Safety-critical Drive-by-Wire specialist chooses Kvaser

23/08/2021 by Kvaser

Sygnal Automotive, a specialist in drive-by-wire control systems for autonomous fleets, is a new Kvaser partner, though far from new to Kvaser products.

CEO and co-founder of Sygnal, Josh Hartung, is a control systems veteran and long-time Kvaser user, despite his apparent youth! Previously CEO of PolySync, where he helped develop the DriveKit, a vehicle control interface for advanced testing and development, this venture brings autonomous by-wire control to fleet, retrofit and construction vehicles.

Explains Hartung: “Autonomous technology development has experienced a hype cycle. It is no longer enough to present a fancy demonstrator to investors and customers. We are in a concrete business phase, where companies need to deliver value to customers by leveraging the new technology that has been developed.”

Sygnal DBW is a by-wire control package with accelerator, brake, and steering functions that works ‘straight out of the box’. With dual redundant microcontrollers, power, CAN communications and signal circuitry provided, the system includes everything needed to ensure an easy install. All parts are high-reliability and automotive-grade, making the system suitable for under-the-hood application in harsh conditions.

The DBW’s Master Control Module (MCM) connects to the vehicle with the wiring harness supplied, which is built to OEM-standards. To connect the MCM to a computer, Sygnal recommends Kvaser Leaf Light or Kvaser U100 interfaces. CAN provides high reliability, low latency and simple communications to the DBW. For the record, Hartung does not see value in Ethernet, USB or Bluetooth for this application: “We are typically using 11% of the busload, so why would I use something else?” He adds: “Our customers are comfortable with sensors linked by CAN, so CAN increases the useability and keeps cost and engineering complexity low.”

Sygnal DWB is immediately available for the Kia Niro and Kia Soul, but other integrations are in progress and the company offers a custom engineering service to meet requests for other vehicles, including trucks, tractors and other heavy machinery.

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