Traditionally, the automobile business spends a year or two designing a new vehicle, then another year or two building tools to produce it in high volumes. Local Motors has turned that paradigm on its head with its Olli, the self-driving, electric shuttle which is designed for use in neighborhoods, universities, corporate campuses, airports, etc.
The traditional PCB-centric design process is being replaced by a system-centric process. The system can be defined as the final product (e.g., camera) or one of the many components that comprise a product (e.g., 1 of 80 electronic control units in a car). Product complexity is driving this profound shift away from a focus on detailed design toward a systems engineering approach.
As vehicles transition to higher levels of autonomous driving, networking requirements are growing at a rapid rate. The top contender to meet these requirements is the ubiquitous Ethernet protocol which has already established a dominant position in most other industries.
Many of the major players in the automotive industry are going full throttle towards autonomous vehicles. But when are we likely to see these vehicles upscale and become a mass consumer item? It’s a hotly debated question.
There is a concept connecting Robert Pirsig and Zuken, as wrenching on my Speed Triple and talking to customers made me understand.