Domain Controller: a key component for the cars of tomorrow

The rise of autonomous vehicles and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) has accelerated the introduction of domain controllers for cars. They will be a key element in the design of future vehicles.

Valeo develops central control units to support our customers for a successful transition from a vehicle architecture that’s heavy, complicated and spread out, towards a centralized architecture with fewer electronic control units (ECU), lower complexity, that’s more cost-efficient and has greater flexibility and scalability.

What is an ADAS domain controller?

The centralized architecture of an ADAS domain controller enables vehicles equipped with ADAS to process data from different sensors including cameras, radars, and LiDAR.

Until recently, each vehicle function was controlled by a dedicated ECU . However, driving safety features, enhanced comfort and infotainment features created a complex system that’s not sustainable — up to one hundred ECUs per vehicle.

A move towards centralized electrical/electronic architecture is on the rise in the automotive industry with domain and zonal controller-based architecture acting as precursors. Centralization through a single vehicle domain controller aims to:

  • reduce complexity & cabling requirements
  • decrease costs & power consumption
  • enable scalability & software updates

This trend of automotive domain controllers is especially driven by automation, which requires the synthesis of data from multiple sensors, high-speed processing, and the need to respect strict functional safety requirements. It also has to be able to offer continuous development of new features and functionality over the vehicle’s lifetime through OTA (Over The Air) updates.

Valeo’s ADAS domain controller: a centralized architecture for automotive in-vehicle systems

Valeo, a world market leader in driving assistance systems with over 30 years of expertise in this sector, is leading the way and supporting our clients by offering a broad range of domain and zone controller solutions for the automotive market.

Valeo’s ADAS domain controller collects data from the various interior and exterior smart sensors equipped on the vehicle (automated parking system, LiDAR sensors…) to create a highly accurate 360° model of the vehicle’s environment.Using sophisticated processing algorithms, the ADAS system directs safe vehicle behavior and offers high performance on the road. It is based on a fully open architecture, allowing functionality to be supplied by Valeo or third parties.

Key characteristics include:

  • Cost-efficient architecture
  • Scalable solution allowing for software upgrades
  • Flexibility of the system-on-chip
  • Passive, Active and Liquid cooled Thermal Management