Rhapsody Vehicle Testing

April 8, 2021

Why do we do these tests?

In developing a new generation of fuel tank systems, challenges are not only regarding new tools, new processes and new thinking about tank systems, but we also need to ensure that these systems are integrated into customer vehicles. The requirements to the tank system have not changed with Rhapsody, but the solution to comply with those requirements is different. In other words, the common mechanical system is the blueprint for Rhapsody to find a fully controllable solution, with software, by compensating for as many mechanical components as possible.
Think of a simple function, such as introducing the initial shut-off when refueling. There is no mechanical valve foreseen in a Rhapsody system to fulfill this function. If this function is now transferred to a solution in software, it means Rhapsody needs to cause an intended shut-off based on sensor information. In this case, the level sensor is providing this information: The Rhapsody software shuts the valve actively based on this information given by the vehicle. Given the information is provided to Rhapsody as an input, a very precise shut-off is possible in any situation the vehicle will be in.

To ensure that both the vehicle and the Rhapsody system communicate and interact well with each other, vehicle tests are essential.

What is the scope?

The scope of vehicle testing is, first and foremost, to show the customer what benefits Rhapsody offers compared to a conventional system. It also helps to identify areas where Kautex and the customers need to focus on when bringing a software-controlled system to the market. The experience Kautex gains with these studies on a system and vehicle level helps to bring our company one step ahead of our competition and win more business in the future.

In order to find the limiting factors of a system, you need to expose it to extreme conditions. Lab-level testing gives a good indication of whether a system is likely to fail or not. The environment can be controlled, and enough data can be gathered to make a statistic-based decision on certain things.

With the vehicle testing, the focus is on driving situations as well as on factors that are not easy to control. A system being tested in a desert or a very low temperature area is likely to show its weaknesses and the engineers can find measures to compensate for that, improving the system further.

Refueling tests are just one of many vehicle tests we performed with Rhapsody. We specifically conducted refueling tests with one of our customers, which were done both in the lab and at fuel stations in the Bonn area.

In addition to refueling tests, many different driving tests were also conducted with more of our current customers.