Trends and Innovations in Safety Domain Architecture

CESA 2012 abstract
Since years the demand for Driver Assistant Systems is continuously growing. Forward looking camera and radar applications are gaining popularity. Not only in the luxury car segment, but also in mid end car segments and migrating further into low end cars. In addition the merge of active and passive safety applications towards cognitive safety is progressing rapidly, supported by upcoming changes in the safety rating of cars. Additional radar and camera sensors are going to be equipped around the car for side and rear looking applications migrating towards 360 degree environmental sensing. Taking advanced development programs at vehicle manufacturer into consideration first semi autonomous driving applications can be expected within this decade.
All these trends will lead to a change in the safety electronic architecture.

More and more sensor data need to be processed, data fusion has to be done on a much higher level and software functions to align and arbitrate chassis actuators need to be integrated. Furthermore, vehicle manufacturer have identified DAS function software as an important vehicle brand related selling point and started to develop this SW on their own, which has to be integrated by tier 1 supplier as black box or gray box SW.
Beside these new electronic systems, which are entering the car, we will see a lot of new technologies enabling the way towards cognitive safety. Safety systems are going to have open, Autosar based SW architectures according to ISO26262, need to support various network communications like CAN, FlexRay and in the next step Ethernet and have to provide very flexible and scalable micro processor architecture.
While flexibility and scalability do have in general an impact on the cost of the electronic systems - standard safety systems with high fitment rates are meanwhile much cost driven - a simple integration of the above mentioned functions and technologies would lead to a not acceptable cost burden in standard systems. Safety domain controller which acts as flexible, open integration hubs being additionally equipped to the car as optional electronic systems, hosting DAS or vehicle dynamic functions are ideal solutions to follow the rapidly changing market as long as above mentioned market requirements are linked to fitment rates below 30-40%. With such a controller the functions can be integrated and added very easily by allowing the standard electronic systems to stay cost optimized. TRW has developed a safety domain controller which enables the integration of a number of chassis, safety and DAS control functions. Using open, ISO262626 compliant Autosar architecture, the Saftey Domain ECU (SDE) has the flexibility to include software from vehicle manufacturers and third party suppliers and its first generation is scheduled for launch in 2013.
For its second generation SDE, TRW is exploring the application and benefits of Ethernet as a network technology – offering considerably higher data throughput speeds than current communication protocols.

By Dr. Hans-Gerd Krekels, Global Director Technology Strategy & Core Electronics, TRW Automotive

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