The importance of a smart vehicle architecture

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I believe that what sometimes gets lost in the hype around driverless cars is that mobility involves so much more than moving people and goods from point A to point B. Safety is at the top of that list. For those of us working in this exciting industry, it’s one of the primary reasons we all get up in the morning and do what we do every day. Safety always has been, and always will be, one of our primary focus areas.

We know that if we can give human drivers and their vehicles just an extra half-second of warning time, we can reduce accidents by 60%. This can have an immensely positive impact on the number of vehicle accidents around the world, which kill more than 1.25 million people annually. Roughly 90% of these accidents are human-error related.

The evolution of cutting-edge safety technology on the road has been ongoing for decades. In 1999, Aptiv was the first to integrate radar into a vehicle for an adaptive cruise control system. While we are all working diligently toward the day when Level 5 autonomous vehicles are a ubiquitous reality, we are already seeing highly autonomous safety technology on the road today.

AEB, for example, is so effective that the European Union stipulates that commercial vehicles weighing in excess of 7,000kg must be equipped with AEB. In the USA, 20 automotive manufacturers have agreed to make AEB standard on all new vehicles by 2022.

Of course, AEB is just one safety solution among many. Aptiv has spent a long time developing a new approach to vehicle architecture (badged smart vehicle architecture), which is helping to democratize safety, while bridging the gap between today’s increasingly tech-centric vehicles and tomorrow’s highly automated vehicles.

Other examples include lane departure warning systems, and blind spot detection systems that employ sensors, cameras and radar to perceive objects and alert drivers to help them avoid accidents.

At Aptiv, we believe that the crucial factor is having a vehicle architecture that centralizes compute and decision making for all the various safety systems (and other systems) in and around the vehicle. This approach enables the efficient and effective utilization of both ADAS hardware and software for customers to upgrade their vehicle’s capabilities.

We continue to identify and solve complex engineering and social challenges to enable advanced mobility solutions to create a safer, greener and better connected world for all of us – today and tomorrow.

Glen De Vos has been senior vice president and chief technology officer of Aptiv since March 2017. In November 2017, he was also named president of the mobility and services group.

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