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A Functional Reference Architecture for Autonomous Driving
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Embedded Control Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8629-0402
2016 (English)In: Information and Software Technology, ISSN 0950-5849, E-ISSN 1873-6025, Vol. 73, 136-150 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


As autonomous driving technology matures towards series production, it is necessary to take a deeper look at various aspects of electrical/electronic (E/E) architectures for autonomous driving.


This paper describes a functional architecture for autonomous driving, along with various considerations that influence such an architecture. The functionality is described at the logical level, without dependence on specific implementation technologies.


Engineering design has been used as the research method, which focuses on creating solutions intended for practical application. The architecture has been refined and applied over a five year period to the construction of protoype autonomous vehicles in three different categories, with both academic and industrial stakeholders.


The architectural components are divided into categories pertaining to (i) perception, (ii) decision and control, and (iii) vehicle platform manipulation. The architecture itself is divided into two layers comprising the vehicle platform and a cognitive driving intelligence. The distribution of components among the architectural layers considers two extremes: one where the vehicle platform is as "dumb" as possible, and the other, where the vehicle platform can be treated as an autonomous system with limited intelligence. We recommend a clean split between the driving intelligence and the vehicle platform. The architecture description includes identification of stakeholder concerns, which are grouped under the business and engineering categories. A comparison with similar architectures is also made, wherein we claim that the presence of explicit components for world modeling, semantic understanding, and vehicle platform abstraction seem unique to our architecture.


The concluding discussion examines the influences of implementation technologies on functional architectures and how an architecture is affected when a human driver is replaced by a computer. The discussion also proposes that reduction and acceleration of testing, verification, and validation processes is the key to incorporating continuous deployment processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 73, 136-150 p.
National Category
Embedded Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-179222DOI: 10.1016/j.infsof.2015.12.008ISI: 000373537400011ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84954271784OAI: diva2:882122

QC 20160504

Available from: 2015-12-14 Created: 2015-12-14 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Reference Architectures for Highly Automated Driving
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reference Architectures for Highly Automated Driving
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Highly automated driving systems promise increased road traffic safety, as well as positive impacts on sustainable transportation by means of increased traffic efficiency and environmental friendliness. The design and development of such systems require scientific advances in a number of areas. One area is the vehicle's electrical/electronic (E/E) architecture. The E/E architecture can be presented using a number of views, of which an important one is the functional view. The functional view describes the decomposition of the system into its main logical components, along with the hierarchical structure, the component inter-connections, and requirements. When this view captures the principal ideas and patterns that constitute the foundation of a variety of specific architectures, it may be termed as a reference architecture. Two reference architectures for highly automated driving form the principal contribution of this thesis. The first reference architecture is for cooperative driving. In a cooperative driving situation, vehicles and road infrastructure in the vicinity of a vehicle continuously exchange wireless information and this information is then used to control the motion of the vehicle. The second reference architecture is for autonomous driving, wherein the vehicle is capable of driver-less operation even without direct communication with external entities. The description of both reference architectures includes their main components and the rationale for how these components should be distributed across the architecture and its layers. These architectures have been validated via multiple real-world instantiations, and the guidelines for instantiation also form part of the architecture description. A comparison with similar architectures is also provided, in order to highlight the similarities and differences. The comparisons show that in the context of automated driving, the explicit recognition of components for semantic understanding, world modeling, and vehicle platform abstraction are unique to the proposed architecture. These components are not unusual in architectures within the Artificial Intelligence/robotics domains; the proposed architecture shows how they can be applied within the automotive domain. A secondary contribution of this thesis is a description of a lightweight, four step approach for model based systems engineering of highly automated driving systems, along with supporting model classes. The model classes cover the concept of operations, logical architecture, application software components, and the implementation platforms. The thesis also provides an overview of current implementation technologies for cognitive driving intelligence and vehicle platform control, and recommends a specific setup for development and accelerated testing of highly automated driving systems, that includes model- and hardware-in-the-loop techniques in conjunction with a publish/subscribe bus. Beyond the more "traditional" engineering concepts, the thesis also investigates the domain of machine consciousness and computational self-awareness. The exploration indicates that current engineering methods are likely to hit a complexity ceiling, breaking through which may require advances in how safety-critical systems can self-organize, construct, and evaluate internal models to reflect their perception of the world. Finally, the thesis also presents a functional architecture for the brake system of an autonomous truck. This architecture proposes a reconfiguration of the existing brake systems of the truck in a way that provides dynamic, diversified redundancy, and an increase in the system reliability and availability, while meeting safety requirements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. xviii, 50 p.
TRITA-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2105:09
Autonomous driving, E/E Architecture, Systems Engineering
National Category
Embedded Systems
Research subject
Machine Design
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-179306 (URN)978-91-7595-757-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-01-22, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, Stockholm, 09:00 (English)

QC 20151216

Available from: 2015-12-16 Created: 2015-12-15 Last updated: 2016-01-25Bibliographically approved

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