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EETE APRIL 2013

AUTOMOTIVE SAFETY Assuming in each case the same transfer function, with maximum output signal equal to wide open throttle (WOT) for acceleration system or maximum torque for the steering system. Taking a fault detection time of 500ms for the sensor IC, this could be enough to avoid an accident for the accelerator pedal case, but for the torque steering sensor this could result in dramatic safety problems at high speed making the IC not suitable for the given EPA S system design. The role of semiconductor suppliers in functional safety Forward-thinking semiconductor suppliers can contribute to the new era of functional safety at the system level in several ways. Firstly by maximizing the on-chip diagnostic functionality found within their devices (providing under/over-voltage protection Fighting driver’s distraction with LEDs By Christoph Hammerschmidt automotive supplier continental has introduced a concept vehicle in which the output signals of multiple driver assistance systems are bundled in an innovative multi-purpose LED display. With this design the inventors hope to reduce driver distraction. The statistic of the US Department of Transportation speaks a clear language: Driver distraction is a major cause of accidents. In the United States alone, every day ten persons are killed and more than 1100 receive an injury in accidents caused by distracted drivers. At the Chicago Auto Show, automotive supplier Continental showed a concept car designed to fight distraction and encourage drivers to focus on the traffic. Modern driver assistance systems such as lane assist, adaptive cruise control (AAC) and collision warning systems help to avoid or defuse dangerous traffic situations. In addition, an infrared camera inside the vehicle detects in which direction the driver is looking. Thus, the concept vehicle “knows” if a driver really pays attention to the traffic in an emerging dangerous situation or if he is distracted. Continental’s concept vehicle uses of a LED light strip which surrounds the whole of the vehicle’s interior and directs the driver’s attention towards a dangerous situation. The signals generated by the LED strip depend on the respective situation. “The Driver Focus Vehicle contains a ‘digital co-pilot that continuously scans the surrounding area and issues a warning if the driver appears to ignore a danger”, explained Helmut Matschi, general manager of Continental’s Interior Division. In order to detect to where the driver’s attention is directed, the vehicle is equipped with an infrared camera in the hub of the steering wheel. This camera monitors the driver’s face and detects movements of head and eyes. mechanisms, inclusion of cyclic redundancy checks to reported messages, adding data redundancy to memory content to enhance fault tolerance, providing signal chain clipping/clamping information, introducing built-in self-tests, etc.). Secondly by implementing widely adopted digital protocols such as SAE-J2716 (SENT), PSI-5 and SPI to name a few, in order to report these diagnostics to the system microcontroller. Thirdly semiconductor suppliers need to offer system design flexibility through their extended product portfolio (including dual-die sensors that can provide homogeneous redundancy in a single package). In conclusion, ISO-26262 should not be thought of as just an administrative burden. It needs to be appreciated as a culture that influences every single organizational layer and impacts on each stage of the product development cycle. It is a state-of mind that comes to expression in what we do on a daily basis. The LED strip surrounds the entire interior and directs the driver’s attention to the critical direction. Thus, the system can determine if the driver is focused on the street or if he is distracted or tired. The LED strip directs the driver’s attention towards an imminent danger. It gets its input signals from a number of driver assistance systems such as the AAC or collision warning assist and from the infrared camera. If the system detects that the danger of a collision builds up while the driver is not paying full attention to the road, the LED strip is activated. The LEDs can generate a light trace, a flashing wall or a different light signal. Drivers can pick up on this in their peripheral vision and instinctively focus their attention in the desired direction. Depending on the danger intensity, the LED strip can take on a range of colors from white to amber to red. The approach has been developed by Continental as part of the ‘Proreta 3’ research project along with the Darmstadt Technical University. This project deals with the development of in integral concept for an advanced driver assistance aiming at preventing accidents. The Continental concept vehicle accesses various advanced assistance systems in series production to take in the vehicle surroundings. In the driver focus vehicle, the lane keeping assist 24 Electronic Engineering Times Europe April 2013 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE APRIL 2013
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