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Automotive ECUs for ADAS and Autonomous Driving Systems, North America and Europe, 2017

Automotive ECUs for ADAS and Autonomous Driving Systems, North America and Europe, 2017

With the advent of autonomous driving, humans are slowly being asked to relinquish control to the vehicle. However, in the near future, as the automotive industry paves the way from manually driven vehicles to fully autonomous vehicles via semi-autonomous vehicles, changes in the vehicle E/E architecture that help achieve this transition should be scrutinized closely. This study analyzes the transition of autonomous ecosystem from ADAS ECUs to the ECUs and E/E architecture required to enable autonomous driving.

The current market is dominated by ADAS ECUs supporting L2 features and vehicles on road are yet to advance from L2; however, suppliers are in the process of developing ECUs for HAD and AD. The regulatory mandate of LDW and AEB will drive the demand for ADAS ECUs in the near future.

However, the traditional approach of adding discreet ECUs for every new feature will affect the performance of an autonomous vehicle by adding complexity to the E/E architecture and slowing down the communication of safety critical information. Due to increase in complexity and cost, domain-controlled architecture and Ethernet backbone will be important to future E/E development.

Domain -controlled architecture will support autonomous driving by enabling high-speed communication for critical information and will allow easy development of fail operational system. From domain-controlled E/E architecture, it will eventually evolve to a centralized architecture.

Early mover advantage in the autonomous ecosystem has gained NVIDIA ample traction while Intel’s greater resources have enabled Intel to set up a robust product portfolio through acquisition, Mobileye in particular. NXP and Renesas are pioneers in the automotive semiconductor market and have ample experience in manufacturing automotive-grade semiconductors. This study delves into the autonomous solutions developed by these companies and compares their solutions.

These solutions from Tier II are integrated by Tier I suppliers to cater to the demands of OEMs. Aptiv and Mobileye have developed a multidomain controller while ZF and NVIDIA have partnered to develop a safety domain ECU named ProAI.

Most OEMs are aggressive when it comes to the development of autonomous driving and are constantly in search for advanced technology suppliers in the market—both matured developers and autonomous start-ups. Most OEMs have already partnered with Tier I suppliers or have formed alliances with multiple OEMs and suppliers for the development of technology. Audi showcased its domain-controlled architecture, zFAS, developed in partnership with NVIDIA, Mobileye, Infineon, Intel Altera, TTTech and Aptiv.


  • Executive Summary
    • Executive Summary—Highlights
    • Key Findings—ADAS ECU Market
    • Key Findings—ADAS ECU Developers
    • Key Findings—Domain Controllers
    • Key Findings—Autonomous Solution Developers
    • Key Findings—System Integrators
    • Key Findings—OEM Approach
    • Key Conclusions and Future Outlook
  • Research Scope, Objectives, and Methodology
    • Research Scope
    • Research Aims and Objectives
    • Key Questions This Study Will Answer
    • Research Methodology
  • Definitions
    • E/E Architecture Definitions
    • Sensors Currently Used Across Applications
    • Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Definitions
  • ADAS ECU Market
    • ADAS ECU Outlook
    • ADAS ECU Market for L1—BSD, LDW, NV
    • ADAS ECU Market for L2—PA, ACC, AEB
    • Mitsubishi Electric
    • Autoliv
    • Hitachi Automotive Systems
    • TTTech Computertechnik AG
  • Migration from ADAS to Autonomous Driving
    • Feature Adoption for Each Level of Autonomous Driving
    • Levels of Autonomous Driving and Sensors
    • ECUs for Autonomous Applications
  • Need for Domain-controlled architecture
    • Problems with Current Architecture
    • Evolution of E/E Architecture
    • Advantages of Domain Controllers
    • Domain-controlled Architecture
  • Evolution of E/E Architecture
    • Types of Future Architecture
    • GPU vs. FPGA
  • Major Autonomous Driving Solution Developers
    • NVIDIA
    • NVIDIA Drive PX Family
    • Intel
    • Intel GO Platform
    • EyeQ Series
    • NXP Semiconductors
    • NXP BlueBox
    • Renesas
    • Renesas Autonomy
    • Competition Landscape
  • System Integrators
    • Continental Safety Domain ECU
    • Aptiv Multidomain Controller
    • ZF ProAI
  • OEM Approach
    • zFAS (zentrale Fahrerassistenzsteuergerät)— Audi
  • Growth Opportunities and Companies to Action
    • Growth Opportunity—Investments and Partnerships from OEMs/TSPs
    • Strategic Imperatives for Success and Growth
  • Conclusions and Future Outlook
    • Key Conclusions and Future Outlook
    • The Last Word—3 Big Predictions
  • Appendix
    • Market Engineering Methodology
    • Abbreviations and Acronyms Used

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