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Test and Measurement: Automotive test opportunities expected to grow

Connected and autonomous vehicles represent a growing opportunity for the test industry, according to recent reports from Frost & Sullivan. The analyst firm has estimated that the test equipment market for passenger vehicle automotive telematics testing is going to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 7.9% until 2023, at which point it will be worth nearly $293 million.

Frost considers the passenger telematics segment to include vehicle diagnostics, safety and security, vehicle-to-vehicle communications and usage-base insurance, as well as vehicle-independent services such as infotainment and navigation. The firm said that automotive test opportunities in this area are being created by a combination of automotive original equipment manufacturers, telematics systems manufacturers and “Internet/technology companies that are integrating telematics solutions into every car model and investing in the development of connected-car and self-driving technologies” — the last of which was certainly on display this week as Intel announced a major collaboration with autonomous vehicle company Waymo.

Test companies are boosting their facilities for automotive test along with equipment offerings. Dekra announced this week that it is building a connected and autonomous vehicle testing facility in Malaga, Spain which will open by the end of this year; this follows on the company’s purchase of the Lausitzring race track in Germany earlier this year to turn it into a connected car test facility, and Dekra said that it also plans to add automotive test hubs in the U.S. and east Asia. Physical drive testing is being supplemented by simulation as well: in May, Teledyne LeCroy and Spirent Communications partnered on bringing “virtual test track” testing to Teledyne LeCroy’s Automotive Technology Center in Michigan.

In a separate report released this week, Frost also concluded that with the increasing focus on autonomous and connected vehicle capabilities, that manufacturers “need to look beyond seeing themselves as product suppliers and focus on becoming providers of mobility services” — which may mean that more mobile feature and service testing originates from automotive manufacturers themselves, if they take that route. Frost estimated that in the decade between 2015 and 2025, 10 key automotive original equipment manufacturers will spend about $345 million on research and development in the areas of autonomous, connected and electric vehicles.

In other test news:

China Mobile Research Institute will be using a test system from Keysight Technologies for cellular internet of things testing, including power consumption, radio frequency and positioning performance, and verification for new technologies, devices and products.

EXFO launched its latest 400G test solution today, aimed at carrier labs, data centers and network equipment manufacturers. The FTBx-88400NGE Power Blazer includes test support for Flex Ethernet, 400G Ethernet and high-speed transceiver validation in what EXFO says it the most compact 400G test solution on the market with its range of testing capabilities. The company said that network equipment manufacturers are under pressure to product 400G products, while data centers and carriers need equipment to evaluate the technology to make decisions about adoption.

“The telecom industry is racing to innovate smarter and more powerful solutions that meet the needs of a 400G world, despite the challenges of time-to-market and new advanced technologies,” said Stéphane Chabot, EXFO’s Vice President, Test and Measurement, in a statement. The Power Blazer offering is deployed within EXFO’s FTB-4 Pro platform and EXFO noted that its LTB-8 rackmount platform can accomodate two 400G modules, to test up to 800G simultaneously.

-Security testing company NSS Labs is planning to conduct public testing on software-defined Wide Area Network offerings and is asking enterprises and vendors for input on the group testing and its methodology.

“This forthcoming public group test of market-leading SD-WAN solutions will include emphasis on the WAN edge, traffic optimization, and security components of SD-WAN,” according to NSS Labs, and said that its tests will “provide empirical, fact-based data to empower enterprises with relevant information around SD-WAN architectures and their key capabilities.”

NetScout this week launched its nGenius Business Analytics, aimed at making “wired data consumable for big data applications in a scalable, cost-effective manner” and is aimed at mobile, cable and wired network service providers.  The company said that the solution is already in use by more than a dozen service provider customers.

“The industry has been reliant on high-powered, expensive analytics that are typically applied to noisy, poor quality data sets,” said Anil Singhal, co-founder, president and CEO of NetScout, in a statement. “Our service provider customers need a sophisticated yet cost-effective analytics platform that, in combination with high-quality smart data, delivers greater scalability and lower TCO along with investment protection.” 

“Analytics needs to be an integral part of the refactored network,” said Elisabeth Rainge, research VP for IDC, in a statement on the launch of the solution. “To deliver the infrastructure for digital experiences like IoT and best practices like DevOps, technologists are increasingly dependent on curated, actionable information to optimize virtualized and distributed network resources.”

ABOUT AUTHOR

Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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