German Tier 1 supplier Eberspaecher is bullish on the future of autonomous driving and is looking to contribute its technology for next-generation vehicles. The company says semi-automated functions such as lane departure warning systems or distance controllers are already offering a greater degree of comfort and safety.
Eberspaecher says its electronic switch systems offer strong reliability as well as robust, series-proven design, and it plans to begin series production of the semiconductor-based 'Redundant Safety Switch' that will be used in autonomous Level 4 vehicles.
Semi-automated driving (up to automation Level 3 according to the SAE J3016 standard) is already the norm for many vehicles: Applications such as lane departure warning systems, parking aids or adaptive cruise control are making road traffic more manageable today. For greater safety and the ability to reliably operate all functions, Eberspaecher says its broad portfolio of electronic switches at present are already flexibly configured and combined according to the topology of a vehicle’s power grid. If necessary, they secure all safety-relevant functions and thus enable the vehicle to continue its journey – even in the event of unforeseen occurrences.
Eberspaecher says in the future, the Redundant Safety Switch will be used for the next stage of autonomous driving. The semiconductor switch connects and disconnects 12-volt partial power grids in hybrid and electric vehicles in the event of, for instance, overvoltage, under-voltage or short circuits. This ensures that safety-relevant functions are safeguarded within less than 100 microseconds. Eberspaecher says it will start series production for a well-known automobile manufacturer.