A Brief Survey on the Utility of Automotive Ethernet Systems
Automotive ethernet system is basically a local area network set up in an automotive vehicle which is governed by certain unique standards and protocols in order to control the passage of data. Automotive ethernet systems were designed as the need for fast and cost-efficient data communication modules was felt due to the rise in autonomous and ‘smart’ vehicles. Automotive ethernet provides some unique benefits which now make them indispensable for next-generation autonomous vehicles.
Ethernet is a collaboration formed by connecting multiple computer systems so as to form a local area network (LAN). Each local area network, thus formed, is generally supervised and governed with a set of unique protocols which control the passage of data and information so as to avoid simultaneous transmission of data by multiple systems. Since the 1980s, when it was commercially introduced for the first time and standardized in 1983 as IEEE 802.3, ethernet has gradually risen in popularity and applicability across the globe. On similar lines, automotive ethernet has come to the fore which is nothing but an ethernet communication system for automobiles.
Why Automotive Ethernet is Becoming Popular Around the World?
Traditional cars had very automotive-specific applications and were limited in their scope of fulfilling other needs of digitization. However, over the years, with advancements in electronics and automobile manufacturing industries, the new age automobiles are extremely ‘smart’ and can perform various other operations. Innovations like self-driving cars or advanced driver assistances have changed the face of automobiles. In order to function smoothly, advanced automobiles require transmission and receiving of huge chunks of data packets at high speeds. For facilitating this requirement, automotive ethernet becomes necessary which will provide a standalone LAN for the automobile itself so as to avoid congestion and provide ease of connectivity and flexibility. Thus, with growth in number of autonomous vehicles, the demand for automotive ethernet systems has grown.
Unique Advantages of Automotive Ethernet Systems
As per prominent market analysts, the global automotive ethernet market has witnessed substantial growth in its revenue in the last few years on account of some of its very unique advantages. Some of these positives are discussed below:
- Tailor-made automotive-specific ethernet protocols
Since requirements of automobiles with respect to data transmission and receiving are different from regular ethernet, automotive ethernet systems are designed specifically to suit the needs of automotive networking. 100Base-T1 and 1000base-T1 are two of the most common automotive ethernet standards which are developed to enable communication in the form of audio, video, autonomous softwares, etc. The average speed provided by these systems are about 100mbps which helps in seamless connectivity and flexibility.
The regular ethernet standard 100Base-TX uses two wire pairs for data communication, wherein the two copper wires run across the length of the cable; the main advantage of this type of wiring is that it reduces the interference from other sources and also cuts down the electromagnetic radiations and possibilities of cross-talk. However, the main downside of two wire pairs is that it increases the overall weight and cost of the system. Automotive ethernet, in order to address this issue, uses a single pair of wire which has equal but opposite voltages, thereby reducing the weight and cost of the system. In fact, expert research has shown that single pair wiring has helped manufacturers to reduce connectivity costs of up to 80% and weight of the wiring up to 30%.
- Low Latency
Autonomous cars that are being manufactured these days make use of LIDAR sensors, RADARs, advanced driver assistance system cameras (ADAS), V2X connectivity solutions, etc. to offer full-fledged communication modules to the automobile user. In order to ensure their smooth functioning, the ethernet system used in automobile needs to work efficiently without any lag. Since the data generated by these components is in the tune of Gbps or Tbps, automotive ethernet systems are designed so that they offer minimum latency which increases their reliability.
The Bottom Line
A good automotive ethernet system has, in the past few years, become a must for the overall success and shift towards autonomous vehicles. Hence, leading players of the telecommunication market have started investing heavily in the automotive ethernet market so as to boost innovations and improve the quality of these systems. Automobile manufacturers, too, have started engaging in R&D activities to manufacture vehicles that are best suited for networking.
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