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Control units for autonomous driving

illustration ZKW © ZKW

The automotive supplier ZKW headquartered in Wieselburg, Lower Austria is developing the control units of the future in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt and the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT). People and objects will be recognised by means of a sophisticated technology. In turn, this comprises a step towards enhanced traffic safety in that people or obstacles on the road can be detected in a timely manner.

Modern technology to prevent accidents

Years of research and development work lie behind the project "zoneZ". This project is designed to prevent accidents from happening to self-driving vehicles. This means automobiles should be able to bring passengers from A to B completely autonomously, and above all safely. A central computer serving as the control unit and assuming various tasks in the vehicle will play a major role in enabling this. The core function of a control unit is to process data and signals. It will be capable of processing input data, especially transmitted to the self-driving vehicle, for example from radar, LiDAR (optical techniques for distance and speed measurement) as well as camera data.

High-performance control unit for enhanced safety

The three partners involved in the research project are responsible for handling different tasks. The ZKW team led by Michael Stanschitz is responsible for the architecture work package as well as for requirements, testing, verification and the testing platform. Their objective is to show how to increase the computing power of embedded hardware by a factor of 100. The Mechatronics Department at the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt is focusing on artificial intelligence. AI-based algorithms, for instance, can be used to efficiently evaluate sensor data. The Austrian Institute of Technology is carrying out research into 3D environmental detection, reconstruction and evaluation, as well as the development of robust sensors and sensor data fusion. The three partners share the goal of creating a high-performing control unit with ultra-fast interfaces for the purpose of controlling future vehicle sensors and actuators.

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