March 25th, 2013 by
By Andy The
It’s hardly a surprise that consumers want the same experience in their cars as they have on their mobile devices. Data demands on today’s automobiles are on the rise thanks to creature comforts like streaming media, live traffic updates, and voice commands. Currently, these features require separate communication buses because the safety bus, typically CAN, is slow and cannot be compromised by infotainment requests. We all agree that an airbag not deploying because you’re streaming music is unacceptable.
The CAN bus was a great technology for its time because it provided system communications with high reliability and at a low cost. However, Ethernet is quickly gaining momentum as the technology to displace the CAN bus in the automobile.
Ethernet provides high bandwidth and inexpensive wiring, but you must have the right communications stack running on top of it to fulfill all of the communication requirements within a car.
Audio Video Bridging (AVB) is the leading communications stack promising to deliver what today’s automobiles are demanding. The AVB stack can provide the bandwidth to support multimedia applications while enabling dedicated safety communications to the vital safety subsystems. What is most interesting about the AVB / Ethernet solution is that all of the different domains (audio,video, safety, etc.) will run on a single Ethernet bus. This greatly reduces cost and complexity for the automobile manufacturers because Ethernet delivers low cost, flexibility, and expandability.
I know I’ll be looking for a smartphone experience in my next car.