Highly and fully automated driving systems have long since ceased to be fiction, but rather represent the future prospects of the automotive industry. In particular, for driving and safety-relevant components such as engine control units, lane departure warning systems and infotainment systems, it is essential to transmit large amounts of data both quickly and absolutely reliably. This is because display or communication failures – for example in navigation systems, parking aids or even indicator lights/telltales – can lead to dangerous situations for the driver and even accidents involving several people. For this reason, automotive manufacturers are already using high-speed data transmission via Automotive Ethernet to network individual control units with each other and with the system network as a whole. In the course of increasing high integration, the future use of Automotive Ethernet as the main bus system is also coming within reach. However, in order to cope with this growing complexity from a safety perspective, existing test methods are no longer sufficient, as they only focus on individual system components and disregard systemic verification. To counteract this weakness, testing strategies for Automotive Ethernet must in future be able to capture the increasingly complex interactions between the individual protocols and ECUs.
Particularly with a view to autonomous driving and the future network architectures in vehicles, Ethernet, which has been established in the consumer sector for many years, is one of the future-proof and promising technologies. The advantages of this type of networking lie in the transmission of high (10GBase-T1, standardized since 2020) but also low data rates (10Base-T1S, standardized since 2019), in scalable fail-safety and reliability, and in the possibility of interacting with the environment via WLAN and 5G, as is the case with C2X communication (Car to X). All these aspects relate to both safety-relevant and comfort-oriented areas of driving. Since the founding of the OPEN Alliance in 2011, the integration of automotive Ethernet has been increasing, initially in