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US: TRW wins new chassis control unit contract

By just-auto.com editorial team | 23 November 2010

TRW Automotive Holdings said it had won its first contract to supply an integrated driver assist system (DAS) and chassis control unit "for a major European car manufacturer". It would begin to supply the control units, known as the safety domain ECU or SDE, in 2013 for 2014 model year applications.

The SDE integrates a number of chassis, suspension and driver assist system control functions and has the flexibility and processing capacity to integrate software from both the supplier and third parties including the vehicle manufacturer, using AUTOSAR as a basis. Initial SDE functions targeted for this contract include control and arbitration of several DAS and active safety systems. One important enabler for these advanced safety functions is the FlexRay communication bus that allows high speed data transmission.

Martin Thoone, vice president engineering for TRW Global Electronics, said: "Integration of control functions for driver assist and other active safety systems - in a single unit - enables a reduction in system complexity and weight; standardisation of the other chassis controller modules; and allows for enhanced system performance through shared data processing."

In addition to the SDE controller, other advanced safety electronics integration is planned for the vehicle platforms involved. This encompasses integration of the inertial measurement unit for electronic stability control (ESC) into the airbag control unit (ACU), while overall control of the electric park brake system will take place within the ESC electronic control unit.

Thoone added: "TRW... has formulated a strategic roadmap for electronics integration. This contract confirms our direction and is a great example of how it is seeking to optimise cost and performance while maintaining high reliability standards. As safety and chassis electronics continue to evolve we plan to be at the forefront of development for mature and emerging markets."