In an environment characterised by the digitalisation of vehicle functions, it is becoming increasingly difficult for car manufacturers to keep control of technical developments - evolution is progressing too fast, the landscape of suppliers, engineering service providers and new, highly specialised company start-ups is too differentiated. In addition, the complexity of the nested automotive supply chains makes the rapid development and provision of innovative digital functions more difficult. "Some OEMs are therefore turning away from traditional supply chains in order to regain control of developments," explains Michael Ziganek, Managing Director of the Automotive Business Unit of the Siemens company Mentor.
Against this background, Mentor is addressing the specialist public with a comprehensive range of software, hardware and services. Under the name VCOS2 (Vehicle Cockpit Consolidation Solutions), it supports developers in designing and developing cockpit systems that can be accommodated on a single computationally powerful ECU based on ARM architecture. The offering, Mentor promises, will enable automotive designers to slash costs, speed time to market and improve the user experience without compromising the automotive industry's stringent cybersecurity and functional safety requirements.
Combining instrument clustering and in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) in one computing platform saves space and costs, Mentor argues. Added to this are technical advantages: The fusion of instrument cluster and IVI functions, which can run with different operating systems on one ECU, eliminates latencies that exist in data exchange between distributed ECUs and supports multiple levels of security domains (ASIL and QM). The Mentor solution also offers graphics, video and audio sharing and other features. "In order to isolate domains and increase functional safety, developers of automotive electronics instrument cluster and IVI systems today usually distribute the corresponding functions over several ECUs," explains Ziganek. The sophisticated separation of the tasks that run on one ECU in VCO2 makes this costly and time-consuming approach obsolete.