DETROIT -- While it may seem counterintuitive, connected, self-driving vehicles are forcing suppliers to simplify their components.
During a supplier panel discussion on Wednesday at the 2017 Automotive News World Congress, Visteon CEO Sachin Lawande said that the proliferation of electronic control units is adding cost, weight, complexity and energy consumption at an unsustainable rate.
A typical luxury vehicle already has more than 100 ECUs -- a number that will jump as automakers introduce self-driving vehicles. “ECUs are proliferating at a rate that our customers cannot sustain,” Lawande said.
The solution? Design multi-domain controllers that can operate multiple devices. Visteon, for example, has introduced a multi-domain controller that integrates the instrument cluster, center console display and head-up display. One ECU replaces three.