Determine EMI Risk in Autonomous Vehicles Faster with EMA3D®- Ansys HFSS Datalink

You spot a classic red truck driving down the highway, it could bring back memories of the one that was always sitting in the driveway at Grandma and Grandpa’s. That truck may resemble the trucks of today but there is one major difference, newer model vehicles are built with more electrical components, including some self-driving features.

Global sales of vehicles with some degree of autonomy are expected to reach 76 million units by 2035, according to a study from IHS Markit. The report also found that autonomous vehicle growth is expected to correspond with the growth of electric vehicles (EV). There are several factors behind this reasoning, the first being easy integration. A vehicle’s self-driving capability relies heavily on an electrical subsystem which can already be found in EVs. The second being component control; it’s easier to control the parts that make up an EV compared to a traditional gas vehicle that uses an internal combustible engine with 2,000 small parts.


Figure 1
The electrical components of the self-driving car


Safety promises to be the biggest benefit of having self-driving features on a vehicle. Safety-critical features include forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and blind spot assist. These safety systems are all electronic, raising concerns about electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) inside of the vehicle. Engineers are now relying on simulation to address these issues, especially the cable harnesses that are critical for transmitting electrical power and control signals to electronics.

In the past, engineers spent months, and sometimes even years, building full platform models from scratch, trying to see how cables, antennas, printed circuit boards (PCB), and other subsystems interacted inside the vehicle. Now the process has been made easier and shorter with the introduction of a datalink integrating two existing software programs: Ansys EMC Plus (formerly EMA3D® Cable) and Ansys HFSS.


Figure 2

Chart showing the current capabilities of EMA3D® Cable and Ansys HFSS

Resolving EMI and EMC Challenges Earlier

The datalink between Ansys EMC Plus and HFSS offers accurate, complex cable modeling like never before, with real-life results. Each product offers advantages, but together with the datalink the time to build simulation models can be shortened on average by a factor of ten. For example, one client had allocated years to construct their platform using a competitive simulation product, but in a matter of weeks, they were able to build an accurate full platform project using Ansys EMC Plus, HFSS and the new datalink.

The two systems can also be used to detect EMI and EMC in aircraft and ships, not just vehicles.

How to use the Datalink

One of the main advantages of the datalink is that there is no more tool-hopping. Engineers can capture both the electric and magnetic field information from sources such as antennas and PCBs in HFSS. That information is exported into an XML file which can be imported as a source in Ansys EMC Plus.


Figure 3
How to use EMA3D® and HFSS datalink

Additionally, the HFSS wizard automatically makes all the connections between the frequency domain solver and the time domain solver. This allows the user to simulate extremely complex systems, like antennas and PCBs, in HFSS and Ansys SIwave software and use the information in a platform-level simulation in Ansys EMC Plus. Plotting and statistical post-processing are also automatic.

Figure 4
Plotting of data in HFSS and EMA3D®


As products get more electronic, predicting EMI and EMC performance is essential. These electronic systems in autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles are making life-and-death decisions, so it is important to get it right the first time. Aircraft must also meet stringent certification requirements before they are allowed to fly.

Early and correct simulation can give you peace of mind that when your device goes in for testing that you will be able to pass the first time, meaning that your product gets on the market faster. Ansys EMC Plus and the HFSS datalink delivers high-performance, safe, and compliant designs faster and easier than ever before. To learn more, watch this on-demand webinar: or reach out to us on our contact page.