R&D project: Test System for Central Control Units Intended for Vehicles

The Challenge

The automotive industry is going through a monumental change, with vehicle architectures rapidly evolving from mechanical to electronic and electrical systems. Vehicles today contain up to 100 individual electronic control units (ECUs), each performing specific functions such as air conditioning, power steering, or cruise control.

With this fundamental shift in vehicle design and autonomous driving within reach, there is a growing demand for intelligent software to power these advanced features. Automakers face the challenge of developing software and hardware in parallel, requiring more efficient ways to test and validate vehicle systems and speed up time to market.

Project Objectives

In collaboration with Cluj-Napoca Technical University, we embarked on a pioneering research and development initiative to address these industry challenges. Our objectives encompassed:

  • Obtain a final commercial prototype using our know-how for the R&D phases in collaboration with the Cluj-Napoca Technical University;
  • Create an R&D infrastructure through the acquisition of tangible and intangible assets (specialized software and usage rights) for the development of a modern, patentable technical solution, which would be able to be integrated into the national and global profile market;
  • Launch the new product.

The Solution

AROBS Transilvania Software, in collaboration with the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, developed a test system for central control units intended for vehicles. We developed a V&V system that could be easily adapted to test different control units.

The project was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, and it was among the top 20% winning projects. 

The R&D project lasted for 2 years and went through the following phases:

  • Defining the electrical and software specifications, defining the system architecture, identifying the mechanical solution and the implementation solutions of the electronic modules, as well as the programs necessary for the development of the test system;
  • Optimal design and system analysis;
  • Development of the laboratory prototype;
  • Validation and testing of the final prototype.

The final product has several benefits:

  • Facilitates easy integration with multiple modules, streamlining the testing process and enhancing overall productivity;
  • Excels in simulating diverse scenarios, offering adaptability to cater to specific requirements;
  • Allows for the creation of customized testing scenarios, ensuring comprehensive evaluation of central control units (CCUs) in varied conditions;
  • Provides accurate representation of real-world conditions, enabling thorough validation of CCUs under diverse operational environments;
  • Optimizes CCU performance through iterative testing and scenario simulation, resulting in robust and reliable vehicle systems;
  • Supports compliance with industry regulations by enabling simulation of regulatory test scenarios, ensuring adherence to standards.

The product is currently used internally by AROBS clients in the automotive industry. 


Our solution leverages modular test bench architecture to accommodate the demands of modern automotive software development. This approach enables us to respond to the diverse and complex requirements of our customers. Utilization of Controller Area Network (CAN) and Local Interconnect Network (LIN) protocols is imperative in the automotive industry.

Our intelligent and modular test bench incorporates a series of input modules for simulating a wide array of signals, complemented by output modules. All data from input/output modules undergo processing via a Master control unit, with signal information relayed through computer graphics. This capability empowers customers to simulate various controllers and signals, ensuring the delivery of thoroughly tested and error-proof software.

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