Avionics Update: Apex databus maker gearing up for mass production

 - May 19, 2008, 6:03 AM

An ad that carmaker Audi began running on radio stations in select cities last month  proclaims that the German company’s automobiles “now feature the same technology as jet aircraft.” While that claim may straddle the border between fact and embellishment, later this decade Audi cars and jets may indeed share the same electronics. TTTech, a German company that plans to mass produce powerful databuses for drive-by-wire applications in Audi’s cars starting in 2004, is moving rapidly ahead to test prototypes of its time-triggered protocol (TTP) hardware, which the company touts as incorporating “aerospace safety and automotive cost.” Honeywell will use the TTP databus in the Bendix/King Apex glass cockpit line, now under development in Olathe, Kan. TTTech announced last month that the communications processor for the TTP databus is ready for mass production. Meanwhile, Avidyne continues to work with BMW and Motorola to integrate the ByteFlyte automotive databus into the cockpit of the Eclipse 500 twinjet, scheduled to fly for the first time this summer.