Society is on the path to achieving autonomous driving, self-driving, or driver-less cars. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream. Prototype projects are well under way and every advance in assisted driving is a step in the direction of autonomous driving.
Growth in automated driving
Projections for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are big. Right now, ADAS is expected to be one of the fastest growing fields in automotive electronics (source: Strategy Analytics, April 2013). And, according to Strategy Analytics, by 2025 to 2030 we’re likely to see 15–20% of cars using highly automated driving—i.e., significant support to drivers in multiple driving situations. In the same period, truly autonomous driving is likely to be in the low single-figure percentages.
The path to autonomous driving
The path to fully autonomous driving is through increasingly sophisticated assisted driving innovations. Ninety percent of car accidents are caused by human error (source: Gesamtverband der deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft, 2011). Driver assistance functions can contribute to the protection of drivers and other road users.
The same technology that contributes to those solutions will provide the foundation for fully autonomous driving. Systems such as adaptive cruise control and adaptive curve lighting use sensors to look ahead and sophisticated software to make safety decisions. The same types of sensors, with ongoing advances, will come into play for autonomous driving. Innovations in connected cars and the car as a sensor, along with improvements in the underlying software, will form the basis.
Autonomous driving will require some of the most complex software implementations that car-makers have ever faced. These systems will need to integrate information from multiple sources—many different types of sensors, data from the cloud such as navigation or traffic data, information detected from other cars on the road, etc.
The information from these sources then has to be compared and analyzed in real time, decisions have to be made about what actions the car should take, and the commands sent to appropriate systems. All of that has to take place in milliseconds, and continuously.
Correct software integration is paramount for car safety. With more and more interdependent functions that influence safety-critical systems like brakes and steering, car-makers have to make sure that these applications work seamlessly together without interfering with each other. The safety of the driver, passengers, and others on the road depends upon the software and components performing properly.
Powerful and reliable platform
Car-makers will need a powerful and reliable platform for autonomous driving. EB is well positioned to deliver that end-to-end solution for the autonomous car. EB is the only industry player with both navigation and driver assistance products from one single source. In addition, EB offers electronic control unit (ECU) software certified for the highest safety levels.