Automaker Audi says it will go to production with a piloted driving controller that is roughly the size of a tablet computer.

The controller is designed to handle inputs from radar, GPS, cameras, Lidar, ultrasound, gyroscopes and other sensors, and is small enough to be installed in a vehicle's sidewall.

Audi says this is an effort to get away from bulkier systems that took up a lot of room.

“We've boiled it down to roughly the size of an iPad," Audi spokesman Bradley Stertz is quoted as saying by Design News. “It makes autonomous driving much more practical because you're not eating up the whole trunk just to get the car to do it function."

The controller uses a Tegra K1 processor chip from nVidia Corp., and includes a quad-core CPU with 192 graphics cores. “It’s basically a supercomputer on a chip, and the processing power that we get from that chip is equivalent to a whole trunkful of equipment”, says Stertz.

The device is known as zFAS, a German language acronym for “central driver assistant controller," and it reportedly will use an EyeQ3 signal processor from Mobileye N.V. in order to handle camera data and time-triggered networking technology from Austria-based TTTech Computertechnik AG. Production AG. Delphi Automotive will handle production of the zFS modules.

Audi says that zFAS is one of the first piloted driving modules to use a central domain architecture. Up to now, automakers have used spatially separated controllers.

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