Vehicle server provides computing power for Volkswagen's ID e-cars
On Volkswagen's ID family of electric cars, not only the type of drive has been newly developed, but also the entire architecture of the internal electronics. In the future, a service-oriented architecture will be used here. The central element is a powerful server.
The electronic architecture of future vehicle generations is undergoing a radical transformation: away from the many individual control units of current cars towards a few powerful servers. They will provide the computing power for the functional domains in the vehicle. The server developed by technology supplier Continental is now going into series production at Volkswagen as the InCar Application Server (ICAS1). The carmaker is using ICAS1 technology for its upcoming ID electric vehicles, which are based on the modular MEB electric drive system developed by Volkswagen.
Among others, the ICAS1 concept enables a high degree of vehicle connectivity: this includes the possibility of installing new functions, but also security updates in the vehicle, which are transmitted via the air interface (OTA). Continental's rich experience with gateway control units have been incorporated into the development of the server. Their function now forms part of the much more comprehensive ICAS1. The conceptual framework for the server is a high-performance computer platform developed in cooperation with Elektrobit.
Electric vehicles benefit in particular from the digitization made possible by the server architecture. This includes functions such as range-optimised route planning and finding loading points. At the same time, the server architecture enables a seamless connection to mobile services and data.
Depending on the ID vehicle model and equipment, two or three servers will in future provide the computing power for the entire vehicle. In order to have sufficient resources for future services, ICAS1 has been designed since the start of development for the increased service life requirements in electric vehicles.
In addition to a multiple of the computing power of classic automotive systems, ICAS1 features a consistent separation of hardware and software through the basic software developed by Elektrobit on the basis of Autosar Adaptive. This enables both Volkswagen applications and third-party software to be integrated and updated. The middleware also supports networking via Gigabit Automotive Ethernet, which provides the necessary data throughput for the applications.