CASE STUDY

Customer

Aston Martin

Production High Performance Engine Management Systems for Aston Martin

Challenge

In 2000, Aston Martin was seeking to dramatically upgrade their product line with new engines and updated technology to increase their market share for quality, high performance, sports cars. This involved new control systems for the engines incorporating drive-by-wire technology, advanced On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) subsystems, and high performance control strategies.

For the critical engine management system (EMS), Aston Martin was looking for a highly effective program partner to ensure consistent high-performance over the long term. A wealth of experience in developing engine management systems, as well as experience in safety-related embedded software development led to Pi Innovo becoming their chosen EMS partner.

Solution

Pi Innovo partnered with Aston Martin from the start of the V8 Vantage and DB9 vehicle programs, working closely with their powertrain and calibration team on the engine management control module hardware specification and on system control strategy requirements for the 4.7 Litre V8 and 6.0 Litre V12 engines.

Pi Innovo took the major development role in the module hardware specification and was responsible for platform software development for the new control module. The system runs a V8 engine up to 8000 rpm, including knock control and variable camshaft control. A single control strategy was structured such that two identical control modules are used in tandem to control the V12 engine.

Throughout  the initial and ongoing program activities, Pi Innovo’s responsibilities have included:

  • Electronic Throttle Control/Accel/Pedal-Demand
    • Pi and AML EMS development was one of the lead programs in bringing ETC to Ford main programs.
    • Quad Throttle for 177 SuperCar
  • Spark Knock Control
    • Aggressive Spark allowed for max engine power to be developed with enhanced engine protection
  • Shift By Wire
    • Lead program with trans supplier for by-wire shifter Automatic Transmission … V12 program
    • Also applicable for use in conjunction with an ASM/SSM trans (Auto/Select Shift Manual) … V8 program
  • Neural Net Misfire Monitor
    • Pi responsible for data analysis, configuration, calibration of V12 Misfire monitor
  • Torque Control
    • Various torque structure, interface and arbitration functions to support by wire systems, ESP, shift strategies etc.
  • VOLCANO
    • Vehicle network architecture and management
  • Passive AntiTheft System
    • Distributed Vehicle Security plus Remote Immobilisation (RIMM)
  • Diagnosis Module Tank Leakage (EVAP)
    • One of a plethora of diagnostics and OBD specific support
  • Electronic Throttle Internal Plausibility Control (used for any by-wire functions)
    • Safety related system monitor and plausibility check and smart watchdog
Results and Impact

Production launch of the original EMS was on time and to budget. The new EMS formed part of the Aston Martin revitalized product line that has achieved iconic status in the world of high performance sports cars.

Following the successful production launch of both programs, Pi Innovo has continued to support Aston Martin in ongoing maintenance of each EMS.  Maintenance activities include:

  • Inlet air Temperature Rationality Test
  • Addition of Manifold Temperature Sensor
  • Change 565 processor speed to 40 MHz
  • Improved CPS robustness
  • Additional pedal map for sport mode operation with ASM/SSM transmission
  • Oil Level Sensor
  • Parameter memory recovery
  • DFSO shutoff (exotherm cat protection)
  • Rear EGO Monitor
  • Rate Based Monitor
  • Vehicle Reaction Tests
  • 2-stage Engine Speed Limit
  • Transmission Differential Oil Temperature Diagnostic
  • Hesitation Detection
  • Fuel Pressure Loss Diagnostic
  • Asymettric Hego monitor
  • Valved Air box
  • Lift off Exotherm
  • Alternator control
  • Dual MAF
  • PRND button robustness
  • Dual cooling Fans

Enhancements have included support for additional vehicle features, diagnostics updates and leading-edge engine technology such as:

  • V12 with MSR
  • Electric Park Brake
  • MY2010 OBD
    • New PCM support
    • Permanent DTCs
    • Engine Off Timer
    • Thermostat Monitor
    • Revised EGO Monitor
    • VCT Mode 6
  • Twin throttle support
  • V12 VCT
  • ESCL improvements
  • V12 Quad throttle
  • Misfire profile storage
  • Quicksync
  • V12 ASM
  • Security investigation
  • ESCL improvements
  • 7 speed ASM

Pi Innovo recently collaborated to further extend the engine control system to support an enhanced V12 engine on a boutique supercar.

From our commitment to working closely with Aston Martin, since project inception, we have gained a deep understanding of their exacting program standards. Together with our expertise in EMS strategies, we continue to provide flexible and rapid responses to all Aston Martin requirements.

The initial project was successfully completed on a very short development timescale, and was extended to a long term engagement for the maintenance and performance improvement of Aston Martin EMSs.

Project Features

Production gasoline engine management control system development
OBD strategies
Drive-by-Wire safety related systems development
Systems engineering
Platform software development
Application software development