Summer testing 2022 in Granada
Gaining first-hand knowledge from our customers
After a three-year break, the summer tests took place under the hot sun of the Sierra Nevada in Granada, Spain, where car manufacturers put their vehicles through their paces. With altitude differences of up to 8,200ft (2,500 meters) and changes in temperature reaching 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius), this part of the Spanish province provided the perfect conditions for the event. What made it special was that the crew consisted of one support engineer and one development engineer.
ETAS developers gain first-hand knowledge from customers
ETAS developers learn a lot from this event, as the tests allow them to gain first-hand knowledge of how customers use ETAS products in real-world settings. This helps our developers in their daily work by giving them a better understanding of what customers want and what they find challenging. Marcel Mayer, a software developer in the INCA* Core Team at ETAS, has only been part of the group since August 2022, but was very enthusiastic about the ten days in Granada: “For me, it was very informative to see how customers work with INCA and what they want on-site. As a developer, you do not usually have direct contact with the customer, so the summer testing was a great opportunity to see what is important for them.” Customers also greatly benefit from having the ETAS development engineer on-site for in-depth technical support and detailed answers to their questions while in Granada. “Due to the coronavirus pandemic and resulting restrictions, I had no personal contact with customers for a long time. Therefore, it was a bonus for me to reestablish contact with customers and answer questions directly on-site.” Reimund Mayer, Specialist Support Engineer at ETAS.
* INCA is an ETAS software product that provides flexible tools for the calibration, diagnosis, and validation of automotive electronic systems.
Solutions found for various customer concerns
Here are some examples of on-site technical issues which we found solutions for:
- Problem involving an incorrect INCA setting solved directly on the test track.
- Thanks to the creation of a calculated signal in INCA, a watchdog function was developed to monitor the CAN messages on the CAN bus. In the event of a break in communication, the driver of the vehicle is alerted by an acoustic and visual signal.
This can help reduce the risk of data not being recorded during long test drives.
- Issues that occurred while the ECU flashed resolved.
- Licensing issues resolved.
- Corrupt INCA database quickly restored – it was only possible to restore it at this speed, because the development engineer had his development PC with him (otherwise, it would have been necessary to transfer the large database to ETAS via an exchange server using a slow internet connection).
“Especially on test drives, we use various ETAS products even more than in the office, and when someone is then on hand with advice and support, it is a major help and very pleasant.”
Personal on-site consulting
Direct contact with customers helped to resolve major problems immediately, and the discussions on the test track also resulted in the ETAS team providing direct assistance with little effort. This makes our approach highly efficient for the customer.
“It is just great when we are out on the road as test drivers and then a vehicle with ETAS support is standing on the mountaintop in Granada.”
Another highlight was the opportunity for the ETAS team to take part in a test drive. “It was very interesting to see how our customer uses INCA while driving and to have the opportunity to measure it ourselves. Such insights give us valuable input for our own work,” said Marcel Mayer.
Thanks to the well-established contact with our customers, the ETAS team in Granada worked from the customers’ meeting rooms on-site to address any concerns promptly. If problems arose that could not be dealt with straight away, the ETAS team in Granada was actively supported by the office in Stuttgart-Feuerbach. All customer concerns were resolved thanks to a combination of on-site expertise and research provided by the Stuttgart-Feuerbach office.
Overall, it was an excellent set-up that ETAS hopes to continue next year.
Thanks everyone for your great contribution!