Adaptive cruise control automatically controls the acceleration and braking of a vehicle.
It is crucial for the automotive ecosystem to continue supporting the adoption of semi-autonomous vehicles for advanced driving assistance. As the ECUs in vehicles become more powerful, they have the capacity to perform functions previous iterations of ECU architecture could not.
Adhering to automotive safety standards
Designers need to be aware of the changing system architecture in order to continue adhering to strict automotive safety and security standards.
As a safety-critical system, ADAS ECU and its components, including the system-on-chip (SoC), must comply with the safety of electronic systems standard ISO 26262
. This international functional safety standard addresses possible hazards caused by the malfunctioning of any safety-related systems in road vehicles.
As the SoC is required for higher levels of automation and plays a role in safety-critical applications such as steering, braking and accelerating, it must also comply with the automotive safety integrity levels (ASILs) and meet automotive quality management processes such as ASPICE.
Although these currently present design challenges, meeting such key safety requirements helps ensure the safety of drivers and the ones around them.
ADAS ECU and its relation to sensors
Holding the intellectual capacity of the vehicle, the ADAS ECU also has raw data processing capabilities. It fuses raw data from multiple data sources including cameras, short- and long-range radar, lidar, ultrasound sensors, as well as map data.
The system uses microcontroller units (MCU) within the ECU to process this large amount of sensor data. The vehicle uses this to generate a highly accurate 360-degree map of the surrounding environment, which includes identifying road markings, blind spots or obstructions.
The ADAS ECU then interprets the situation and takes the best and safest course of action. The system intervenes with specific targeted actions throughout the vehicle from one integrated and powerful domain controller.
One of the architecture safety features of ADAS ECU is that the vehicle can make timely safety decisions such as emergency braking, pedestrian detection and front collision warnings. Data from external sources, real-time map and traffic data and sensors can anticipate changes on the road ahead for ADAS applications such as adaptive cruise control (ACC) and highway assist.