Scalable ECU platform to accomplish level 3 autonomous driving

January 13, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
When later this year Audi will introduce the latest version of its A8 flagship sedan, the vehicle will contain the first series version of the zFAS computing platform, a kind of brain for all driver assistance systems that will be the first system in the market to provide level 3 (hands-off) autonomous driving. With its middleware, Vienna-based technology company TTTech provides a significant contribution to the system.

TTTech’s contribution to this system is a scalable ECU platform that combines a flexible architecture and safety kit that can be adapted to the needs of customers like Audi – but since it is available to automotive OEMS and suppliers, also other carmakers can be expected to put the platform into the center of their car’s electronic guts. TTTech has already developed a similar platform based on Renesas microprocessors, and EE Times Europe learned that Asian carmakers are taking closer looks to the system.

The various multicore processors in the zFAS (Mobileye and Nvidia for image processing, Altera / Intel for sensor fusion, number crunching and miscellaneous tasks, plus Infineon’s Aurix for steering and braking) are tied together through a safe deterministic Ethernet connection. TTTech’s software provides a complete runtime and development environment and complies to the highest safety level (ISO 26262 ASIL D). TTTech holds the responsibilities for ECU safety from prototyping, production of A and B samples and series production and ECU flashing, explains TTTech member of the executive board Stefan Poledna. “Our environment supports Autosar as well as alternative operating systems such as Wind River or Linux derivates”, Poledna said. Likewise, it is closely entangled with development tools like those from Vector Informatik and other third parties, Poledna assured.