DIANA is looking into vehicle electronic controls

To be sure, the electronics systems in today’s vehicles are highly complex, containing numerous electronic control units. Experience has shown that the actual causes behind as many as 40 percent of the errors reported by vehicle electronics cannot be identified exactly.   For vehicle owners, this can mean return visits to repair shops and high repair costs, in part because the repair process relies on swapping out various system components until the problem is resolved.   A research project known as DIANA has been established in Germany to change that. It is focused on improving the analytic and diagnostic capabilities of electronic control units in motor vehicles.   Partnering in this project is car maker Audi AG, tire manufacturer Continental AG, Infineon Technologies AG and ZMD AG.   ZMD designs, supplies and markets analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits for automotive, medical and industrial applications. Infineon Technologies produces devices for applications, including memory, power, microcontrollers, communications and consumer products.   The four companies are receiving assistance from a number of research organizations and universities based in Germany.   DIANA is a German acronym that translates as: end-to-end diagnostic capabilities in semiconductor components and systems for analyzing persistent and sporadic errors in automobiles.   Through to 2013, the four partnering companies will work on ways to make error detection more precise and faults easier to rectify for automakers and repair shops.   An objective of Diana’s research and development efforts is to create a basis for quicker and more efficient identification and correction of electronics faults in automobiles.   The outcomes of the DIANA project will be incorporated into automotive electronics products and, from 2015, could help to ensure that vehicles are more reliable, require fewer trips to the repair shop and can be repaired more efficiently.   Electronics just keep on getting more powerful.