Data is more than a buzzword, it is the lifeblood of modern business and the automotive industry is no different. Software-Defined Vehicles produce extensive data not only for continued improvement of vehicle testing and design optimization, but also opening the door for new data-driven business models:
Real-time data analytics can offer early warning prognostics, allowing for preemptive maintenance measures that enhance vehicle longevity and safety.
Digital twinning allows OEMs to accumulate massive amounts of data much quicker than they can today. This creates a more efficient development cycle, reducing costs and time to market.
Innovative applications can be added to the vehicle throughout its life while data can be utilized to improve safety and security.
By creating unique driver profiles, AI algorithms can offer real-time recommendations, from optimal routes to personalized infotainment, enhancing the overall driving experience.
The data generated by SDVs opens up new avenues for monetization, from value-added services to data brokerage, offering OEMs many opportunities for data monetization.
As data collection intensifies, so does the need for robust cybersecurity measures and privacy safeguards to protect both drivers and OEMs.
Right now, most cars are built around microcontrollers or are still heavily reliant on microcontrollers for many of the hardware components. They’re good for specific tasks but lack flexibility. The SDV requires a microprocessor-centric design which allows parts of the system to be updated without affecting the whole. This makes it much easier to add new features over time. Now instead of a 3-5 year manufacturing timeline, vehicles can align with silicon frameworks of 18 months.
From a financial perspective, one microprocessor can do the job of multiple microcontrollers but with more flexibility. So with SDVs we can replace the 100+ microcontrollers with a much smaller number of microprocessors. While microprocessors are more expensive per unit, the huge difference in the quantity needed more than makes up for it.
The flexibility offered by microprocessors is vital for vehicles to provide for the trends of data analytics, cybersecurity, and personalized user experiences.
SDVs require the seamless management of mixed-criticality systems (often running on the same hardware), and the ability to easily shift resources between software services in multiple domains or applications. For this to happen, the traditional silos need to be broken down and a domain-agnostic solution must be implemented.
As all software is now running on shared resources, it is imperative that the “least privileges” concept is maintained. OEMs must also comply with UNECE R155 making security-by-design an essential part of any automotive design.
The purpose of a Zonal Gateway is to act as a local connectivity hub, aggregating multiple low speed interfaces and relaying data through a single high speed Ethernet link to the backbone. The Zonal Gateway may also perform edge processing and can offload or prepare data for a Vehicle Server to process in order to reduce workload and bandwidth.
A zonal architecture can achieve hardware consolidation by employing a high-performing, general purpose compute platform that can manage all the software needs of tomorrow’s car. From apps to power steering to OTA updates, a zonal architecture allows you to reduce the number of ECUs needed in a vehicle.