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Automotive Head Unit

Developing Test Automation Solution for Automotive Head Unit

Overview

The customer is a well-known North American company focused on automotive solutions. Its automotive multimedia systems and head units are widely used across different car brands all over the world.

The product line includes a wide range of head units with different capabilities depending on the car model. Various additional devices like smartphones, USB Multimedia devices, rear & front cameras, and services like navigation system, satellite radio, sensors, and car equipment communication, interact with head units, allowing customers to get the best in class experience while driving.

Challenge

The customer’s company needed to develop the automated verification process for its existing solutions. In addition to the variety of device types, the customer had a number of OEM solutions, which have to be taken into account in automated testing.

By the time the customer came to MERA, most functional test cases were only manual and the whole process was rather slow. Having limited test resources, the customer had to reduce the scope of the regression testing, thus increasing the risk of missing some issues. The customer needed both to improve the percentage of test coverage for each release and to reduce the time-to-market.

Solution

The MERA team started with an on-site knowledge transfer, and then proposed a solution to customer’s needs and took over the responsibility for developing test automation platform. Building the local test lab with direct access to the test equipment let the MERA team cover as many use cases as possible, and develop the highly effective test automation solution.

MERA engineers designed, assembled and developed a test automation solution for head units and multimedia systems that consisted of hardware and software components and became a part of the Continuous Integration and Delivery processes. This solution supports OCR and Computer Vision and interacts with head units and multimedia systems in various ways and protocols, including CAN, serial bus, USB subsystem, and audio.

To improve the situation with release lead-time, MERA engineers also migrated some of the existing manual test cases to automated test cases, which, above all, established the basis for the development of new automated test cases. Additionally, the MERA team in cooperation with customer’s engineers has developed a way of launching automated tests and automatic reporting of results as part of the Continuous Integration approach, enabling regular automated test execution for a wide range of device types and products. All of this contributed to ensuring faster test feedback and improvement of the product quality.

Results

Through cooperation with MERA, the customer was able to increase the efficiency of testing efforts for the maintenance and feature releases pace and to keep the high-quality level, with no significant increase in the test costs. As a result, the new generation of products introduced to the market let the customer keep the leading position in the respective segments, and especially in the automotive sector.

Major features:

  • Multimedia experience – CarPlay, GAL, voice recognition
  • Rear & front view cameras
  • Navigation
  • Hands-free calling
  • Managing vehicle functions

Technologies

  • Python
  • JavaScript, Angular.js, Backbone.js
  • Embedded Linux
  • Docker and Kubernates
  • Ansible/Vagrant
  • Grafana/InfluxDB
  • Tesseract/OpenCV

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