The automobile is a rough environment for electronics. Supply voltages, for example, can be quite noisy when devices such as the starter motor are operated. To test automotive electronics under these adverse conditions, automakers have developed standard test waveforms, but tests using these waveforms often do not catch problems. The reason for this is that depending on how a vehicle is operated, ECUs will experience many different variations of that noise waveform, and only specific instances may cause an ECU to fail.
The solution to this dilemma is to break down a standard test waveform into its component parts and then randomly vary the voltage and time parameters of those components. By running a functional test while applying each of these variations, you have a better chance of finding the exact combination that will cause problems in the field and ensure that your electrical systems are robust and comply to standards. Exhaustive testing with random test waveforms can help you find those unexpected circumstances that testing only with standard test waveforms will not detect.
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