Refurbishment tool

for Telia Company

Refurbishment tool for Telia Company

Refurbishment tool for Telia Company

Telia Company AB offers wireless logging units for cars that can revolutionize car insurance. By logging the driving pattern of the driver, insurance companies can offer truly individual insurance policies. Careful drivers no longer need to subsidize reckless drivers. If a customer terminates their insurance, the logging unit shall be refurbished, meaning previous data should be cleared and the unit should be reinstalled, possibly even upgraded and tested, so that it can be reused again. The devopment of such a refurbishment tool presents a number of challenges. Telia Company hired Novator Solutions to address these challenges.

Technical Challenge


  • Multiple buses and protocols
  • Non-standard protocols
  • High throughput, user friendliness and operator training
  • Need for low maintenance and
    possibility of upgrading



  • High-end and modular
    commercial-off-the-shelf hardware with reconfigurable FPGA
  • Parallel of multiple units in the same highly automated refurbishment test software based on industry standard tool NI TestStand
  • Hardware abstraction layer architecture to allow for future upgrades


Business Challenge


  • Hardware testing outside of core business
  • Limited in-house expertise
  • Need to support multiple device vendors with the same platform and refurbishment process
  • Short time schedule
  • Needed to avoid financial risk
  • Multiple stakeholders
  • CE marking and documentation



  • Full responsibility for project
    management, development and supplier communication
  • Fixed price project
  • Full responsibility for CE-marking and documentation

Device under Test

The device under test (DUT) is an on-board diagnostic device with an integrated 4G modem that continuously transmits the driving data to the insurance company. Its electrical signalling protocols and pinouts are defined in the OBD-II standard. Different car manufacturers use different subsets of the available protocols and buses, which means that the devices need to support a vast variety of combinations of pinouts and protocols. During acomplete  refurbishment process the function of all of these needs to be tested. The test  system needs to support communication of standard protocols, such as CAN, J1850 VPW, J1850 PWM, and ISO9141, as well as custom protocol for controlling the DUT and downloading new firmwares.

Test system architecture

The hardware interfaces are implemented on a NI CompactRIO, and a network communication layer is used to establish communication with a PC running a test sequence developed in NI TestStand. TestStand is a widely used test executive and framework for common tasks within a production test environment, which handles everything from sequencing of test steps to report generation and cloud database integration. By separating the DUT specific features of the test system from common tasks within a test environment, a lot of the functionality in the NI TestStand environment was leveraged to provide a complete and proven solution for parallel testing of multiple devices.

System Architecture
Hardware and test socket abstraction

A driver layer was developed to handle the low level communication with the DUT and an object oriented hardware abstraction layer (HAL) was developed to map each test  socket with the associated pins on the IO modules. Each test socket is associated with a separate set of driver object instances to allow independent execution on any one of the initialized test sockets. The protocols were implemented on an FPGA which handles input and output buffers as well as sending and receiving the physical signals. The implementation is hardware timed and features parallel implementations of all communication protocols and IO buffers. To reduce wiring, acustom designed PCB was created for the physical interface with the DUT. This architecture enables flexible execution of test steps and as the lower layers are generalized and abstracted, the system can be updated to handle new types of OBD-interfaces with minimal modifications.

Hardware platform

The CompactRIO platform encapsulates a Real-Time processor and an FPGA, both programmed with LabVIEW, as well as a broad range of IO-modules. The Real-Time processor handles the and execution of the test steps ordered by the test executive.

The FPGA provides flexibility to meet the needs for all the protocol implementations, allowing rapid development of an interface to communicate with the DUT using a vendor defined non-standard protocol, e.g. to upload firmware to the DUT.

The range of off-the-shelf-available IO-modules simplified the system design process and reduced the technical risk of the project. The only PCB development needed was the adapter board board to interface with the DUTs through standardized cabling and connectors, which was used mainly to avoid excessive cabling.

In addition to speeding up the development process, the use of commercial hardware simplifies future maintenance and replication offering a very high level of flexibility and functions as a platform to be expanded when new DUTs are introduced.

Novator Solutions’ Development Process

Novator Solutions uses the Scrum process framework for managing our development work. Scrum is a lightweight, iterative and incremental framework for managing complex work. The framework challenges assumptions of the traditional, sequential approach to product development, and enables teams to self-organize by encouraging physical co-location or close online collaboration of all team members, as well as daily face-to-face communication among all team members and disciplines involved.

For our customers, this ensures efficient prioritization and straight forward communication as the project proceeds. All toensure the highest possible customer satisfaction with the end result, as well as the most cost-efficient way of reaching the desired solution. In the development of complete systems, we can take fullmresponsibility for the entire development chain: From compiling the list of demands through design and construction of mechanics, pneutmatics and electronics, to software and database development and installation. In order to maintain the highest level of all parts of each system, we always use trusted and certified partners in areas beyond our own expertise.

Novator Solutions’ pricing models

Novator Solutions offers two types of pricing models for turn-key systems, Fixed Price or Time & Materials. Development is always done using the agile programming framework Scrum.

Fixed price

In a fixed-price-project the deliverables and how to evaluate them are decided before the project starts. If needed Novator Solutions can perform a pre-study to help the customer identify the requirements.

Once we have the requirements, we provide a quotation with an all-inclusive price for a system that fulfills them, including factory and site acceptance tests to be performed to verify the functionality upon delivery. A product owner is appointed by Novator Solutions and we develop the system fulfilling the already agreed upon requirements.



  • No financial risk – customer knows from day one what they will pay



  • Limited possibility to reprioritize deliverables after order – deliverables must be thoroughly validated before project start.
  • Limited possibility of beta-testing or pre-releases. We work according to requirements document and test programs until full functionality can be delivered.
  • Commitment to pay full system delivery even if certain functionality is reprioritized.

Time & Materials

In a Time & Materials project, a scope for the project is set. A list of deliverables and preferably how to evaluate them are often decided on, and Novator Solutions give an estimate on the time we think it will take to implement the system.

A product owner is appointed by the customer, and a project manager by Novator Solutions. They stay in close contact throughout the project and meet up with regular intervals during which the deliverables list can be reprioritized, amended or deducted to achieve the best possible system with the least amount of investment.



  • Validation work of deliverables can be less thorough, which saves time.
  • Customer can test beta-versions of system and change deliverables to optimize it throughout the project.
  • Project can be closed as soon as the desired functionality level has been achieved. Or a first versions can be deployed while we continue to work on upgrades.



  • Customer has to take the financial risk of a decided upon termination period.

Regardless of delivery model chosen, we are always committed to the long term success of the systems we deliver. We offer service agreements to guarantee uptime and continuous upgrades, and to mitigate obsolescence of components.

Download the complete case studie here.



Do you want to shorten your time to market, by making your embedded software testing more efficient? Please contact Jonas Mäki for more information.

Tel: +46 – 76 610 13 99


We are looking forward to talking to you!