The recent advances in sensor technology, remote communication and computational capabilities, and standardized hardware/software interfaces are creating a dramatic shift in the way the health of vehicles is monitored and managed. These advances facilitate remote monitoring, diagnosis and condition-based maintenance of automotive systems. With the increased sophistication of electronic control systems in vehicles, there is a concomitant increased difficulty in the identification of the malfunction phenomena. Consequently, the current rule-based diagnostic systems are difficult to develop, validate and maintain. New intelligent model-based diagnostic methodologies that exploit the advances in sensor, telecommunications, computing and software technologies are needed.
In this paper, we will investigate hybrid model-based techniques that seamlessly employ quantitative (analytical) models and graph-based dependency models for intelligent diagnosis. Automotive engineers have found quantitative simulation (e.g. MATLAB/SIMULINK) to be a vital tool in the development of advanced control systems. The hybrid method exploits this capability to improve the diagnostic system's accuracy and consistency, utilizes existing validated knowledge on rule-based methods, enables remote diagnosis, and responds to the challenges of increased system complexity. The solution is generic and has the potential for application in a wide range of systems.