Ford Motor Answers Powertrain Control Engineering Challenges Using MathWorks Design Tools and Embedded Coder

10/2/2002 - The MathWorks announced the successful deployment of its model-based design software at Ford Motor Company. By adopting The MathWorks Stateflow® and Simulink® products in its control system design process, Ford has realized significant timesavings in its product development cycle. The company has also become the first automaker to employ automatic code generation using Real-Time Workshop® Embedded Coder in powertrain control software for several product lines.

With the use of The MathWorks model-based design approach, Ford was able to alleviate design cycle pressure by producing a transmission controller that was operational the first time it was deployed on a vehicle. Because the transmission controller model was simulated early in the prototype design phase, Ford ultimately increased reliability, robustness, and shortened time to market of their powertrain system. By taking advantage of The MathWorks tools, engineers were able to obtain more data at each stage of the design and validate algorithms by running extensive simulations. This enabled Ford to move through the design phase efficiently, without costly mistakes that would later slow down the process. Ford ultimately achieved its objective faster than with its legacy design process.

Ford's new line of powertrain controllers holds an automotive innovation: automatic code generation. Using The MathWorks Real Time Workshop Embedded Coder enabled engineers to dramatically reduce the time required to implement their algorithm models into code. Once a model is created using The MathWorks tools, it is just a few button clicks away from executable code. The Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder is being customized to produce software files that comply with Ford's proprietary coding standards. Ford has initiated automatic code generation on several programs, including the Expedition, F- Series Trucks, Taurus, Sable and Escape.

Ford chose tools from The MathWorks because of the Company's expertise in control system design and receptiveness to automotive design interests. Ford's desired design approach leveraged the capabilities of MATLAB®, Stateflow, Simulink and Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder from The MathWorks. "Ford's demand for software tools that could meet its engineering challenges required us to respond with products for automatic code generation," said Andy Grace, Director of Development, The MathWorks. "The joint technical effort fostered some of the latest MathWorks model-based design innovations. We are extremely satisfied with the success Ford has had with our tools and the impact that success will have on the future of worldwide powertrain controller design and production."

About The MathWorks
The MathWorks is the world's leading developer of technical computing software for engineers and scientists in industry, government, and education. With an extensive product set based on MATLAB and Simulink, The MathWorks provides software and services to solve challenging problems and accelerate innovation in automotive, aerospace, communications, financial services, biotechnology, electronics, instrumentation, process, and other industries. The MathWorks was founded in 1984 and employs more than 1000 people worldwide, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts.

MATLAB, Simulink, Stateflow, Handle Graphics, and Real-Time Workshop are registered trademarks, and TargetBox is a trademark of The MathWorks, Inc.

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