A Functional Brake Architecture for Autonomous Heavy Commercial Vehicles 2016-01-0134
Heavy commercial vehicles constitute the dominant form of inland freight transport. There is a strong interest in making such vehicles autonomous (self-driving), in order to improve safety and the economics of fleet operation. Autonomy concerns affect a number of key systems within the vehicle. One such key system is brakes, which need to remain continuously available throughout vehicle operation. This paper presents a fail-operational functional brake architecture for autonomous heavy commercial vehicles. The architecture is based on a reconfiguration of the existing brake systems in a typical vehicle, in order to attain dynamic, diversified redundancy along with desired brake performance. Specifically, the parking brake is modified to act as a secondary brake with capabilities for monitoring and intervention of the primary brake system. A basic fault tree analysis of the architecture indicates absence of single points of failure, and a reliability analysis shows that it is reasonable to expect about an order of magnitude improvement in overall system reliability.