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Scalable, Safe ECU Platform for Autonomous Driving is Going into Series Production and is Now Available Worldwide as a Modular Technology Kit

TTTech, a global leader in the field of robust networking and safety controls, has developed a revolutionary scalable and safe ECU platform that is available as of now for vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. This platform combines a flexible architecture and safety kit that can be easily adapted to customer-specific computing power requirements. Moreover, the ISO 26262 ASIL D compliant software provides a complete runtime and development environment for networked multicore SoCs to integrate a number of mixed-criticality functions. As the primary customer, Audi is taking the zFAS ECU into series production in 2017, based on this modular technology kit. 

For the first time, several multicore processors are used in an ECU for autonomous driving that communicate over a safe and high-performance Deterministic Ethernet network. It is worth emphasizing that this ECU is hosting a multitude of functions for automatic driving that fulfill various safety requirements up to and including ISO 26262 ASIL D. 

The Volkswagen Group is the first automobile manufacturer to implement this ECU into various models beginning in 2017. In the highest performance version, it is not only possible to integrate and reliably control more than 30 different driver assistance functions at the same time, but also to comprehensively combine all the data from sensors for automated driving in the vehicle. This creates a constantly up-to-date and complete image of the environment around the vehicle in real time.

The high degree of integration of sensor data fusion and all applications on a single ECU platform is paving the way for the future of automobiles, all the way to a safe and smooth mastery of the enormous amounts of data that must be processed during autonomous driving. The platform ECU’s storage capacity and computing power already exceed the performance of the entire electronic architecture in today’s mid-range cars. The use of Deterministic Ethernet allows for safe, real-time transfer of mixed-criticality data. 

The heart of the control device is platform software that was specially developed by TTTech for the requirements of the automotive industry. It allows the device to abstract the functions of the numerous multicore processors, while the innovative partitioning design rigorously encapsulates the different applications from one another. This prevents an individual defective application from disrupting the entire ECU and also significantly reduces time and personnel efforts to integrate the individual applications, since they can be developed and integrated in parallel and independently from one another. An extensive tool kit serves to support and to accelerate the development and safeguarding phases on the way to series production. 

“With the realization of this ECU platform for automated driving, we can now support customers worldwide to implement their autonomous driving projects much faster and more efficiently”, says Dr. Stefan Poledna, co-founder and member of the executive board at TTTech. “Our customers will significantly benefit from TTTech’s experience to bring level 3 automated driving to the market in 2017”.

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