6 Reasons to use FPGA in Vehicle ADAS Systems

google driverless car

FPGA are now being used in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). FPGA offer a number of advantages compared to other counterparts like ASICs or CPUs.

1) FPGA are reprogrammable, providing greater flexibility, and the ability to accommodate late-stage design changes.

2) FPGA are capable of high-performance computing. ADAS systems will rely on sensor input to compute the next step, and fast processing power is needed to pick up on sudden environmental changes. Sensors include radar, image, laser and ultrasound. FPGAs are currently being used as part of 360 degree cameras and night vision systems.

FPGAs are also used as a part of vehicle-related algorithms, which are in place to determine how the car functions and responds to obstacles. Some scenarios include pedestrian detection, computing alternate routes and detours, and noting any changes to the speed limit.

2a) Simultaneous computing. FPGAs allows for simultaneous processing or parallel tasks. An ADAS system that’s engaged in Land Departure Warning (LDW) will also have pedestrian detection (PD) in place, processing two algorithms at the same time.

3) FPGA are low-power consumers and have a lower maintenance cost.

4) FPGA are highly-reliable. Industrial-grade FPGA are built to withstand temperatures between -40°C ~ 100°C, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.

5) FPGA allow for rapid-prototyping, easier debugging, and lower-risk of obsolescence.

6) FPGA can be programmed to include anti-tampering and prevent reserve engineering attempts. This is particularly important in ADAS systems which need to be secure to prevent hacking into the systems.


What are current ADAS applications?

  1. Blind-spot detection
  2. Lane departure warning
  3. Electronic stability control
  4. Adaptive cruise control.  The vehicle will automatically slow-down to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in-front of them or speed-up to match other vehicles on the road.
  5. Advanced emergency braking system
  6. Camera and sensors for 360 degree vision
  7. Tire pressure monitoring
  8. Electrical power steering
  9. Vision systems that enable night-vision
  10. Intelligent speed adaptation where the vehicle adjusts the speed to meet the speed limit.
  11. Hill descent control
  12. Driver drowsiness detection. The driver’s movements are monitored to detect sudden ‘jerks.’ Some of the more advanced systems can monitor the driver’s facial features, keeping watch for drooping eyelids and slackened facial muscles.
  13. Automatic parking
  14. Adaptive headlights. Normal headlights highlight the road in-front of you, but adaptive headlights turn with the vehicle to illuminate what you really want to see. Some headlights are also designed for weather and can adapt to severe rain and fog conditions.


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Image obtained from Wikipedia Commons



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