Technical Article: Overcoming Logging Challenges in ADAS Development Projects

The more tasks that driver assistance systems assume along the way to autonomous driving, the greater the number of sensors in the vehicle from different suppliers. Real road traffic provides the ideal reference data for testing – in endless variety. For this purpose, OEMs and system suppliers are sending test vehicles equipped with high-end data loggers onto the streets to collect data. That data is then used to precisely ”re-simulate“ certain traffic situations in the laboratory to test new or refined ADAS sensing and control logic. Instead of implementing numerous sensor-specific logging systems, what is required are scalable approaches and strategies.

Graphic: car with five different suppliers and five logging systems for ADAS sensor data

Example of an ADAS Level 3 setup with sensors from five different suppliers and five logging systems

The effort involved in testing and validating ADAS systems is enormous, and it continues to grow with increasing degrees of automation. Automated vehicles must be able to handle any conceivable situation. Up to a million real test kilometers may be driven with a test fleet, depending on the purpose of the vehicles, which corresponds to a logging duration of more than 20,000 hours. Once it is recorded, the logged data can be used any number of times to test new software builds. In this process, high-end servers with thousands of computing cores are used to reduce the time required for the re-simulation, e.g., from 20,000 hours of test driving to three weeks (500 hours). 

Autonomous Driving Is Inconceivable Without Realistic Tests

The vehicles that are used to log data are equipped with the sensors needed for their specific ADAS levels and numerous measuring technology components. The primary types of sensors are video cameras, radar sensors and laser scanners (LIDAR). The centerpiece of the ADAS systems is the fusion controller, which takes all sensor data and computes a current environment model in real-time, which is then used to control all drive, steering and braking systems. 
Various technical solutions are used to log the sensor, ECU and communications data: Such highly-equipped vehicles combine automotive-compatible RAID storage devices designed for performance and continuous operation, a high-performance PC with automatic power management, raw data measuring equipment for video, radar and fusion controllers, additional context cameras, inertial measurement systems for precise vehicle positioning as well as numerous bus interfaces for Automotive Ethernet, CAN, CAN FD, FlexRay, etc.

Generally, every sensor manufacturer offers a dedicated logging or debugging solution for their sensors. However, when numerous sensors from different manufacturers are combined in the vehicle, a universal solution is needed that supports all the necessary sensors and stores the data, time-synchronously, in a uniform, standardized format like ASAM-MDF4.

To meet the diverse and complex requirements for data logging of ADAS sensors, a universal and well-tuned solution is necessary. Such a solution is available from Vector. To implement measurement and logger software with certificate support, CANape is used along with individual sensor recorders with the help of DHPRs. ECU interfaces are available with the scalable VX1000 hardware – from individual base modules to the compact VX1161 Multi Base modules for measuring and calibrating multiple ECUs in parallel or in a network. There are also network interfaces and Ethernet switches, logging computers based on BRICK CORE COM with copying stations for quick read-out of the logged data, and finally logger cloud solutions for configuration and for analyzing the measured data with vMDM. It is important to keep integration effort low here. This can be achieved with an individually customized service package from Vector.