The electronics architecture of the modern generation of vehicles is undergoing a profound transformation, moving away from the many individual control units of current cars towards a small number of high-performance functional domain computers. Volkswagen is now putting a server unit developed by Continental into production as an in-car application server (ICAS1) for its upcoming ID. electric vehicles based on the modular electric drive matrix MEB.
The ICAS1 supports a range of vehicle connectivity features such as the ability to install new functions and safety updates in the vehicle via a wireless connection.
The server is based on Continental’s many years of experience with gateway control units, the functions of which now form part of the more comprehensive ICAS1. The conceptual framework for the server is a high-performance computer platform developed by Continental in cooperation with Elektrobit.
Electric vehicles benefit particularly strongly from the digitalization facilitated by the server architecture. This includes functions such as range-optimized route planning and the locating of charging stations.
At the same time, the server architecture offers a seamless connection to the digital world of mobile services and data.
The ICAS1 covers the previous gateway functions as well as comprehensive functions from the body control domain. It also coordinates over-the-air updates and controls charging management for the battery.—Johann Hiebl, head of the Body & Security and Infotainment & Connectivity business units at Continental
Depending on the ID. vehicle model and features, in future, two or three servers will provide the computing power for the entire vehicle. Since the beginning of the development, Continental has designed the ICAS1 for the increased service life requirements in electric vehicles.
In addition to much greater computing power compared with classic automotive systems, the ICAS1 features a consistent separation of hardware and software through the basic software developed by Elektrobit on an Adaptive AUTOSAR basis. This allows both Volkswagen applications and third-party software to be integrated and updated. The middleware also supports connectivity via Gigabit Automotive Ethernet, which provides the necessary data throughput for the applications.