Fail-safe networks keep connected cars on the road
Really bad things could potentially happen if a network link in a connected vehicle goes down. One of the demos in the Renesas booth dealt with how to head off such difficulties. Two RC cars equipped with cameras operated at AVs by sending their video streams to ECUs which forwarded the video via Ethernet TSN network to a central computer for path planning and motion control. The resulting commands got sent back over the Ethernet connection to steering and speed-control ECUs which controlled the cars. The ECUs have an integrated Ethernet switch (of a Renesas design) that supports Frame Replication and Elimination for Reliability (FRER). When this feature is on, the camera video and other critical information gets replicated in the switches. Non-critical stuff like infotainment data doesn’t get replicated. In the display here, the blue lines denote control traffic, the green lines are the Ethernet backbone, and the red line is a simulated link failure.