07. December 2020

Pro²Future: Reliable wireless communication

Cars are becoming more intelligent every day. They are being fitted with more and more cognitive applications. Cognitive means that they are able to react autonomously to particular situations on the basis of information and knowledge. For this, reliable communication between numerous components is of crucial importance. The differences found in a car’s surroundings are considerable. Communication systems are therefore necessary that can be adapted perfectly and easily to the circumstances the vehicle finds itself in. To this end, Pro²Future is conducting the DRIWE research project.

For example, hundreds of sensors are fitted in modern cars to manage the power train and support driving performance. Most sensors are currently connected by miles and miles of wires, and this considerably increases weight (to as much as 300 kg). Maintenance poses another problem, with broken wires among the faults that can occur. A much better solution would be a wireless communication technology. In cooperation with Graz University of Technology and AVL List GmbH, Pro²Future is conducting research on reliable wireless high-frequency communication technologies in the DRIWE project (Dependable RF Communication Systems of In-Car Wireless Sensors).

Necessary engine information can be transmitted to a central point by sensors installed in the engine compartment. If one of the sensors is faulty it could simply be replaced. That’s the theory – but in practice an engine is surrounded by metal surfaces and is subjected to sometimes high temperatures, vibrations and dirt, and this can reduce the quality of the wireless communication channels.

Since conducting tests in a real car is extremely expensive and complex, a simulation framework for designing wireless communication systems is being created in this project. With this framework a specific in-car environment can be modelled, and this model is then used to design the ideal high-frequency wireless communication system. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are determined with which wireless communication systems in in-car environments can be evaluated. Based on these KPIs, the types and positions of sensors and aerials are adapted to the target environment in order to obtain a tailor-made and reliable communication system. The aim is to find the best radio module and the best place to put it in the car. The simulations could make it possible to develop a new engine to the point where all the other components (such as consumption, battery) can be optimized.

(c) Pro2Future GmbH