Flint based Rapid Development for Automotive Dashboard

Nowadays, automotive dashboards and clusters are becoming the face of the vehicle with its ability to show the internals effectively to the user. Embien developed one such dashboard for an EV application to monitor the battery and overall vehicle performance. Below case study captures the same along with how this is realized quickly in spite of various challenges.

EV Battery Management

In any electric vehicle, one of the most important features is the Battery. The way the Battery is managed determines the yield and ultimately the life of the vehicle. It is important to manage how it is being charged, discharged, selecting the drive mode of the vehicle etc. While these can be done using specialized control system, it is also essential to show various information along with the environmental impact to the user. This calls for a dashboard through which the user can be notified of all the internal events and impacts. One of a popular eMobility company reached us with a requirement to develop such an automotive dashboard.

Being a leading service provider for automotive solutions, our technical team came up with a design that offers winning cost-ROI along with some flexibility for future addition. The design is based on RH850 with all necessary peripherals brought out. The below hardware block diagram gives an overview of the system.

The design was done taken into account the stringent requirements of the automotive industry such as ASIL-B, 'ISO 16750 – 1' (general), 'ISO 16750 – 2' with respect to the electrical and 'ISO 16750 – 3' with respect to mechanical loads, 'AIS-071' ARAI standard for tell-tale indications etc.

No - Code Application Development

Customer wanted a firmware development strategy whereby the features customization should be possible by not-so-highly specialized engineers. As there are quiet some development process to be done, customer wanted an approach whereby the changes can by dynamically done as and when the EV system evolves. And if it is done internally at customer end without any dependency on third party tools or specialized skillset, it would be beneficial for their innovation. Considering this, Embien developed the system with its Flint System Configurator and RAPIDSEA library.

Flint Graphical Programmer is a low-code tool that enables visual programming of the entire system. All the logical blocks can be created in a drag and drop approach. The CAN database (DBC) file of the system can be imported to the dashboard and necessary data can be extracted. The Flint tool will generate necessary CAN filters along with logic to map them to the target data ID. The data can be then processed using filters such as low-pass, PID etc or converted from one format to other and finally the display information can be generated.

UI Development with Flint UI Designer

Now that the information to be displayed to the user is ready, Flint UI designer can be used to create widgets. The UX design was done in tools like GIMP or Photoshop and after customer approval, the assets are imported to the Flint. All the UI flow are created in it and display data mapped to relevant UI components.

Animations and notification pop-ups are added to make the system livelier and user friendly.

Running on Target

Once done, the project is built and the software output is downloaded flashed on to the target. The Sparklet run time engine running on the RH850 MCU is used to render the visual elements, thanks to the graphical prowess of its GPU. Sparklet is our embedded graphics engine that is used by various OEMs and Tier 1’s in their products.

Similarity the logical and system design uses our RAPIDSEA for its operation. The RAPIDSEA configures all the peripherals as per the design done on the Flint and works.

Feature to update the system over CAN is achieved using our RAPIDSEA UDS stack. Thus with our assortment of tools like Flint, Sparklet and RAPIDSEA, we are able to quickly achieve the design.