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Changing vehicle infrastructure architecture

Vehicles are shifting from mechanical to electrical systems at an accelerating rate.

Virtually every facet of modern life already relies on ever-smarter software coupled with ever-faster internet, and cars are no different.

In 2013, only around 10% of a car’s total value was based on its software—by 2020 this figure will increase to around 40%. The future of driving rests on completely re-designing the core architecture of the car, as well as re-thinking the software that powers it.

Many people already refer to modern cars as “smartphones on wheels”—and this description rings true regarding both the benefits and challenges associated with it.

As vehicle internet and cloud connectivity becomes standard, cars are able to update their own interfaces and navigation software, relay engine servicing data in advance, and even improve their own operating efficiency. But this also requires software which is reliable and easy to update, and advanced security systems to block access by third parties and hackers.

The impending challenge; space is running out

Previously, as a new component was added to a car, it was commonplace to install a small specialized computer (known as an ‘ECU’) to control it. Examples of this include power steering sensors, air conditioning systems, and even electric window controllers.

This has resulted in modern cars containing up to 100 small separate computers and literally three or four kilometers of electrical wiring connecting them all.

Although this method was tenable for many years—the amount of raw wiring has become excessive and the interiors of modern cars are inevitably running out of available space.

A fresh new approach is needed to prepare cars for the next generation, and to meet the bandwidth demands of capabilities such as automated driving, in-car entertainment systems, remote diagnostics, and electric engines.

Elektrobit (EB) in conjunction with worldwide development partnership AUTOSAR (Automotive Open System Architecture) is at the forefront of driving this evolution.

Elektrobit is designing today’s computers to power tomorrow’s driving

 

As cars become increasingly sophisticated, the demand for raw computing power is increasing almost exponentially. The new generation of driving functions fully requires unprecedented amounts of processing power, underwritten by tens of millions of lines of computer code.

Rather than adding to the already excessive quantity of separate ECUs, it has become necessary to completely re-think and re-design the car’s central nervous system, consolidating the computing power and allowing the vehicle to operate in a smarter, more efficient manner.

EB’s new vehicle infrastructure architecture and software design moves away from static, individual ECUs and instead incorporates a single, centralized ECU. This advancement now allows multiple in-car systems to communicate with each other simultaneously.

For example, autonomous driving capability requires instantaneous data from multiple sensors within the car, combined with external mapping information to create the real-time environmental model used by the car to navigate. Without multiple systems communicating and working together at the same time is simply not possible.

Smarter vehicle infrastructure architecture allows continuous improvement

This new central ECU architecture, combined with state-of-the-art EB software ensures vastly increased vehicle operating efficiency–built on a robust software platform that can be updated and improved over the lifetime of the vehicle. It also allows for greater car safety and security–enabling simple integration of newer hardware and software in the future.

The re-thinking of the car’s central nervous system is not only beneficial to car makers and car owners alike–but is furthering automotive excellence and ensures safer, more enjoyable driving.

Elektrobit is a world leader in designing, developing, and integrating advanced software into many of the world’s best-known automotive brands–and is already powering millions of cars around the world.

 

EB vehicle infrastructure products, solutions, and services

 

EB tresos product line

We are uniquely positioned to offer state-of-the-art ECU software encompassing: basic software, operating systems, configuration tooling, functional safety, as well as solutions for testing the software

EB corbos product line

We are constantly developing our state-of-the-art ECU software – introducing EB corbos, a product line, that lets you bring Adaptive AUTOSAR on the road. EB corbos includes basic software, hypervisor, configuration tooling, and a high-performance operating system; all working together perfectly.

Software for the automotive industry