Research project targets Ethernet as data backbone in vehicles

March 07, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Ethernet is on the rise in the automotive world. While this networking technology currently is mainly targeted by developers of camera-based driver assistance systems, a research project of the HAW Hamburg (Hamburg University of Applied Sciences) is digging deeper into the matter: The team around professor Franz Korf designs an Ethernet-based data backbone for the entire car.

The REBCAR (Real-Time Ethernet Backbone for Cars) project will provide a demonstrator of an innovative, intelligent data networking architecture for vehicles. The focus of Korf's research activities lies on domain-spanning real-time behaviour. "Ethernet as a data backbone in automotive environments needs to meet stringent real-time requirements", Korf said. He added that he expects from the perspective of data communications, the currently separated domains will grow together gradually. "We don't expect that by 2020 in vehicles all networking functions will be implemented in Ethernet", the scientist added‚.

The system to be developed by the Hamburg researchers will resemble today's widespread point-to-point connections with switches as the active elements.

Within the REBCAR project, the Hamburg research group collaborates with the Oldenburg University, the C-LAB in Paderborn and engineering company IAV. Results can be expected in three years.