Supercomputers to form the ‘brains’ of an autonomous vehicle

The industry is moving away from cluttered networks of ECUs to a centralised collection of high-performance computers, writes Freddie Holmes

The in-vehicle network enables different parts of the vehicle to communicate, and in recent years, the number of those communications has spiked. This has resulted from a rapid increase in functionality, affording passengers better comfort, entertainment and driving performance over previous generations.

As driving the vehicle becomes a task performed only by computer, the underlying network of cables, computers, actuators and sensors will serve as the vehicle’s central nervous system. Many believe the current configuration will not be fit for autonomous vehicles (AVs), however, and is due a rethink.

Domain controllers will handle different parts of the vehicle, even without a driver behind the wheel

The automotive industry has been on a mission to limit the increase in hardware resulting from advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), digital screens and electric components. More ECUs bring more cables, drain more energy and take up more space. It has created a labyrinth of microcomputers, cables and components, largely decentralised and operating independently—each with their own power and data processing requirements. Although far from ideal, this has been largely unavoidable until now. The advent of high-performance computing (HPC) promises to reverse this trend of hardware complexity. 

Special report: In-vehicle networking

The basics of an AV network

Regardless of

It’s time to log in (or subscribe).

Not a member? Subscribe now and let us help you understand the future of mobility.

Monthly Online Magazine
£195
1 user
12-month subscription (Annual rebill)
Access to Automotive World Magazine, our must-read monthly online publication
Mag + Articles + Special Reports
£495
1 user
12-month subscription (Annual rebill)
Access to Automotive World Magazine plus all articles and more than 40 special reports per year
All Content
Single-User License
£1,950
1 user
12-month subscription (Annual rebill)
Free tickets to Automotive World events
Unlimited online access to all content, including Automotive World magazine, articles, special reports, data and research
All Content
Team License
£3,950
Up to 5 users
12-month subscription (Annual rebill)
Free tickets to Automotive World events
Unlimited online access to all content, including Automotive World magazine, articles, special reports, data and research
All Content
Company-Wide License

Contact us for pricing

Unlimited users
12-month subscription
Free tickets to Automotive World events
Unlimited online access to all content, including Automotive World magazine, articles, special reports, data and research

Welcome back , to continue browsing the site, please click here