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Programmable control unit for vehicle applications

The programmable control unit (PCU) by Eberspaecher (Germany) enables an autarkic control for additional vehicle functions. One variant of the product comes with CAN.

According to the company, the product is smaller than a car key (Photo: Eberspaecher)

The control unit provides interior lighting dimming in passenger cars and commercial vehicles and even guarantees increased safety on the road as a reverse warning system. Depending on the requirements, the micro-controller can also be programmed for other applications, vehicle types and, in the future, for example, for the visual perception of autonomously moving cars.

Thanks to its plug-in housing with 6,3-mm flat connector, the unit can be used in various vehicle types. In delivery trucks, for example, it ensures just the right lighting for loading: in the early hours of the morning when it is still dark outside, the first parcels are loaded in the depots. The interior lighting helps drivers load their freight and read address labels when it is delivered. All of this can be traced back to the compact control unit. By dimming the lighting in and out, it also extends the lights’ service life.

Depending on the application, the PCU can be used for rotating beacon on construction site or emergency vehicles, as controls for hydraulic lifts in commercial vehicles, or as reverse warning systems on forklifts. With the CAN and / or LIN variant, the unit can also be used as a gateway. “One future application lies in controlling LEDs outside a vehicle, allowing autonomous vehicles to communicate with their environment. Cars could send signals by flashing or changing colors to indicate they are driving autonomously or will stop for pedestrians,” stated Dr. Massimo Venturi, Vice President of the Automotive Electronics Business Unit.

Thanks to its equipment options and software programming tailored to the situation, the company’s micro-controller-based solution can be used in a wide range of applications, offering vehicle manufacturers a control unit. The PCU also meets interior environmental requirements (IP40) and is validated to LV 124. With its switching systems and control units, Eberspaecher offers automobile manufacturers flexible solutions for vehicle electronics.


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