Electrical and electronic system content in both automotive and commercial vehicles will continue to become more complex as new technologies are accepted and implemented. From vehicle level integration requirements to individual subsystem and component design validation, Exponent’s vehicle electronics group has significant expertise and industry experience that includes powertrain, body, chassis, safety, and entertainment electrical and electronic systems hardware and software. Our staff has experience designing and analyzing vehicle wiring and circuits, starting and charging systems, batteries, motors, switches, lamps, internal combustion and hybrid engine management systems, instrumentation, power mirrors and windows, automatic headlamp aiming, heads-up display, electric assist power steering, wireless tire pressure monitoring, electronic suspension control, antilock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, electronic throttle control, electric brake systems, passive seat belt systems, mobile communication systems, and front and side multi-stage supplemental restraint systems. Exponent personnel are versed in the failure modes of high duty cycle sensors and actuators, both inert and detrimental effects of electromagnetic interference, and relevant mitigation methods.
Exponent engineers and scientists are trained in Taguchi’s robustness design practices including total cost function, control factors, and life cycle cost management. In order to optimize product design, validation, and life testing processes for vehicle electronic systems, our engineers have implemented the design of experiments and are capable of exploring factors not understood or previously considered during initial product design and development. Failure mode and effect analyses (FMEA) for both hardware and software, as well as fault tree analysis (FTA), are important tools used in any analysis process. In addition, worst-case parameter evaluation is often used to verify a system’s ability to provide its intended function in the varied environmental conditions typically experienced by any vehicle.