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SafeAdapt: Dependable Software-Architecture for E-Mobility and Autonomous Driving

In the future we will experience a significant change in our automotive mobility. Reasons for this are the evolution of electrified vehicles as well as efforts to promote autonomous driving. More and more customer benefits of vehicles today are mainly realised through software, e.g. enhanced digital surround views or connected/internet services.

Future mobility is not only about optimisation, but also about safety and the reduction of accidents. Through the changes arising with upcoming vehicles’ increasing electrification and automation, more or less pure electronic systems – so-called X-by-Wire systems –, their electric/electronic (e/e) architecture have to meet novel requirements, above all with regard to dependability. This means, the underlying architecture must guarantee that some safety-critical vehicle functionality is always available. For example, in case of Steering-by-Wire, it must be ensured that steering is possible until the car has reached a full stop, even in the case of a failure.

With the SafeAdapt project, funded by the European Union, a novel adaptive vehicle e/e-architecture is researched, which provides an intelligent way to overcome failures and to optimise the vehicle system. Nine partners from six EU member countries work on realising this challenge.

As a final result, the solution will be integrated in a real e-vehicle, showcasing the different advantages of this new architecture. This includes the failure of a Steer-by-Wire function and the automatic repair of the functionality through another still operating component. Before that, the approach will be validated and evaluated in a simulation environment, which ensures that failure and energy-efficiency scenarios can be tested thoroughly in a safe environment. Thereby, the automatic adaptation of the vehicle system can, for instance, be utilised to reduce the energy consumption in case of reduced battery charge levels.

The approach is aligned with today’s widespread international standard for automotive software AUTOSAR. Furthermore, the implications of such adaptive systems on the automotive functional safety standard ISO26262 have been researched. The project delivers a sound and cost-efficient e/e-architecture solution for future greener and safer mobility. The results also provide the basis for vehicle e/e-architectures in the context of upcoming highly automated cars. As in these scenarios the driver will not permanently control the vehicle, its e/e-architecture has to handle failures reliably. This so-called fail-operational behaviour requires generic failure handling mechanisms, which can inherently be supported by the SafeAdapt approach.