The EyeSight system, produced by the tier-one supplier Veoneer, serves as the linchpin for sophisticated functions such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance and pre-collision braking. The system is largely based on a stereo camera that is installed near the rear-view mirror. This sensor generates huge amounts of data, which are pre-processed and fused in real time with a Xilinx-MPSoC of the Zynq UltraScale family. A three-dimensional point cloud is provided at the output, from which a downstream computer generates the driving commands. Since this process is extremely safety-critical, the entire data fusion process must be practically without any delay.
The EyeSight system is the basis not only for the driver assistance functions mentioned above; it is also instrumental for algorithmic support in the detection of critical situations such as the detection of pedestrians on the road, danger of collision when turning or unintentional vehicle movement, and for monitoring the driver’s ability to drive (via a separate interior camera with its own data processing). Subaru is considering equipping the vehicle with four additional short-range radars as an option in order to implement further functions such as congestion assistant and curve prediction; these sensors would also interact closely with the Eyesight system.
In any case, the Xilinx chip would also be able to process the additional radar signals, explains Wayne Lyons, Director Automotive at the Californian chip manufacturer. Because of their architecture, which allows for extensive hardware-programmed functions, the components of the Zync UltraScale family could also implement additional features for other customers – as an example, Lyons mentioned additional MIPI switches or splitters for downstream data recorders or additional displays.
The success at Subaru proves Xilinx right with its strategy to serve the automotive market with highly programmable, heterogeneous multiprocessor systems. According to Lyons, the company has already delivered 75 million such chips into ADAS applications. Customers include not only OEMs such as Subaru and Daimler or the not-so-familiar Chinese electric car manufacturer Weltmeister, but also Tier Ones such as Continental, Magna, Veoneer and ZF.