How many times have you purchased a new phone, only to find out the next hot device is right around the corner with even more bells and whistles? The same is becoming true when buying a new vehicle. With the pace of change in connected vehicle technology, the new car you drive off the lot today with the latest and greatest technology and driving features is well on the way to being obsolete tomorrow. This phenomenon is even more pronounced in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), where vehicles connect to devices, other vehicles, infrastructure and myriad services.
Many automakers are unable to innovate fast enough to keep up with the pace of change, struggling to ensure the connected cars of today can connect with the new devices, networks and services of tomorrow, while remaining safe and secure. The challenge is compounded by the fact that both the IoT and the number of connected cars are growing exponentially. By 2020, the number of connected "things" is expected to reach 20.4 billion, while the number of connected vehicles on the road is predicted to hit 381 million. Here are four ways to future-proof the connected car:
- Standardize for security
The rise of new devices and connections also means the rise of new cyber threats for the connected car's massive attack surface. While we cannot anticipate all possible security risks five or ten years down the road, we can better prepare to combat them by standardizing in-vehicle networks. Instead of relying on the numerous siloed, heritage networks, each with different protocols and security strategies, automakers can future-proof the connected car with an Internet Protocol (IP) over Ethernet backbone architecture for in-vehicle networking. This enables the standardization of all communications that pass through the backbone, which analyzes and controls traffic.
With IP over Ethernet, the cars of today can seamlessly make way for new connections, while ensuring data security (and thus, driver safety). The technology not only allows automakers to utilize proven enterprise security technologies (including access controls, intrusion prevention and detection, firewalls, credentialing and more), but also makes the vehicle's architecture more agile. Automakers can essentially plug and play new sensors, devices and actuators as they come along, without the need to worry about incompatibility.
- Optimize bandwidth
One of the biggest roadblocks to the evolution of the connected vehicle is bandwidth. Highly automated connected cars of the near future will generate prolific amounts of data (up to four terabytes per hour). Although existing network technologies, like Controller Area Network (CAN) and Local Interconnect Network (LIN), may be adequate for basic telematics and control, they are not sufficient for next-generation connected car features and capabilities that are beginning to materialize. For instance, highly automated vehicles will need to be able to pipe high-definition video from multiple cameras to a central brain to avoid collisions and keep drivers safe. Fortunately, the latest Ethernet standards for automotive can increase bandwidth by a factor of 1,000.
However, future-proofing the connected car not only requires increasing bandwidth, but also using it more efficiently. Fog computing, which brings the cloud to the edge with distributed computers and storage, can dramatically help optimize bandwidth. Using configurable rules, fog computing technologies can determine what data to send immediately, versus what data to store or forward (perhaps when it is more cost effective). Edge analytics helps filter and compress the data so that only the most essential and actionable information is sent to a central brain in the car, or to the cloud.
Here are a couple examples of where fog computing would apply. When on cruise control, a vehicle's speed rarely changes. So, sending speed data to the cloud only when there's a change, instead of every fraction of a second, can save a great deal of bandwidth. Or when a car is at a stoplight on a desolate road, a single video frame may be all that is needed to understand the surroundings for automated driving or navigation. This uses vastly less bandwidth than a stream of high-definition video.
- Virtualize for agility
A significant amount of computing power is required to provide the intelligence needed in the connected car, especially in highly automated vehicles. In fact, today's connected cars have the computing power of 20 modern PCs and feature about 100 million lines of code. Undoubtedly, as cars become more complex and more automated, more computing power will be necessary. Automakers can future-proof the connected car by consolidating computing power into a virtualized, centralized compute and service device that is expandable over time. This eliminates the complexity of relying on more than 100 individual computers onboard, as the various electronic control units (ECUs) are streamlined and consolidated by virtualizing some of their common logic. For example, automakers can centralize computer vision object recognition so that different ECUs controlling assisted parking, assisted steering and lane keeping (and eventually highly automated driving) are simplified. Each ECU does not need its own computer vision stack and computing power.
Through virtualization, automakers can also prolong the vehicle's life by making it easily upgradeable with more compute and storage to run the latest applications and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. This allows for a more service-oriented architecture (SOA), which provides the flexibility needed to introduce new applications and services, thereby reducing future manufacturing and maintenance costs.
- Simplify management
With tens of millions of vehicles connecting to numerous services globally, it will be impossible for automakers to manage the connectivity and performance of each one without automation and a unified view. To future-proof the connected car, automakers should adopt a centralized, automated approach to managing large numbers of vehicles and the services to which they connect. This can be achieved by IoT connectivity management platforms, which manage how and when a vehicle connects, and what it can do with its connections throughout its lifecycle. Such platforms can also provide monitoring and diagnostics, continuous learning and even self-healing. Moreover, they provide automakers and other members of the ecosystem with a unified view of information, as though they were looking at a single pane of glass.
With information on vehicle performance, service usage, security and more at its fingertips, an automaker can easily make informed decisions that ultimately provide better safety and convenience. For example, if an automaker detects a pattern of repairs that suggests a vehicle's drive train might have a design weakness, it can change the health monitoring telematics configuration of all the vehicles that have that drive train -- all with a single click from a cloud-based controller. Or, when a new security threat is detected, an automaker can see at a glance which vehicles are affected, and which need a software update or reconfiguration. It can then push out the updates immediately to mitigate risk.
While many of the cars of today may not be completely ready for the connections of tomorrow, automakers can jump on the fast track to innovation by leveraging proven enterprise technologies -- like standardization to IP over Ethernet, virtualization, fog computing and automation -- to future-proof their vehicles. Consumers will have the peace of mind that their vehicles are safe, secure and agile enough to evolve at the pace of the IoT, without any bumps in the road.
Source : https://www.theconnectedcar.com/author.asp?section_id=627&doc_id=734438&