that fuel the modern era vehicles.

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