What is the Heart of Autonomous Vehicle?

With the development of autonomous/automated driving technology, modern vehicles require higher perception, control, and decision-making capabilities. The industry needs a portable and easy-to-manage automotive-grade controller on the vehicle. Thus, the autonomous driving control unit (ADCU), a specifically designed domain controller, emerges.
There are several different controllers in the industry that can be used in different levels of autonomous driving. And of course, some companies prefer to call their controller in other names
The ADCU needs a processor with solid core computing power to process large numbers of calculations. There are various chips in the industry have this ability, including NVIDIA, Infineon, Renesas, TI, NXP, Mobileye, etc. For example, NVIDIA designs its Xavier chip specifically for embedded intelligent systems, and it can support autonomous driving functions such as sensor fusion, environment perception, and path planning.

Moreover, the ADCU can perform multi-sensor fusion, positioning, path planning, controlling, decision making, communication, and collect perception signals. Typically, to perform autonomous driving, ADCU should connect with various cameras, millimeter-wave radar, Lidar, IMU, and other components to sense environments around.
If you treat an autonomous vehicle as a human, ADCU is the heart driving other organs. As we see this heart making stronger and stronger beats, we can expect future vehicles in the movie coming true.