How Vehicle Control Unit(VCU) Works? Learn with Block Diagram

In modern vehicles, especially in electric vehicles, the VCU or Vehicle Control Unit acts as the brain of the car. It has control over all the inputs, outputs, lighting system, accessories, communication, vehicle movement, etc. Electric vehicles mostly use the vehicle control unit where the VCU gives the command to the Motor Control Unit(MCU) to operate but modern fuel-operated vehicles also use the VCU unit which is connected to the Engine Control Unit(ECU) and other accessories.

Here is the list of functions or responsibilities a VCU unit does,
  • It communicates with the Motor Control Unit
  • It receives inputs from the different sensors and transducers used in cars such as Fuel sensors, Battery Level Indication, Temperature, Internal Faults, and many others.
  • It shows the information through a display so the driver can see the status of the vehicle.
  • It is also inbuilt with different types of wireless technologies, so it shares vehicle information with external devices.
  • It takes all the controls of the vehicle in a single display or HMI, so the user can control everything from one place.

Vehicle Control Unit(VCU) Block Diagram

Here, you can see the block diagram of the Vehicle Control Unit where you will get an idea of its internal parts and working principle.

Vehicle Control Unit(VCU) Block Diagram

Internal Parts of the VCU

Practically, there is a lot of components and circuit inside a VCU but here we have shown all the main important parts. So, you can see VCU has the main internal components,

Microcontroller: The microcontroller is the main part of the VCU. It takes all the input and after processing generates outputs to control the external circuits and other units. A single VCU unit may be built with a single or double microcontroller.

A/D Converter: Analog to Digital Converter helps to convert the analog signal received from analog input devices into a digital signal. Because we know that the microcontroller or microprocessor can process digital signals only.

D/A Converter: The Digital to Analog Converter helps to convert the digital signal from the output of the microprocessor into an analog signal to drive the analog load.

Internal Memory: VCU has different types of internal memory such as RAM, ROM, Flash Memory, etc to store the information and data for future use.

Network Module: VCU has both wire and wireless network modules to communicate with other devices. It uses CAN or LIN or UART BUS to communicate with those devices that are connected through cable. For wireless communication, it has Wifi, GPS, and Bluetooth Modules.

Card Reader: VCU supports reading or writing data in external memory cards such as pen drives, and SD cards. So it has an external card reader module also.

Other Components: VCU has other so many internal components such as On Board Antenna, Signal Converters, Modulators, Crystal Oscillators, Real Time Clocks, etc.

How VCU Works?

As I told you before the VCU takes input from different sources and user and generate output to control the different systems of the vehicle. For example, the fuel sensor sends a signal or data to the VCU, so the VCU shows the Fuel Status on the display or fuel meter.

VCU sends the real-time locations to external devices such as the owner's mobile, and computer using GPS and wireless technology.

VCU alerts or shows information when an internal fault occurs. So the user easily can take the action.

VCU helps with antitheft protection also. It will send information or alerts to the owner.

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How Vehicle Control Unit(VCU) Works? Learn with Block Diagram How Vehicle Control Unit(VCU) Works? Learn with Block Diagram Reviewed by Author on November 28, 2022 Rating: 5
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