I disagree with the idea of being too centralized. Certainly there could be some consolidation of processing, but a lot of automotive systems lend themselves to distributed control.
For example, if you have electric assist power steering, would you really want all of the control lines to the H-bridge and the encoder lines from it running up to a central computer? It makes a lot more sense to have a local MCU connected via a bus to a main CPU unit.
It may sound alarming to say that there are 100 MCUs in a car, but I could see that figure easily being touted as a positive thing. It reduces wiring and the associated weight, cost and EMI potential.
The other thread - reducing the number of modules talking to those 100 MCUs, makes more sense. But still, there are a number of systems that need the highest priority and you can't really have multiple first priorities in a system controlling multiple sub systems. In a multi-tasking system, is breaking more important than steering?
I really don't want my car control computer to reboot as I'm driving down the highway. What is being done to ensure that none of the low priority functions can lockup and bring down the overall controller? It happens all the time on my personal computer.
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NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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