Continental an ERTICO Partner is laying the groundwork to launch series production of Internet-protocol-based control units and sees clear benefits compared with other networking standards

Following intensive development and validation of the technical possibilities and necessity of Ethernet-networking in vehicles international automotive supplier Continental is ready to deploy the technology in future vehicle generations. To meet ever-growing in-vehicle communication requirements Continental sees Ethernet technology as the ideal solution for vehicle networks. Thanks to unshielded two-core easy-to-install copper cables the technology offers 100 megabits of bandwidth between all connected network nodes such as control units antennas and sensors. The robust data transmission and its widespread use outside the automotive industry too are other factors in favour of this networking technology. “We initially see an opportunity for using these unshielded Ethernet cables which can be easily installed in vehicles for Interior- and Chassis and Safety-related functions. This will enable us to cut overall vehicle costs while at the same time increasing the range of available functions. We envisage Ethernet based predevelopment projects in all vehicle domains by 2020” explains Helmut Matschi Executive Board member of Continental AG and head of the Interior division.

The use of Ethernet-based networks supports the ever-growing trend toward in-vehicle data transmission and communication between vehicles and the outside world. Bandwidth requirements for communication between control units will continue to increase too which is why Continental now uses IP and Ethernet as an in-vehicle network layer and offers vehicle manufacturers a range of products that support this technology. Continental is getting set to deliver IP- and Ethernet-based solutions and is planning to launch production in 2015.

The heart of an IP-/Ethernet-based vehicle network is formed by the central nodes (Ethernet switches) which will be integrated in the infotainment systems and gateways offered by Continental. The gateways act as interfaces with not only the diagnostics systems which will in future support diagnosis via the IP (DoIP) standard but also with conventional vehicle network technologies such as CAN FlexRay and MOST. Continental sees clear benefits in gradually replacing these technologies – particularly MOST – in infotainment systems in order to achieve the aim of a standardised network layer. This will help reduce complexity and make integration in the vehicle much easier. Continental has already developed one of the most important systems for seamless Ethernet communication in partnership with Kathrein: the intelligent antenna module. This unit contains antennas for wireless communication between vehicles and infrastructure as well as antennas for the vehicle interior and associated transmission and reception electronics. All the data received in the module can be digitalised directly and sent to the relevant components via the IP-based network. Even a 360-degree camera can be implemented in real time on the basis of IP technology. For Continental Ethernet therefore represents another step toward achieving its vision of being “Always On”. At the same time this technology will allow the system integrator to not only fulfill the necessary networking requirements but also cut overall costs.

Continental is member of the OPEN Alliance Special Interest Group. OPEN Alliance is designed to encourage wide scale adoption of Ethernet-based single pair unshielded networks as the standard in automotive applications. The jointly developed OPEN Alliance SIG will address industry requirements for improving in-vehicle safety comfort and infotainment while significantly reducing network complexity and cabling costs.

For more information contact Enno Pflug or visit Continental website.

About Continental

With sales of €26 billion in 2010 Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems systems and components for powertrains and chassis instrumentation infotainment solutions vehicle electronics tyres and technical elastomers Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately 164000 employees in 45 countries.

The Automotive Group with its three divisions Chassis & Safety (sales of approximately €5.8 billion in 201030000 employees) Powertrain (sales of approximately €4.7 billion in 201027000 employees) and Interior (sales of approximately €5.5 billion in 201030000 employees) achieved sales of approximately €16 billion in 2010. The Automotive Group is present in more than 170 locations worldwide. As a partner of the automotive and commercial vehicle industry it develops and produces innovative products and systems for a modern automotive future in which cars provide individual mobility and driving pleasure consistent with driving safety environmental responsibility and cost-efficiency.

The Chassis & Safety Division develops and produces electronic and hydraulic brake and chassis control systems sensors driver assistance systems airbag electronics and -sensorics washer systems and electronic air suspension systems. Its core competence is the integration of active and passive driving safety into ContiGuard®. The Powertrain Division integrates innovative and efficient system solutions for vehicle powertrains. The comprehensive range of products includes gasoline and diesel injection systems engine management transmission control including sensors and actuators as well as fuel-supply systems and components and systems for hybrid and electric drives. Information management is at the very heart of the Interior Division which provides a range of products that includes instrument clusters and multifunctional displays control units electronic car-entry systems tire-monitoring systems radios multimedia and navigation systems climate control systems telematics solutions and cockpit modules and systems.

Link to original Article

Original Publication Date: Fri 20 Jan 2012