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QA Consultants and ACE putting new automotive software to the ultimate tests

North America’s largest independent software testing company partners with university’s Automotive Centre of Excellence

Illustration of the software features  in a car with the newest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

Prospective car buyers do a lot of research before making a commitment. They evaluate a huge range of factors like engine specifications, safety features, mileage ratings and cabin experience. At the same time, auto manufacturers also conduct extensive research before a new car arrives on the market.

One of the biggest testing considerations today is the new technology and software cars are filled with to optimize the cabin experience for drivers and passengers. There is now an estimated 100 to 150 million lines of computer code in the hundreds of electronic control units (ECU) installed in the average vehicle. And now, the newest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) allow a car to drive autonomously or semi-autonomously, operate active aerodynamics, or adjust braking based on road conditions. ADAS systems also dramatically increase public safety with pedestrian detection and left-turn assistance: systems that could save thousands of lives annually in Canada and around the world.

In many ways, vehicles are now effectively software systems on wheels. All of this technology needs to be tested for software quality assurance (QA) to confirm everything functions on the road as it was designed.

Demand for QA testing of vehicle software is rapidly increasing

Companies like award-winning software testing and quality assurance provider QA Consultants (QAC) of Toronto, Ontario are turning to ACE , the internationally renowned research and development (R&D) centre at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, to marry their software testing leadership with ACE’s world-leading integrated testing capabilities for both physical and digital systems in vehicles.

The new QAC-ACE partnership creates the most comprehensive independent vehicle software and physical testing capability in the world for public stakeholders, insurance, regulators, compliance organizations, transportation authorities and entrepreneurs. The partnership places ACE, the university and QAC at the forefront of global leadership in delivering bug-free and highly reliable physical and digital systems in connected and autonomous vehicles.

  • Why ACE?

    Since its opening in 2011, ACE has welcomed engineers and industry leaders from all over the world to test physical capacity of the latest products and technologies before they go to market. ACE is the world’s leading facility for sophisticated intensive physical testing of vehicles.

    ACE’s testing chambers can accurately simulate a wide range of real-world road conditions in a repeatable environment. Best of all, ACE can also deliver every possible weather condition, from winter blizzards to torrential tropical storms to searing desert heat.

    It’s a perfect match for QA Consultants, which takes advantage of ACE’s testing capacity to validate new physical and software applications for connected and autonomous vehicles.

    Customers will range from startups emerging from Ontario’s Automated Vehicles Innovation Network (AVIN) program to multinational automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to all stakeholders in the transportation and related industries.

  • Why form a partnership?
    • Allows ACE to expand its capacity as a pipeline for turning research into automotive software products and services that can be scaled to the commercial level.
    • The University of Ontario Institute of Technology offers outstanding multidisciplinary software research expertise. Joining the research partnership are researchers Akramul Azim (Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science), Dr. Jeremy Bradbury (Faculty of Science) and Dr. Khalil El-Khatib (Faculty of Business and Information Technology).
    • QAC brings its team of software testing experts and growing list of commercial clients to ACE. 
    • QAC’s leading reputation for software validation allows ACE to market this as a service in a rapidly growing technology area within the automotive industry.
  • How will the partnership differentiate ACE and QAC?
    • It will couple globally leading automotive R&D physical test infrastructure with advanced software quality assurance research. 
    • It will be one of the first places in the world able to evaluate software systems when fully integrated with a vehicle undergoing full load (climatic and dynomometer) operation.
    • Provide small- and medium-sized enterprises with the capability to validate new software applications and services for autonomous vehicles.
    • It will form a large international R&D effort on complex software systems under the eXcellence in Variant Testing (XVIT) program (a three-year research collaboration between Canada, Sweden, Germany, Turkey and Portugal).
    • Integrates with the physical automotive environmental testing ACE provides to eight major original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in North America and to OEMs in Japan and China.
  • International auto market implications

    For vehicle purchasers in Asia, 40 per cent of the value of the vehicle is determined by the quality of the connectivity of the passengers with the infotainment unit, and Internet capabilities. In North America and Europe. As much as 10 per cent of the purchase price is  currently contingent on the quality of connectivity with the Internet and vehicle software systems, with that percentage rapidly rising.

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Media contact
Bryan Oliver
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
905.721.8668 ext. 6709