Electronics in vehicles have been an ongoing success story. Starting from car radios in the early years electronics now form an integral part of the vehicle to the extent that they are increasingly defining the driver’s perception of driving. Among the electronics in today’s vehicles are complex digital control systems that are realized on powerful computing systems. Over the last years the in-vehicle network that interconnects these powerful computing systems has developed into a key constituent of the overall electronic vehicle architecture.

Starting with the CAN network at 100kBit to 1MBit the electronic vehicle architecture has matured from networked systems into distributed systems. First the CAN network was complemented by a network to enable a cost?effective communication for sensors and actuators where the bandwidth of the CAN network is not required. Here J1850 and LIN proved to be successful contenders. During the last years FlexRay has complimented these networks by providing a time-deterministic protocol with a data rate of 10MBit/s for advanced control systems in vehicles such as for computer controlled chassis systems like braking, steering and advanced damping control.

FlexRay is defined by an automotive industry consortium that was founded in the year 2000 by BMW AG, DaimlerChrysler AG, Philips Semiconductors, and Motorola Semiconductors Products Sector (which has now become Freescale Semiconductor) with Robert Bosch GmbH, General Motors Corporation and Volkswagen AG joining the FlexRay consortium as Core Members by 2002. In addition to the these 7 Core Members the FlexRay Consortium has grown to encompass more than 120 companies from around the world making the FlexRay Consortium a truly international industry consortium.