I’ve thought for a while that connecting the car of the future implies at least three different kinds of communication system with a vehicle:
There’s been quite a lot of Connected Car activity over the last few months as the automotive industry moves ever closer to delivering these technologies in next-generation vehicles. Notably the US Department of Transport (DoT) has confirmed its support for DSRC in the 5.9 GHz band allocated specifically for this purpose by the FCC. Also, DoT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced that it will take the next steps towards V2V/V2H deployment following the success of its 3,000-vehicle trial in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Similar initiatives are underway in Europe such as the Car-2-Car communication consortium.
Connectivity within the car is evolving to match as higher data rate and lower cost in-vehicle networks are required to support these applications along with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). I don’t expect the established automotive networking technologies to disappear any time soon with CAN, FlexRay etc. continuing to be used for mission-critical powertrain, chassis and body electronics etc. However, new ADAS systems with video cameras capturing a 360 degree view around the vehicle as well as radar and sonar systems for dynamic cruise control and park assist will require the higher data rates Ethernet supports. Enter new standards for Ethernet such as Broadcom's BroadR-Reach automotive Ethernet using a single robust twisted pair to send data around the vehicle at 100 Mbps.
An ‘Open Alliance’ of more than 200 members is working now with the IEEE’s 802.3 standards group to create a single vehicle Ethernet standard. Participating companies include General Motors, Ford, Daimler, Honda, Hyundai, BMW, Toyota, Volkswagen, Jaguar Land Rover, Renault, Volvo, Bosch, Freescale and Harman. Meanwhile, vehicles using Ethernet are already coming to the showroom.
ARM Processors support all of these technologies which I expect will deploy in high volume over the next few years as the electronic content of vehicles grows to support these important advances in efficiency, safety, comfort and convenience. There are exciting times ahead for ARM in the Connected Car!