At Scionova, we strive to make the world a little bit better. But what does that mean in practice? To give you an insight into our daily work, we have performed an interview series asking our consultants about their experiences within IoT.
What does software developer Matz Larsson work with in his current assignment? Continue your read and find out!
Matz, tell us about your current role and what tasks you work with?
The project I currently work in is a sort of flight recorder. We make an application for a vehicle company where the user has a configuration tool and can choose which specific signals from the car they want to listen to. The information gets pre-processed and can then be transferred to the hardware, which is the very core of the flight recorder. The hardware then gets plugged into the car and the measuring can start.
When the tester is satisfied with the number of signals and information, the configuration tool is connected to the hardware. It can then download the collected data in order to inspect the value of the signals.
Doing this, the testers can verify that ECUs are functioning as expected according to the different cases that are being investigated. If the results show that they don’t, the recorded data can be used in troubleshooting to investigate it further.
My role is a classic developer role. I mainly work with the configuration tool, but I tend to also do a little work wherever it’s needed. Since, if you’re making some changes in the tool, you also have to make corresponding changes on the hardware side.
What language and platform do you work in?
I mainly work in Windows, with a mix of C++, C and a little bit of C#. And on the hardware side, we work in Linux.
What value, would you say, is created through your work and for whom?
Our client is, as mentioned before, a vehicle company. What we do and create is used in order to verify the cars and examine their behavior, and is not found in the car that end customer drives. So, from our client’s perspective, the value is the fact that they get an easy and smart way of measuring.
There’s another similar product called CANalyzer, which can be used to make the same measurements. It’s big on the market, and has a lot of features, but it demands even more resources. Having the tool that we create, makes working more cost efficient and just easier. It also allows us to make features that are based on our client’s specific needs. And we can tweak them just as we please, unlike CANalyzer.
But the main value has to be that the tool enables a way to verify that the car actually works as expected.
Is there an overall problem that engineers try to solve within this field? If so, what is that?
One of the things that we try to do, is to make it easier for our client’s testers. That means that everything has to be measured correctly, down to every little detail. Not only in terms of signal values but also in terms of timing and timeouts.
If not, the outcome may be that the testers thinks that there’s something wrong with a product even though it’s not, and starts troubleshooting it in vain. Just because they’ve received an incorrect value from our measurement tool.
Hence, the accuracy of the process is crucial and has to be on a high level. It’s also a big selling point for the project that I’m in, that we historically have had, and still have, a very stable product. It’s a little bit like with self-driving cars; the basic premise is that it should never go wrong.
That’s why it’s so important that we ensure that combinations of different features work together. And that new features don’t affect the current product in a negative way. And the larger the product gets, with all its features, the more complex it becomes.
Can you see any trends in the nearby time, regarding the development of this?
Generally, if you look at the current situation, the industry is about to change direction but not a whole lot. Traditionally, CAN-busses have been used to communicate between different ECUs but are gradually shifting over to Ethernet. Because of the fact that Ethernet can handle a higher speed. But this won’t change my tasks remarkably, it will just be a new medium to transfer the data through.
However, what I think will change, is not only the fact that more data will be sent at a faster speed. I believe Ethernet will unlock new possibilities regarding how to use data and communication channels. Which will definitely affect my, and our, way of working.
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