Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version



In 2010, over 20.3 million vehicles were recalled. Software issues related to automotive controls such as cruise control, anti-lock braking system, traction control and stability control, account for an increasingly large percentage of the overall vehicles recalled. There is a need for new and scalable methods to evaluate automotive controls in a realistic and open setting. We have developed AutoPlug, an automotive Electronic Controller Unit (ECU) architecture between the vehicle and a Remote Diagnostics Center to diagnose, test, update and verify controls software. Within the vehicle, we evaluate observerbased runtime diagnostic schemes and introduce a framework for remote management of vehicle recalls. The diagnostics scheme deals with both real-time and non-real time faults, and we introduce a decision function to detect and isolate faults in a system with modeling uncertainties. We also evaluate the applicability of “Opportunistic Diagnostics”, where the observerbased diagnostics are scheduled in the ECU’s RTOS only when there is slack available in the system. This aperiodic diagnostics scheme performs similar to the standard, periodic diagnostics scheme under reasonable assumptions. This approach works on existing ECUs and does not interfere with current task sets. The overall framework integrates in-vehicle and remote diagnostics and serves to make vehicle recalls management a less reactive and cost-intensive procedure.


ECU, Diagnostics, Stability Control, System Identification, Control Systems Diagnostics



Date Posted: 05 June 2012