ZF TRW says it has has won two business awards with North American and European vehicle manufacturers for its second generation safety domain electronic control unit (ECU SDE 2).

The central controller will launch in Europe and the US starting in 2018.

The SDE acts as a central integration hub – processing millions of bytes of data from environmental sensors of the vehicle's state and surroundings.

By interfacing with the steering, braking and drivetrain systems, a multitude of functions can be enabled while reducing the number of control units and simplifying the vehicle's electronic architecture.

"Data processing is at the core of automated driving and as vehicles feature more automated functions, increasing amounts of information about the vehicle's surroundings need to be evaluated within fractions of a second,” said ZF TRW active safety engineering and automated driving director, Hans-Gerd Krekels.

“This requires a high performance control unit."

For its SDE 2, ZF TRW adds it has further increased functional safety by fulfilling the highest Automotive Safety Integrity Level – (ASIL D) requirements which actively monitor braking and steering systems as well as actuate selected functions when necessary.

Compared to the previous generation the central control unit can also integrate more data from vehicle dynamics arbitration systems and sensors – including radar and camera – to help enable 360-environmental sensing.