As fully-functional infotainment systems become ever more advanced and feature-rich in cars all across the spectrum, dependability is not only desired by the customer; it’s demanded. To that end, General Motors engineers have employed a rigorous testing procedure to ensure that the Buick brand’s Intellilink system is up-to-snuff.
According to a press release, GM created a test bench for the Buick Intellilink system that replicates every module with which it interacts, and simulates realistic everyday usage – at a speed somewhere around 30 times greater. In this way, says GM, the engineers can log the equivalent of about 210 days of steady infotainment usage in a single week. That’s more than 2 million commands.
What the team is looking for is smooth operation; lag in computing time is nuisance enough with a home computer, but more-or-less innocuous. But when the computer in question is providing audio, navigation, and other tasks all at once, it can have a serious effect on how a consumer experiences the car.
This rigorous test bench procedure is of course supplemented by real-world testing; road test engineers themselves attempt to replicate normal Intellilink usage while testing the cars. Noted issues are brought back to the test bench and replicated so that hardware and software developers can find practical solutions – before they reach the consumer.