Continental implements cross-domain high-performance computer in a car

In what is described as a first-of-its-kind deployment, hosting vehicle functions such as driving safety and automated parking, and offering real-life proof of the capabilities of a software-defined vehicle (SDV), Continental Automotive has implemented a cross-domain high-performance computer (HPC) in a car.

Said to serve as a showcase for what the development of SDVs can look like for automotive engineers, the car uses the automotive firm’s cloud-based Continental Automotive Edge Framework (CAEdge). The Continental SDV technology includes automated parking functions with holistic motion control, ultrasonic sensors, an integrated brake system and surround view cameras, all within a cross-domain HPC.

Continental’s cloud-based development platform for the SDV is designed to connect the vehicle to the cloud and features a virtual workbench to simplify and accelerate the development, supply and maintenance of software-intensive system functions. This offers automotive software engineers the opportunity to test software on a virtual HPC before deploying it on the physical hardware and to fix software-related issues by debugging software directly in the cloud.

Using its SDV technology show car (pictured above), Continental said it can prove speed, development productivity and customer-oriented thinking for a competitive advantage when customers are seeking to reduce time to market by deploying software functions from a virtual HPC into a production vehicle.

“With the SDV technology car, we are able to demonstrate Continental’s ecosystem: from road to cloud, from virtual to real,” said Gilles Mabire, chief technology officer at Continental Automotive. “As the first development partner for vehicle manufacturers in the world, we are proud of how we have moved beyond concepts and can showcase the capabilities and challenges of the convergence of automotive domains in a tangible software-defined vehicle.”

We have moved beyond concepts to showcase the capabilities and challenges of the convergence of automotive domains in a tangible software-defined vehicle
Gilles Mabire, Continental Automotive

Jean-François Tarabbia, head of business area architecture and networking at Continental Automotive, said: “The goal is not only to show how well functions work, but to validate how well multiple technologies can be integrated and work alongside each other in HPC-based vehicle architectures within a software-defined vehicle.

“This is a crucial step to convince the market that the goal to combine several control units in one HPC is not just feasible, but can also render the cost benefits we want to achieve. The concept of the software-defined vehicle relies heavily on high-performance hardware that can handle the [large] amount of data.”

The implementation was based on the Snapdragon Ride Flex System-on-Chip (SoC) with pre-integrated Snapdragon Ride Vision perception stack from Qualcomm Technologies to integrate cockpit and additional functions in one HPC-based vehicle architecture. The Flex Soc is designed to provide a more integrated and adaptable approach to designing and developing vehicle architecture, supporting multi-critical workloads on a single chip.

This is said to allow automakers and suppliers to optimise their cost, power and performance, and accelerate their time-to-market advantage and embrace an adaptable approach to designing their vehicles. Passengers are said to benefit from an enhanced driving experience characterised by added assistance, safety and comfort.

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