- JonathanThompsonParticipantOctober 10, 2017 at 10:04 pmPost count: 11
I’ve had a 2018 Subaru Outback for about 40 days now, and it has (as far as I know) 27 computers/microcontrollers of some form in it. I’ve read about people that have their car batteries run down due to all the power used while the car just sits, waiting for people to use it: I’m sure this is a common issue amongst many modern cars with the keyless entry and their infotainment systems.
I’ve observed that after I turn off the car, and I’m listening to the entertainment system just play my music from my iPhone, after a minute or so, I hear the whirring down of a cooling fan shutting off: wait, now we’re driving around with computers in our dashboard that need to have a cooling fan work for the lifespan of the car??? The infotainment system/nav has 50 pages of copyright/license notices: I’ve checked! It’s a full-blown Linux distribution with a GUI. Gone are the days when only micro controllers were used under the hood of cars.
In addition to that, there’s also the EyeSight functionality, which I’m not 100% certain how that’s implemented.
What all this has in common is there’s a need for quite a bit of computational capacity and, ideally, something that wouldn’t need cooling fans (all cooling fans eventually die: why worry about having one, when you don’t need one?) and nobody that doesn’t work on the car itself knows or cares about which CPUs/micro controllers are used: as long as it works reliably, and never needs to be replaced, that’s an implementation detail everyone is more than happy to be blissfully unaware of.
With the scalability of the architecture, frankly, for the infotainment system which includes the backup camera, it likely can go with the cheapest, lowest-end member, but perhaps you’d want the top-of-the-line system for handling autonomous functionality. There’s also the factor of the secure nature of the chip with its architecture for IPC, etc. that puts it in good stead, even with lousy programmers 🙂
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