Control & electronics

Control & electronics

Modern propulsion systems increasingly require higher levels of electronic control to boost performance and improve fuel economy. We assist clients by providing control concept studies of system architecture, transmissions control unit hardware and sensor and actuator selection, based on an objective selection tool. We also develop high-level control and low-level driver software that is fully integrated into the vehicle - including hybrid technologies.

Control strategy is the key enabler for delivering fuel economy improvements and Ricardo has invested in developing the skills and expertise in these areas to provide world-class capability. Whilst new technologies may offer outstanding opportunities for large steps in CO2 emissions and performance, they have to be proven and accepted in the harsh automotive world. Ricardo have experience both with new technologies and also with many programs that are in or near production.

We are ideally placed to offer support for taking hybrid and electric vehicle programs all the way from demonstration into production and beyond.

Control and electronics design, simulation & development testing 

We have a fully integrated tool chain that supports these areas of development spanning from concept and feasibility studies to assessment of prototypes, proof of concept and production.

Ricardo typically undertakes projects that can cover all or part of this process, for example:

  • Belt starter generator (BSG) mild hybrid vehicle development – demonstration vehicle preparation, proof of concept
  • Crankshaft or Integrated starter generator (ISG) hybrid vehicle development – component selection, full packaging studies
  • Hybrid controller development – vehicle simulation, hybrid control strategy, DC/DC converter design, hardware design, bench testing and technology transfer
  • Concept definition - vehicle simulation (V-SIM), select hardware, set targets and assess feasibility
  • Hybrid control strategy development - use of V-SIM, develop control strategies before implementation in hardware, rapid prototype and prove on vehicle, provide specification of control strategy to OEM and control unit supplier

Ricardo has a strong history delivering engine, transmission, hybrid, electric and whole vehicle control from prototype through to production and the capability and experience to support customers throughout the value chain.

Key benefits of the Ricardo service

  • A proven track record in all aspects of electrical and electronic system design and integration
  • In depth understanding of all vehicle sub systems that we control and integrate
  • We have industry specific expertise and understanding; automotive, rail, marine, motorcycles, and renewables
  • A highly qualified and experienced control team supported by extensive in-house research and development
  • World-class development and test facilities
  • Experience working across all global geographies for OEMs from niche to high volume
  • Integration of electrical and mechanical design
  • Experience delivering electronics hardware and software through to production
  • Relationship with Contract Manufacturers for low-cost production