Until recently, having three ECUs communicating with each other in a vehicle was considered complex. And while that may still be sufficient for certain functionalities in the future, it is no substitute for a human driver.
For automotive developers, replicating the human brain’s talent for managing complexity efficiently is now a major goal. Future vehicles need on-board intelligence that can deliver automated driving functionalities for consumers.
For cars to think and judge where to go and how to accomplish that – when to accelerate, brake and steer – a series of connected ECUs is not enough. Vehicles need an electronic architecture that creates an abstraction layer.
In short, vehicles need operating systems to sit between the hardware and the software functions. Download a smartphone app and the phone’s operating system takes care of the hardware dependency. The software developer does not need to install the sensors, graphics engine and processor.