Vehicle E/E-Architecture: Reduce to the Max: Page 4 of 6

November 27, 2019 //By Karsten Michels, Continental
Vehicle E/E-Architecture: Reduce to the Max
Over the decades the electronic architecture of cars has developed into a highly complex network with 70 or more electronic control units. Driven by the global automotive mega trends of “connected, automated, electrified, and shared” there is a fundamental change going on now towards a centralized server-based architecture. What will it look like in the future?

The true level of connectivity

But still, why is it all necessary? Why centralize and network to such a new level? Why the focus on updateability and smooth data interchange? A look into the very near future provides an answer. Let us assume for a moment that a family goes out on a trip to an amusement park and let us have a look at what will be going on behind the scenes in a future car with a server-based architecture.


Fig. 4: Predictive Maintenance increases vehicle availability

It all really starts before the family even sets out: The parents will typically prepare this kind of outing by planning and/or making reservations via a smart device. By synchronizing with, for instance, a smartphone, the car will “know” about the plan. So, before the vehicle is even driven out of the garage, the best route is already calculated – factoring in that the route should offer a good level of 5G coverage to support entertainment on the road. The vehicle will diagnose itself to ensure availability for the expected date and length of the trip. If something comes up during this check, a message will be shown at an early point (FIG. 4) or will be sent to a smartphone. Speaking of driving out of the garage: An increasing number of future cars will be able to do that autonomously and to open the doors and the hatch via Smart Key as soon as the family approaches the car and has been acknowledged as legitimate to enter the vehicle via the driver’s smartphone.

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