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ADAS at IHS Automotive, observed that “hacking research has shown that nearly all access points can be compromised.” Can you undo changes? Amrit Vivekanand, vice president of automotive business for Renesas Electronics America, singled out “OTA software upgrades” as one of the biggest industry challenges. While attendees at the CES 2016 will see many enabling technologies for autonomous cars and V2V car communications, he said, OTA remains a huge deal for automakers. “There is no consensus on how to achieve necessary levels of security, memory, processors and gateways” for software upgradeable cars, said Vivekanand. In adding new automotive features via software upgrades, engineers worry about the security of the operation, robustness of the technology, and resources available inside a car, he explained. Sure, you can download your software upgrade. But what if the upgrades don’t work? In particular, Vivekanand wonders, “How do you undo changes? Can your car revert back to the state before you did the upgrade?” The “undo” imperative presents an interesting challenge to vehicle designers. “Do you double the size of a flash memory or add another bank of memory that can store the original state before the upgrade?” Neither is cheap, said Vivekanand. But if the car can’t do certain software upgrades, shouldn’t it just warn users that the current version 2.0 platform in this vehicle is too pooped to pop? “In theory, yes,” said Vivekanand. “But when a number of modules are due for software upgrades at the same time, there is always a risk that some software upgrades can go wrong.” This applies especially to software automotive upgrades in different modules that aren’t pre-tested together. Assume, for example, you’re trying to upgrade HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) software. But the updates don’t kick in. Vivekanand said, “Consumers will ask for an undo command button.” The car should ask the driver to turn off and turn on the car — a classic reboot manoeuver that would restore the original HVAC state in 5-10 seconds, he explained. ASIL B to ASILD Renesas, earlier this month, launched R-Car H3, dubbed the “first SoC from the third-generation R-Car automotive computing platform for the autonomous-driving era.” The new R-Car H3 features improved computing performance and automotive functional safety support, claimed Renesas. The R-Car H3 is built around the ARM Cortex-A57/A53 cores, employing the newest 64-bit CPU core architecture from ARM. The on-chip IMP-X5 parallel programmable engine offers advanced image recognition technology in addition to the CPU and GPU. The IMP-X5, exclusive to Renesas, is “a recognition engine that is optimized for interoperation with the CPU,” the company said. While the R-Car H3 is already compliant to ISO 26262 (ASIL-B), Renesas’ Vivekanand said that the company’s plan is to offer even higher functional safety on its autonomous car platform. Renesas is adding, in a module, its PH850/P1X microcontroller — which can offer a “lockstep core for CPU.” The PH850/PX1, designed for controlling the chassis, steering and braking, can be used to validate R-Car H3 output, by running similar calculations and defining the boundaries, explained Vivekanand. The R-Car H3/PX1 combined module, which improves its functional safety further to ASIL-D, can tell the car what to do via real-time communication, he added. Harman demos pupil-based driver monitoring system By Christoph Hammerschmidt Driving while distracted or tired is one of the most significant factors that eventually lead to fatal traffic accidents. With a system that constantly monitors the driver’s pupils, automotive supplier Harman hopes to enable the design of driver assistance systems that reliably prevent such accidents. Harman’s system, demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, measures increases in pupil dilation as an indication of a driver’s mental workload. Most available systems for this purpose measure the driver’s steering movements and detect slight erratic irregularities triggered by a lack of driver’s attention. While there have been approaches that monitor the driver’s eye movements before, Harman has developed a new proprietary eye and pupil tracking system that, according to the company, measures high cognitive load and mental multitasking in the driver’s seat, and signals the car’s other safety systems to adapt to the driver’s state. The company believes that its technology represents a major step forward in the domain of Advanced Safety and Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) for vehicles. Adoption of in-cabin cameras is growing rapidly, enabling features such as occupant detection and driver drowsiness monitoring. With the introduction of high cognitive load detection, Harman’s eye and pupil tracking technology brings additional value to the driver-facing camera in that the technology eliminates the need for complex sensors built into seats and steering wheels, or biometric sensors that require physical contact with the driver. An algorithm analyses the pupil reflex using advanced filtering and signal processing. The filter isolates and identifies responses triggered by high cognitive load. The calculated outputs are used to intuitively adjust user interfaces, like placing mobile devices in do-notdisturb mode or adjusting ADAS system intervention thresholds to minimize physical and mental distraction to the driver. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe January 2016 17


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