MADISON, Wis. — Few people would dispute that Ethernet is gaining momentum as an in-vehicle network.
But beyond being the audio/visual (A/V) network for in-vehicle infotainment systems, what's the potential impact of Ethernet on the whole car? Opinions vary.
In a recent interview with EE Times, Rick Kreifeldt, president of the AVnu Alliance and vice president of Research and Innovation at Harman International, told us: “A/V was our original big focus.” But, he added, car OEMs today are looking “to use Ethernet architecture for drive-by-wire and autonomous vehicles.”
In short, the Ethernet is ready to control networks inside cars, where time-sensitive scheduling and latency are critical.
Work at the IEEE groups has made enough network enhancements, Kreifeldt said, for Ethernet to achieve the “precise timing” that can organize sensor information in sync for fusion, with “super-low latency” — a must for critical safety applications.
The automotive Ethernet will even introduce “redundancy” for in-vehicle communication, said Kreifeldt. The goal is a “full Ethernet car with an ability to work, no matter what [happens to a node in the network].”
In the following pages, we’ll explain why the AVnu Alliance believes that “Ethernet for Drive-by-Wire” isn't such a far-fetched idea.