Organized by the German association of engineers, VDI’s annual ELIV congress – which stands for Electronics in Vehicles – is one of the most important industry gatherings for experts in auto electronics. Attracting leading speakers and more than 1,700 executive-level delegates, ELIV defines new trends and establishes the main basis for decision-making across electromobility, automated driving and driver assistance systems. Visteon’s Thorsten Wilmer, software architect, took to the stage in Bonn Oct. 18-19 to highlight challenges in running Linux in safety-critical systems for autonomous driving applications.

eliv_1Linux is already running infotainment, head-up displays and connected car systems for several major automakers and demand for its use is increasing. However, one of the major challenges in running Linux in safety-critical systems – such as assisted or semi-autonomous driving applications – is incorporating functional safety decomposition in the early stages of the system design process.

Wilmer detailed how automotive safety-critical systems use real-time operating systems (RTOS) such as QNX, PikeOS or Integrity as these systems deliver predictable performance – but at high costs and inefficient system utilization due to the microkernel architecture. Exploring the advantages of Linux against RTOS – framing its efficiency versus predictability – Wilmer also discussed the use of hypervisors for operating system separation, as well as benefits of implementing Linux and QNX in network-oriented systems. In cost-sensitive applications, Linux is considered to offer an advantage over established RTOS systems.

eliv_2Visteon is using both Linux and RTOS in its industry-first SmartCore™ cockpit domain controller, which was on display at Visteon’s booth at the conference. Visteon’s Linux solution uses a heterogeneous system-on-chip (SoC) architecture to simplify diverse algorithm implementation, while a safety-certified RTOS is used for the safety-critical part of the implementation. Visteon is also investigating the feasibility of using Linux for safety-critical elements, producing the missing work products from the software requirements and architecture for the operating system to ensure compliance.

ELIV delegates also had the opportunity to experience how SmartCore’s integrated instrument cluster provides functional safety up to ASIL-B. In parallel, Linux was used on the same electronic control unit (ECU) to drive the majority of the HMI and implement classic infotainment functions.

Moving from its traditional location in Baden Baden, Germany, the 18th edition of the ELIV congress in Bonn focused on automated driving, smart and connected vehicles, e-mobility and end-to-end E/E architectures. Hosting more than 1,700 attendees and 70 specialist lectures and plenary talks addressing delegates representing car manufacturers, component suppliers, service providers and academia, ELIV is an established platform for announcing new innovations and industry news.