The average new car coming off the production line today has the same amount of electronic systems as a commercial airliner did two decades ago. Hard to accept perhaps, but true if auto-makers are to be believed.
Growth in automotive embedded systems (software and electronics) has been exponential since the early 1990s and the trend is predicted to continue. In 2002, electronic parts comprised 25 percent of a vehicle’s value – by 2015, car manufacturers predict this will hit 40 percent.
But the more electronic systems are added, the more they contribute to vehicle breakdowns and recalls. Researchers on the European ATESST project say a substantial share of vehicle failures today can be directly attributed to embedded systems, and field data indicates this share is increasing by several percent a year. This will reach unacceptable levels if no preventative action plan is put in place.
However the EU-funded, two-year project, which comes to an end when it presents its findings at a workshop in Brussels on 3 March this year, has developed an Architecture Description Language (ADL) aimed at improving methodology to handle component failures and avoid design flaws.Binding them all
A common language at the top level is needed to bind them together, he says.
There have been a number of important initiatives, including the European-developed AUTOSAR standard, which is used by many component suppliers and is on its way to becoming a de facto international standard. Also in common usage are off-the-shelf UML2 modelling tools which are not specific to the auto industry.
“But this is still not enough,” he stresses. “What we have developed is an industry-specific system which works with these other standards and dictates what part of the system is performing what function, and makes sure the different components will work together.”
The problem is, despite the huge strides in electronics, until now not enough attention has been paid to the big picture. When the manufacturer gets a component from a supplier, no matter how sophisticated it might be, it comes with a text file which describes the system for the manufacturer’s engineers.
The EAST-ADL2 language the ATESST project has been developing enables the computer modelling of systems. Instead of the old-fashioned text file, a supplier can now provide a computer model of his system to the manufacturer who can then immediately integrate it into the overall design.
“What this does is to give the manufacturer a complete picture at a much earlier point in proceedings than is possible at the moment,” says Lönn. “You don’t have to wait for all the electronics and software to be ready and assembled, but can do your analysis at a much earlier stage.”Clean, green mean machines
“Complex programs, like active safety functions, involve many systems and components. But we are at the stage now where it is becoming difficult to improve them without first improving our methodology, which is the purpose of EAST-ADL2.”
As well as the economic imperative to develop the new methodology, pressure will also come in the form of a new standard, ISO26262, controlling improvements in all the safety aspects of vehicles.
“This standard will put stringent requirements on the development of safety systems which means manufacturers will have to be more rigorous. Having the EAST-ADL2 language to work with will make this possible,” says Lönn.
“There is also pressure to build more environmentally-friendly cars and, to get the best environmental performance, optimised systems which are integrated and work properly together are needed,” he says.
With the development work over, the challenge now is to get the auto industry to accept EAST-ADL2 as a de facto standard. But the advantages to everybody are so obvious Lönn feels they will be adopted in one form or another. Indeed, he believes concepts from the project provide the basis for vehicles that are safer, greener, more fuel efficient, more reliable and more intelligent than would have been thought possible just a few short years ago.
Christian Nielsen | alfa
3D scans for the automotive industry
16.01.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits
09.11.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy