SafeAdapt Objectives

#1: Provide novel architecture concepts to enhance robustness, availability, and efficiency of safety-relevant systems while preserving the functional safety in FEVs.

The main objective of the SafeAdapt project is to enrich networked embedded systems in e-vehicles with adaptivity, while preserving functional and non-functional requirements – especially functional safety. Therefore, SafeAdapt provides the so-called SafeAdapt Platform Core which enables the enhancement of networked embedded systems with runtime adaptation. The SafeAdapt Platform Core provides a novel architecture for adaptive safety-relevant systems. By the use of the SafeAdapt Platform Core the reliability and flexibility of these systems is improved by encapsulating the main adaptation mechanisms. To cope with the increasing complexity of the systems in the domains addressed by SafeAdapt, the SafeAdapt Platform Core provides scalable methods and techniques for controlled adaptation and reconfiguration.

The aim is to enhance safety-relevant networked embedded systems targeted for FEVs with generic concepts for failure handling and adaptivity based on dynamic reallocation of functions. Thereby, enabling

  • Adaptation due to failure (e.g. very fast system recovery after hardware failure),
  • System optimisation during runtime (e.g. joint resource usage, to save costs and energy), and
  • Adaptation to enable the extension of the system with improved features.

#2: Increased safety and availability by the ability to handle complex failures by the SafeAdapt Platform Core, especially failures where current systems do not degrade gracefully

By adaptation mechanisms, functionalities in a vehicle can be moved to different ECUs in case of failures. In this way, failure of critical, but non-redundant features can be addressed.

For instance, the ESP control can be moved to some other ECU in case of a failure of the ECU or the network. Furthermore, gradual degradation of the functionality is possible by adapting to a different mode with a different software configuration. For instance, in case of an HMI failure, the vehicle may only be allowed to drive at lower speed (i.e. similar to “compact spare tire” are mounted after a flat tire break-down). Hence, by providing a generic failure handling concept based on safe adaptation in networked embedded systems, FEVs can be enhanced in terms of availability.

SafeAdapt Platform Core designs a new architecture that processes those failures, by adopting the fault management system inside the adaptation control mechanisms. These control mechanisms are part of the architectural design which was developed in SafeAdapt.

#3: Reduced bill of material by reducing the number of ECUs by providing a generic failure management based on the SafeAdapt Platform Core

Today, electronics is a major cost factor in the automotive industry. Since more and more safety-critical system (e.g. break-by-wire or steer-by-wire) will be electronically controlled in future e-vehicles, redundant ECUs or additional mechanical back-up parts are needed to ensure the requirement level of safety. Thus, the need of redundant hardware will increase the bill of material for FEVs in a significant way. SafeAdapt reduces the number of ECUs by providing a generic failure management for safety-critical systems. Since failure management is handled by the SafeAdapt Platform Core on each hardware platform and not by each software function individually, the necessary amount of redundant hardware can be optimized on a system-based level. Moreover, the SafeAdapt approach enables the use redundancy features provided by certain hardware Platforms by other ECUs within the E/E architecture. Thus, the number of redundant ECUs can be reduced, which results in a reduction of the bill of material as well as decreased weight and energy consumption, assembly time and maintenance effort.

#4: Reduced development costs (time-to-market & testing costs) in future FEVs by providing a generic failure management and software update mechanism (dealer retrofit) based on a SafeAdapt Platform Core

Based on the adaptation mechanisms, failures, as well as extensions and updates can be handled by a generic mechanism in the runtime platform, particularly focusing on AUTOSAR software architecture. The concrete objective of SafeAdapt is to reduce the development and certification costs for software, as failure handling, and extendibility require considerable effort for systems with high functional safety requirements. In particular, failure handling was simplified as it is handled in a generic way, which also enables easier reuse and migration of software components.

#5: Increasing energy efficiency in automotive E/E architectures

The energy in vehicles is a scarce resource in “normal” vehicles. When dealing with FEVs, the energy consumption becomes critical, as it is needed for the vehicle traction system. By reducing both the number of ECUs and communication needs, the weight of the vehicle is reduced, and thus, the energy consumption to move the vehicle. Moreover, SafeAdapt proposed an efficiency-driven architecture, with failure management inside the Safe Adaptation Core that drives to energy efficient hardware/software components development. In this way, the efficiency of safety-relevant features can be improved by safe adaptation.