Teaming up with a control expert from California enabled them to take up the next challenge. Integrating all technology, both from the 1960s and from the 2020s, into one control platform that determines the entire car experience.
To that end, Voitures Extravert introduced AutoCRAT, the state-of-the-art vehicle software at the centre of its vehicle experience for a new modern icon, the quintessenza. AutoCRAT controls the entire vehicle, including all of its functions. It’s not only the main subsystems, such as battery and drivetrain, that run on its ARM processors but also all of its classic technology. It offers a cutting-edge electric vehicle that carefully maintains the user experience of a classic car.
The entire system has double - and sometimes even triple - redundancy and is future-proofed by its ability for new feature expansions and over-the-air updates to current functionality. The Ethernet backbone makes it almost endlessly scalable. Meanwhile, the original inefficient large cable cluster, with its dedicated ‘hard’ connections, is replaced by a small and efficient wiring loom. Also, the bespoke Battery Management System (BMS) delivers the highest levels of individual cell protection. AutoCRAT collaborates seamlessly with BuroCRAT, the highly graphics-oriented testing and analysis suite for installation and maintenance.
Written using Swift in Apple’s Xcode and deployed in the all-electric classic quintessenza, AutoCRAT is a classic Project Titan. Within Apple’s Xcode environment, it was developed through the highly object-oriented modern Swift language on top of embedded Linux and uses ARM processors for all main subsystems, such as motor management, vehicle controls, user interfaces, etc. A shielded Gigabit Ethernet with a proprietary high secure protocol is the main communication backbone. Also, the BMS is implemented using ARM processors, delivering maximum cell protection for each individual battery cell.
Martijn van Dijk, commercial director of Voitures Extravert, explains: “We believe that people who are really serious about analogue should go all-out digital. Combining classic and future technology often leads to a ‘Frankenstein’. To ensure a monolithic analogue experience, both worlds need a base-level integration. Only the all-out digitisation of classic technology can recreate a true analogue experience. That includes a redesigned instrument cluster, which delivers new feedback in a classic way. The new gauges can display any info and are fully customisable. Integrated with the all-new Head Unit, it’s an out-of-this-world experience. Once you’ve driven this classic beauty with over 700 Nm of peak torque, you'll simply never look back.”
AutoCRAT is written in Swift, the powerful open-source programming language that Apple uses for all of its applications. It is the result of the latest research into programming languages combined with decades of experience building Apple platforms. AutoCRAT is developed using Apple Xcode as its main tool. It’s the same developer toolset that’s used to create apps for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV and Linux. Apple Xcode brings user interface design, coding, testing and debugging all into a unified workflow.
Jurgen Moerman, technology & operations director of Voitures Extravert, says: “With AutoCRAT, we have created a platform that is extremely adaptable and agile to work with. Swift code produces software that runs lightning-fast and, most importantly, is safe by design. That is one of the main reasons for our choice of Swift. Swift eliminates entire classes of unsafe code. It’s the perfect solution for mission-critical applications such as driving and vehicle charging."
The level of integration this solution offers is beyond what most established car manufacturers can offer, much more comparable to the standards that Tesla has set for the new industry some years ago. In that respect, the recent announcements that Volkswagen has made for a multi billion investment in a dedicated car software company are illustrative for the trend Voitures extravert is fully tapping into.