Modern vehicles - and in particular electric vehicles - are taking on more and more tasks and functions than just driving. In addition to networked electronics during driving, also battery management, charging cycles (charging overnight), maintenance and updates in the parked state are part of the status quo.
Electric vehicles are thus network-capable even during standstill periods and thus supplement the portfolio of safety and comfort functions to be tested of numerous control units (ECU - Electronic Control Unit). The greatest special feature is the ability to switch off or reduce other systems in coordination with the battery if necessary in order to save electricity.
The control units monitor a wide range of operating states and can put certain comfort systems into power-saving mode in order to increase the range. All systems in the electric vehicle are therefore in constant exchange with the battery management system to make performance even more efficient. In total, more than 70 such control units can be found in luxury class vehicles. They all have different tasks and are networked with each other via bus systems.
For example, communication must ensure that the control unit receives information from the engine when a convertible roof is opened, so that it can only be opened at speeds below 20 km/h for safety reasons. An airbag, for example, may only be triggered in the event of an accident if the passenger is strapped in. In order to guarantee these functions, secure and standardised communication channels via bus systems (interfaces) are a must.
Historically, different bus systems and standards can therefore be found in current vehicles.
The challenge lies firstly in the fact that there are different bus systems, i.e. de facto different "languages" are spoken - for example CAN-FD, FlexRay, LIN or Ethernet. On the other hand, there are qualitatively different implementations, depending on the OEM and supplier of the individual components.