South Korea based automotive supplier Hyundai Mobis recently announced the development of a new electronic power steering system that is specifically designed for the autonomous driving systems. The new system incorporates the redundant control mode which takes advantage of two electronic circuits that enables the vehicle to maintain normal steering capabilities under all circumstances.
The company claims that the main benefit of this redundant control mode is that the two independent electronic circuits are applied to one steering system. So, even if one circuit breaks down, the other circuit will work normally and maintain stable driving.
In the current steering system, if the driver turns the steering wheel, the internal sensor will read the torque and the steering angle and send a signal to the electronic control unit (ECU). The ECU computes the input data and moves the motor with an appropriate value to control the vehicle in the direction desired by the driver. Hence, if the steering system has any problem, the vigilant driver will be able to take emergency measures, such as reducing speed and moving the car to a safe place on the road. This is not the case in an autonomous vehicle where the driver is not completely attentive over the road.
Through this latest development, the company guarantees that even if the steering system runs into an unexpected problem while the car is being driven, the system must detect the issue by itself and normally control the steering wheel before stable autonomous driving is possible.
Hyundai Mobis states that the size of the electronic control unit (ECU) has been reduced considerably while the system software has been developed in such a way that the two systems (in the redundant control mode) constantly watch over each other to ensure that the steering system remains stable under any circumstances.
Hyundai Mobis claims to have secured proprietary technologies in steering and braking essential to the safe driving and stopping of autonomous vehicles. The company plans to finish the verification tests in general driving conditions, such as expressways, downtown and parking, by the end of 2018 and start mass-production in 2020.
Kim Se-il, head of the Chassis Division R&D Center of Hyundai Mobis said, “Autonomous driving will be realised only when the state-of-the-art technologies in safety control, such as steering and braking, as well as sensor and positioning technology, come to fruition.”
Hyundai Mobis is currently developing high-performance economical radars, which detects 360° around the vehicle, through a partnership with two German specialists, and it is also seeking to develop cameras based on deep learning, the AI technology, through cooperation with domestic and overseas startups. By reinforcing its own technology development competency, the company is looking to secure the core technology of autonomous driving ranging from sensors to control in the early stages and provide integrated solutions to automakers.
Also read: Hyundai Mobis's M.Billy to be tested around the world