How the software defined vehicle changes hardware architectures

How the software defined vehicle changes hardware architectures

Feature articles |
By Nick Flaherty

The move to a software defined vehicle architecture, AI and automated driving is changing the way hardware is designed, as highlighted by Bosch at the IAA Mobility conference in Germany next week.

Drivers expect their vehicles to be updateable in the same way that their smartphones are. In the future, functions will be downloaded to vehicles like apps, without any need to replace hardware says Bosch at the IAA Mobility in Munich. This is leading to more independent software and hardware.

“The future of mobility is software-defined. We are revamping our driver-assistance portfolio and offering our customers precisely the solution they need,” says Christoph Hartung, president of the Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division, which is also the driving force behind assisted and automated driving at Bosch.

In this process,software is becoming the decisive element in the development of automotive electronic systems, and especially of driver assistance systems. Given these changes, Bosch is extending its portfolio for assisted and automated driving and parking, says Hartung. In the future, hardware and software components will also be marketed separately from each other.

Video perception of the vehicle’s surroundings will play an important role in the move from assisted to automated driving and parking. Bosch currently offers a combined package of hardware and software, but is now showing video-perception software as a standalone product for the first time along with hardware-only camera heads.

This is a significant step for Tier One suppliers, the software is independent of any hardware, supporting a range of different systems on chip (SoC) devices). This gives automakers maximum flexibility.

Camera heads are now independent of software

Bosch camera heads are now independent of software

In addition to radar and ultrasonic options, sensors based on video offer a further way of sensing a vehicle’s surroundings in assisted and automated driving. The image data captured by several sensors, such as the new Bosch camera heads, are processed by Bosch software and made available for advanced driver assistance functions relating to driving and parking.

This opens up the possibility of functions that can enhance safety. Examples include automatic braking when driving or reversing, convenience functions such as adaptive cruise control, active lane changing, and park assist functions, and automated driving on freeways, extra-urban roads, and city streets.

For the detection and classification of objects, the Bosch software relies on AI methods such as deep neural networks. When training these networks, Bosch can draw on databases from around the world, and in this way take account of country-specific and local requirements during development.

“We can see a trend among customers to no longer opt for the complete package offered by a supplier, but instead to increasingly request individual components that are compatible with rival products. In this context, the call in the industry is for not just hardware to be compatible, but for software to be hardware- and operator-agnostic as well,” says Sven Lanwer, the head of the Driver Experience (ADAS) unit at Bosch.

Bosch has many years of experience in developing complete camera systems for driver assistance, and is also well familiar with the development of application-specific software and with software integration.

However the company will continue to develop new, intelligent sensors with embedded software to allow customers to put together their own individual, modular, and scalable solutions by combining camera heads and the ADAS integration platform.

This is a Bosch vehicle computer for the domain of advanced driver assistance systems. This powerful computer can deliver assisted and automated driving functions and parking at SAE Levels 0 to 4.

The latest Bosch radar sensors enable assisted and automated driving functions at SAE Levels 0 to 3 in a software defined vehicle. For the sixth generation of these radar sensors, Bosch has incorporated artificial intelligence. This new generation performs better at measuring distance, high speeds, and angular resolution; as a result, objects such as motorcycles can also be reliably detected across the entire field of view.

Sixth generation radar heads

AI-based height classification in the ultrasonic sensors offer more robust detection capabilities; this allows them, for example, to estimate the approximate height of an obstacle. Tripling the echo frequency makes the sensors even more sensitive, enabling them to achieve quick and reliable detection of pedestrians and low-reflection objects, for example.

The portfolio is rounded off with new camera housings. Image analysis no longer takes place in the camera itself, but rather in central vehicle computers such as Bosch’s ADAS Integration Platform. This is available in 3- and 8-megapixel variants with the option of a 12-megapixel version for Level 4 applications.

Next-generation vehicle computers

The move to a software defined vehicle architecture is driving a new generation of modular and scalable components for customer-specific architectures with individually configurable vehicle computers.

The vehicle integration platform is the enabler of software-defined vehicles with centralized and zonal E/E architectures. The idea is to move the vehicle’s application software into central vehicle computers. This way, the vehicle integration platform enables functional integration across all domains, such as body, motion, and comfort. Over-the-air updates ensure that vehicle software is always kept up-to-date.

The modular and scalable architecture means the platform can be tailored to the specific requirements of each car maker, including the flexible integration of third-party software, for example.

The cockpit integration platform combines the computing tasks of the infotainment and instrumentation domains in a single computer. Depending on performance and functional safety requirements, additional functions can be integrated into the computer from other domains, such as climate control, connectivity, driver assistance functions, and camera-based applications such as driver and occupant monitoring, surround view, and dashcam recording.

The motion integration platform focuses on safety-related application software for the powertrain, chassis, and steering. To complement this portfolio, Bosch offers its zone ECUs, which act as a link between vehicle computers and distributed ECUs, sensors, and actuators.

Bosch subsidiary ETAS is launching a special middleware as a link between the operating system and individual software applications in the software defined vehicle architecture. This allows software functions for driver assistance and automated driving to be continuously improved. It enables instant communication between software applications at a bandwidth of more than 10 gigabytes per second (GB/s) without compromising security.

Deterministic behaviour allows many development steps to be performed virtually with recorded real data. Reproducible simulation-based validation makes it possible to reduce the number of costly test-drive kilometres in real traffic conditions.

Boosting safety with assistance systems

Putting together a desired package of functions from a modular system of longitudinal and lateral guidance, automatic lane change and emergency braking allows the vehicle manufacturers can implement SAE Level 2 automated driving functions. The most advanced variant, Bosch driving assist premium, uses a 360-degree camera belt to expand the application of automated driving functions from the freeway to urban and rural traffic situations.

Vehicle motion und vehicle dynamics

Bosch vehicle motion management controls and coordinates driving behaviour by optimizing the interaction between braking, steering, chassis, and powertrain systems. Its functions include vehicle dynamics control 2.0, the latest generation of Bosch systems for vehicle dynamics, traction control, and antilock braking. This function anticipates likely vehicle behaviour and intervenes proactively. The result is a driving experience that is very safe, agile, and relaxed.

Connected vehicle systems

Automated driving services enabled by a software defined vehicle architecture

Automated driving services enabled by a software defined vehicle architecture

PANTARIS is a cloud-based platform that offers essential services and tools for the efficient development and scalable operation of software for vehicle systems. As well as ensuring the worldwide availability of mobility services, PANTARIS also includes a developer portal for managing vehicles and services. PANTARIS and the applications it offers are based on cloud-independent technology, making them compatible with all public cloud providers.

PANTARIS Connect provides the basic services for vehicle connectivity and operation over the entire vehicle lifecycle. PANTARIS Creator provides easy access to software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools for the secure development and operation of cloud services. PANTARIS Workspace offers a central point of access for developers to book and manage services, making it quick and easy to implement specific applications.

Energy management for electric vehicles

A connected vehicle energy management system brings together an electric vehicle’s thermal management, powertrain, and electrical system. This ensures the optimum distribution of energy at the vehicle level, thereby reducing energy consumption and increasing comfort. It also paves the way for new functions such as safe home mode. This assists the vehicle in reaching its destination with the remaining battery charge by reducing the power consumption of comfort items such as heating and climate control as necessary.;


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