Renesas Technology Car Evolution Based on the Futuristic FlexRay Automotive Network

On display at the Renesas Technology Corp. booth at CEATEC JAPAN 2006is an electrically powered go-cart equipped with a microcontroller compatible with FlexRay, a next-generation high-speed onboard LAN network. With the aid of this go-cart, visitors to the booth can experience the advances in vehicle control brought about by FlexRay. FlexRay Enables X-by-Wire System. The controller area network (CAN) standard is a well-established automotive LAN network protocol. However, CAN has neither the speed nor the safety required for the electronic control of basic car operations, such as steering, braking and accelerating. Whereas the data rate for the CAN standard is 512kbps, with a maximum of 1Mbps, the data rate for FlexRay is 10Mbps, or approximately 20 times that of the current CAN standard. Noise and other factors make it difficult to build a stable high-speed automotive network, but Renesas Technology has swiftly overcome such problems with its advanced technological capabilities. It has developed an “x-by-wire” system incorporating FlexRay and created an electrically powered go-cart equipped with this system. An x-by-wire system is a system for the smooth and safe electronic control of steering, acceleration and braking by connecting these components by wire.The x-by-wire system does away with the need for existing bulky hydraulic systems, enabling the design of much simpler and smaller vehicles.

At first glance, the go-cart made by Renesas Technology has a strange shape and appears as if the wheels have been placed directly under a platform with a driver’s seat on top. Video is being used to show this go-cart in action, and there will also be demonstrations showing how an x-by-wire system actually works. Renesas Technology is a world leader in the microcontroller market.