Smart Vehicle Architecture: Key to the Future of Automotive Sustainability

The key to the future of automotive sustainability.

100+ controllers in every vehicle. 200 million lines of code. More than 1,000 automotive functions dependent on multiple controllers. The numbers speak for themselves. Today’s automotive systems built on traditional architectures have become too hard to design, develop, validate and maintain. To efficiently and affordably integrate new features such as higher levels of automation and electrification into the vehicles of today and tomorrow, automakers need something new: a sustainable platform we call Smart Vehicle Architecture™ (SVA).

SVA: Addressing challenges throughout the vehicle lifecycle.

OEMs face significant challenges today at every stage of a vehicle’s lifecycle. In the development phase, they face increasing complexity from feature and controller interdependence that results in longer and more expensive development cycles. In the manufacturing phase, increasingly large and unwieldy physical components make manual assembly difficult and automation almost impossible. And in the post-production phase, once vehicles are out on the road, component changes bring even more complexity, impeding engineers’ ability to add feature enhancements.

Three challenges. One solution.
SVA changes all that in three key ways.
 
One: SVA Abstracts hardware from software.

With SVA, you can create independent lifecycles, faster software launches and simpler hardware validation and updates when needed. Plus, fully defined interfaces simplify software development and hardware interaction.

Two: SVA separates I/O from compute.

SVA allows you to remove the input/output (I/O) from expensive domain controllers and place them in zone docking stations, while also utilizing ring networks and topologies to optimize power and data distribution.

Three: SVA enables the “serverization” of compute.

With SVA, you can centralize compute functionality into four or five physical compute platforms while enabling resource-sharing by operating logically as one central compute “cluster”.

SVA: Simple + Scalable = Sustainable 

Smart Vehicle Architecture: Making the Future of Mobility Work
So how does SVA make all this happen? Let’s work from the outside in on the vehicle, starting with the Power Data Center (PDC). The PDC comprises the four to six zone controllers stationed along the outer rings of the SVA topology, and acts as a “universal docking station” for sensors and separates the vehicle into manageable zones, each with its own local control over power distribution and functionality.
 
Moving inward, we find the Unified Power and Data Backbone. This physically simplified, modular, and automatable harness technology varies only in length from vehicle-to-vehicle, and is designed for redundant networks via its dual-ring topology.
 
Then we come to the Central Compute Cluster, the universal compute platform where we find the key domains of Safety, User Experience, Propulsion & Chassis, and the Connected Secure Gateway.  Thanks to advanced middleware, these domain controllers are able to share compute and dynamically allocate resources as needed. 
 

Simply put, these three SVA solutions address today’s main technical limitations, with the result being a sustainable architecture over the life of the vehicle and platform.

SmartVehicleArchitecture_2A software-defined platform unlocks value for everyone..
Comparing the SVA’s Open Server Platform (OSP) with the traditional server structure helps underscore the value created by SVA. Inside a traditional server are three distinct interrelated layers of value: infrastructure, platform and application software. Aptiv’s full-stack capabilities and broad portfolio allow us to derive value on all three of these layers within the vehicle. 
 
On the infrastructure layer, SVA’s ability to share underlying compute resources allows for silicon optimization, as well as cost and energy savings. Additionally, “plug and play” drivers make adding new devices effortless.
 
On the platform level, SVA middleware - with safe dynamic partitioning, a hypervisor and an application framework - provides  an ideal environment for building advanced safety and in-cabin experience applications.
 
And, of course, there’s the highly scalable application software level, where Aptiv, OEMs, and third-party partners can provide the functionality forming the basis for the software defined vehicle, and can improve and expand over time.
 

In short, SVA is the sum of all our parts: the brain and the nervous system of the vehicle,  the application of our full-stack solutions capability, and the unique ability to conceive, specify and deliver end-to-end architecture solutions for all three layers.

Paving the path toward adoption.
Going forward, SVA will become increasingly relevant for the majority of our OEM customers.  In order to provide our customers the flexibility needed to adopt the solution Aptiv will also offer SVA as a reference design, monetized through a per vehicle license.  This will allow OEMs to get the maximum value from SVA by diving the broadest logical adoption, delivering sustainable solutions in the way our customers want to work.
Posted By
Lee Bauer, Vice President, Mobility Architecture Group

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