Digital and Analog Tachograph Automated Test System

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"Combining NI products with the benefits of our solutions helped us achieve our goals with such high efficiency."

- Vachagan Petrosyan, 10X Engineering LLC

The Challenge:
Developing an automated test equipment (ATE) system for digital and analog tachograph production and repair.

The Solution:
Combining NI hardware and software to make an inexpensive, functional, high-speed tester for medium-scale tachograph production.

Vachagan Petrosyan - Find this author in the NI Developer Community
Levon Grigoryan - Find this author in the NI Developer Community

About 10X Engineering

Founded in 2013, 10X Engineering LLC is an NI Alliance Partner with sufficient knowledge and experience to deliver innovative engineering solutions for RF product (units, devices, components) quality and line testing, custom-designed ATE system assembly, verification, and development. Our offering includes solutions for a wide variety of industrial sectors such as RF software defined radio, radiolocation, spectrum monitoring, and more. Every request we receive follows project technical and software functional requirements clarification, RF measurement methodology selection, and hardware configuration procedures. In some cases, if needed, we take responsibility to prove a concept and demonstrate the flexibility and reliability of our solution.

Problem Background and Solution

A digital tachograph is a device fitted to a vehicle that digitally records its speed and distance, with the driver’s activity selected from a choice of modes. We designed our current ATE system to implement end-of-line testing for digital and analog tachographs both in production and repair modes.

In production mode, the ATE system runs the test sequence in automatic and semiautomatic sequences specified by the operator where the speed of measurement is accented. In this mode, the program labels the test status with Passed or Failed with the minimum measurement’s values indication.

In repair station mode, any step of the test sequence may be performed as an individual step with full access to all states of the measurement implemented in the current test, including hardware communication dataflow. Such an approach helps the operator follow all procedures and monitor the devices under test (DUTs) behavior in every step with pausing and interruption functionalities. The ATE system functional buttons protect against accidental operation.

The test system powered by NI’s PXI platform and flexible testing software implemented high capacity and accurate measurements, data acquisition, analysis, reporting, and DUT controlling. If the tachograph passes all the tests, the program generates a specific serial number along with other information included on a label for thermal printing.

Digital Tachograph ATE System External Appearance

For current ATE system, the GNSS and CAN signal simulations were done by the customer’s  3rd party hardware, that was used before, in manual testing. This integration allows customer to save money. In standard situations above mentioned tests are fully covered via NI VSG 5671, NI USB 8473.

We used the NI hardware and software configuration to create a digital tachograph test system and developed the final solution within quite a short time period.

ATE System Graphical User Interface

In Europe, all relevant vehicle manufacturers must include digital tachographs in their products. We hope to bring this system to our manufacturing market.

Hardware Used

System Benefits

One of our main system benefits is the combination of NI products and our innovation in this sphere. Thanks to NI off-the-shelf technology, we decreased development time and overall cost savings for our solution. The test system supports password-protected three-category access with individual functionalities in which the user’s activity is logged for future analysis.

  • Operator
  • Engineer
  • Administrator

Measured Parameters

  • DUT communication interface (RS232)
  • Current consumption
  • Under- and over-voltage supply
  • Status input (ignition, lighting)
  • I/O calibration pulse/RTC
  • Position tracking task (GPS)
  • Output voltage
  • Motion sensor—supply voltage (24 V only)
  • Data volatility battery-buffered SRAM and RTC (24 V only)
  • Communication printer module
  • K-line test
  • Motion sensor interface
  • CAN test
  • Counting of motion sensor
  • Engine speed sensor


Combining NI products with the benefits of our solutions helped us achieve our goals with such high efficiency. Our automated test system decreased test time by more than 20X compared to the manual one. The customer was so satisfied with results that the analog system was bought for usage in R&D department with stress chamber.

Author Information:
Vachagan Petrosyan
Find this author in the NI Developer Community

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