Smart car E/E architecture research: Tesla is far ahead, traditional car companies are chasing

Zosi Automotive R&D released the “2019-2020 Intelligent Vehicle Computing Platform and System Architecture Research Report”.

With the development of the new four modernizations of automobiles, the traditional distributed E/E architecture is challenged: the three-electrical system of EVs increases the complexity of the E/E architecture of automobiles; functions such as smart cockpit and autonomous driving need to integrate more sensor data, More challenges to OTA, computing power and vehicle security. Therefore, in the future, automobiles need higher computing power ECU coordination and scalable architecture design. The replacement of the existing distributed architecture, such as domain centralized Electronic and electrical architecture and vehicle centralized electronic and electrical architecture, will gradually emerge. Phase forward layout. Nishikawa, general manager of Toyota Electronic and Electrical Architecture Development Department, summarized the evolution route of electronic and electrical architecture as follows: simple LAN → hierarchical LAN → central gateway + domain LAN → computing platform (including online cloud) → computing platform ++ (including online cloud, offline cloud).

Smart car E/E architecture research: Tesla is far ahead, traditional car companies are chasing

Source: Toyota

Bosch divides the evolution path of automotive electronic and electrical architecture into six stages: modular, integrated, centralized, domain fusion, in-vehicle computer and in-vehicle-cloud computing from simple to complex.

Source: Bosch, Zosi Industrial Research

In terms of E/E architecture, Tesla’s development is the most advanced. Its new generation of centralized E/E architecture has reached the stage of in-vehicle central computer and regional controller. With the self-developed operating system, OTA can be realized for the whole vehicle. Compared with traditional car companies, Tesla has a lead of more than five years. Recently, Hyundai has decided to recall more than 12,000 2020 Sonata models due to a functional defect in the automatic parking system. This is the most depressing place for traditional car companies. Adding more and more intelligent networking functions to the traditional architecture will always cause bugs due to the complexity of the software, which will only lead to more customer dissatisfaction or even recalls. Only by realizing the OTA of the whole vehicle under the new E/E architecture can the recall problem be finally solved. Therefore, Volkswagen, Audi, GM, Toyota and other car companies are accelerating the deployment of the new E/E architecture, and the mass production time is about 2021-2025. Volkswagen ID.3 will be equipped with an E/E architecture named E³, and a cross-domain central controller will appear to realize a domain fusion architecture; GM’s new-generation E/E architecture, Global B, will be mounted on the new Cadillac CT5; Toyota will Adopt Central & Zone’s E/E architecture. Domestic car companies, such as BYD, Hezhong Auto, and Singularity, are all adopting a new generation of E/E architecture. Taking Tesla’s latest electronic and electrical architecture as an example, the E/E architecture of its Model 3 model includes three major blocks:

• The first is the autonomous driving and entertainment control module, which takes over all sensors related to assisted driving, such as cameras and millimeter-wave radars.

• The second is the right body controller BCM RH, which integrates automatic entry and exit, thermal management, torque control, etc., as well as ultrasonic radar for parking.

• The third is the left body controller BCM LH, responsible for interior lighting and entry.

In the future electronic and electrical architecture, Toyota will adopt the E/E scheme of Central& Zone.

Toyota Central & Zone Architecture

Source: Toyota, Zoth

From the perspective of Tier1, Tier1s such as Aptiv, Huawei, Continental, and Bosch are stepping up the deployment of a new generation of electronic and electrical architecture:

• Aptiv officially released a new smart car architecture SVA in January 2020, and plans to achieve a semi-intelligent vehicle architecture (PARTIAL SVA) in 2022 and a full intelligent vehicle architecture (FULL SVA) in 2025.

• Huawei proposes a CC architecture based on computing and communication, which consists of a distributed network and three domain controllers.

• Continental and Bosch have also proposed future E/E architecture plans, which are being actively promoted.

Taking Aptiv SVA electronic and electrical architecture as an example, it consists of three parts:

• Powered Data Center (PDC): a “universal docking station” and zone integrator;

• Unified power and data backbone: modular and automatable simplified wiring harness technology/design; redundant network through dual ring topology;

• Central Computing Cluster: A general computing platform with standardized interfaces and Internet security gateways.

Figure: Schematic diagram of Aptiv Smart Vehicle Architecture SVA

Source: Aptiv

In general, the domain centralized E/E architecture will be the mainstream in the next few years, and its core technologies mainly include gateways, domain controllers, and vehicle Ethernet. The domain controller can divide the functions of various parts of the automotive electronics into several fields, such as the power transmission domain, the body electronics domain, the assisted driving domain, etc., and then use the multi-core CPU/GPU chips with powerful processing capabilities to relatively centrally control the original ownership in the domain. Most of the functions of each ECU to replace the traditional distributed architecture. At present, the layout of Tier 1 domain controllers is mainly concentrated in the intelligent cockpit domain and the autonomous driving domain.

The emergence of in-vehicle Ethernet is to meet the high-bandwidth requirements of emerging technologies such as ADAS systems, high-definition in-vehicle entertainment systems, car networking systems, cloud services, and big data in vehicle applications, which partially or even completely replace CAN, LIN, FlexRay, Traditional in-vehicle networks such as LVDS. The main suppliers of automotive Ethernet are NXP, Rosenberger, Broadcom, Marvell, Toshiba, TE Connectivity, etc. As the data exchange hub of the entire vehicle network, the automotive gateway can route network data such as CAN, LIN, MOST, and FlexRay in different networks. The Tier 1 gateways are dominated by foreign semiconductor manufacturers and traditional automotive suppliers, such as NXP, Infineon, Renesas Electronics, STMicroelectronics, Continental, Bosch, Texas Instruments, Intel, etc.; domestic layout companies include Jingweiheng Run, Zhiyuan Electronics, United Automotive Electronics, etc.

In the analysis of the E/E architecture trend by Bosch and Toyota, the vehicle + cloud computing architecture is attributed to the highest stage. At present, cockpit domain applications that do not require high latency (such as listening to songs, speech recognition, etc.) have realized the combination of cloud computing and local computing. The autonomous driving domain will also be this trend, but it will be more complicated, and it will be a combination of on-board computing + cloud computing + edge computing. The combination of vehicle-side computing + cloud computing + edge computing requires the support of vehicle-road collaboration technology and smart road infrastructure. Vehicle-road collaboration will be the first to be implemented in China. Huawei’s CC (computing + communication) architecture may be a new-generation E/E architecture that is more suitable for vehicle-road collaboration applications.

Source: Huawei

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