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Tesla is updating its wiring system for redundancy in self-driving

Tesla has been working on updating its wiring system with a new ‘high speed’ architecture that includes more redundancy, which the automaker believes is going to be useful with the advent of self-driving.

The project has been revealed in a new patent application that Tesla made earlier this year and was released by the patent office last week.

It’s called ‘High-Speed Wiring System Architecture’ and it describes a wiring system with a loop to create redundancy in case of failure.

Tesla describes the problem with existing wiring infrastructures in the application:

“Traditional wiring systems typically connect devices to a central point, such as a processor, using a cable to connect each device to the processor. The processor communicates with each device individually. Typically, the cables transmit data from a device to the processor or from the processor to the device. That is, each cable can only transmit data in a single direction during operation. If one of the cables fails, then the communication to and from the device fails. That is, there is no redundancy. Such loss of communication negatively impacts the overall functioning of the system. When the data transmitted relates to driver-assist and autonomous-driving functionality, such decrease of system functionality may result in complete system failure and a compromised situation.

To prevent loss of communication from a single cable failure, cables may be paired to create redundancy. Such repeating may be tedious and also require two attachment points, which requires a larger physical space at the attachment point. When a processor is connected to multiple devices, the processor (or printed circuit board holding the processor) must have enough connection points, which may require a large physical space, and an increased cost to manufacture such a large board. Hence, there is a need for a wiring system that overcomes the aforementioned drawbacks.”

In the patent application, Tesla explains how this lack of redundancy is particularly a problem when it applies to wiring systems for driver-assist system or full self-driving systems.

Tesla describes its solution:

“The present disclosure relates to a wiring system architecture for transmitting data at a high rate and with redundancies. The backbone has two or more communication pathways. Further, the communication pathways may form loops (i.e., starting and ending at the same device or location, such as a processor) to create redundant communication pathways. That is, if one communication pathway fails, data may be transmitted via the other pathway. The loss of one communication pathway will not result in communication loss. Rather, data may still transmit along the other communication pathway. In embodiments, the pathways transmit data in opposite directions.”

Here are a few drawings from the patent application:

It’s unclear when Tesla plans to integrate this more robust wiring system in its vehicles or if they have already started.

Lately, we have been reporting on Tesla’s effort to completely revamp its wiring architecture.

Last month, a patent revealed Tesla’s revolutionary new wiring architecture to help robots build upcoming cars like Model Y.

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