Blog from March, 2020

GENIVI is actively investigating essential standards and solutions needed to enable a fully data-oriented, connected vehicle architecture.  In just a few years, connected cars will become the predominant form of automotive transportation. A number of actors are working at breaking down the barriers to adoption for mobility services based on automotive data and helping drivers, communities, mobility services, aftermarket and repair services and automotive manufacturers extract the most value from that data. But this has already resulted in a somewhat fragmented ecosystem where different actors are using different solutions to access the data of connected cars.

As an example of the fragmentation, we have identified competing commercial initiatives that are developing mostly proprietary solutions, and more than one partly overlapping collaborative efforts. Several start-ups are already active for delivering data of production vehicles to the market place in the short term. 

As more of the solutions also involve public infrastructure, including the smart cities concept, the time for finding a common approach is imminent. We have gathered a list of collaborative projects that look at various facets of the same topic on a mid to long term.

A priority topic emerging from this analysis is the need to agree on an industry-wide common data model.  GENIVI has already delivered an overview and gap analysis for the different data models used by these collaborative projects. This first deliverable is available here.

In addition to the above usage, more and more automotive functions exchange data with the cloud-based back-end or execute partly using cloud computing. This back-end provides the basis for various innovative applications and functions that can execute with support of the cloud. These functions include autonomous driving, enhanced speech recognition and security-related system behavior analysis, and many more.

GENIVI believes there is a need to join forces and harmonize activities to realize the full data-oriented connected vehicle architecture.

The current alliance work on data-driven connected vehicle software architecture is an important step towards achieving the seamless coupling of the in-vehicle and back-end architectures, and delivering an end-to-end vehicle computing platform. This end-to-end platform leverages existing standards and solutions, but some gaps exist and an overall interoperability is still far from achieved. We are convinced the GENIVI work will help the automotive industry take a big step toward the future when the in-vehicle software, E/E architecture and the back-end architecture will be moving closer together.

The Cloud & Connected Services (CCS) project team has made a major step forward during Q1, 2020 with the initial design of an end-to-end vehicle-to-cloud communication framework. This framework incorporates technology components identified by various collaborative projects such as W3C Gen 2 protocol built on VSS2, GraphQL, ISO Extended Vehicle Neutral Server. It clarifies connections to in-car technologies such as AUTOSAR-defined SOME/IP and several others.

The team plans to implement a proof-of-concept demonstrator in order to validate the reference architecture of the communication framework. There is work breakdown structure for this work available here.  We are now in the process of recruiting volunteers to help with the development activities.

The CCS proof-of-concept project roadmap is organized around 4 demonstrable milestones:

  • milestone #1 - GENIVI Virtual Summit (12-13 May)
  • milestone #2 – Internal project milestone (Q3 - July)
  • milestone #3 - Fall All Member Meeting (27-29 October)
  • milestone #4 - CES 2021 (January 2021).

All contributors are welcome! Now is the right time to join the team and share your expertise in some implementation and test activities. For questions about how to join the team, please contact GENIVI PMO Lead or GENIVI Development Lead.

The GENIVI Alliance Board met on 17 March to discuss the current coronavirus situation and how it affects the planned GENIVI All Member Meeting scheduled for 12-14 May in Leipzig, Germany.   Following recommended guidelines from global and national health organizations, the Board made two decisions.

First, the Board decided to postpone the physical (face-to-face) event to the fall with a new target date of 27-29 October, which will be confirmed with the Marriott Leipzig.  Once the dates have been confirmed, we will communicate the new plan by email and on the website.  The scope and purposes of the all member meeting, including its member showcase and the open community element that encourages participation by non-members, will continue as was originally planned for the May event.  

An important second decision reached by the Board was to proceed with a slightly reduced scope Summit in May using virtual technologies to allow for program sessions to proceed as planned, though not in person.  The details for this virtual approach are being finalized by GENIVI staff, but at a minimum, the program will support interactive participation and have the following elements:

  • President's Keynote and Board "Town Hall" meeting
  • Presentations on 1-2 trends affecting current and future E/E Architecture (topics to be announced)
  • Status updates on GENIVI collaborative projects (including those with planned sessions later in the event)
  • Android Automotive SIG Workshop (multiple sessions)
  • Cloud and Connected Services Project Workshop (multiple sessions)
  • Hypervisor Usage and the Automotive Virtualization Platform Specification Workshop (multiple sessions).

The Board also made a request to explore holding a one-hour, virtual showcase during which sponsoring organizations would have a brief slot to introduce their products and services to a virtual audience and have the ability to set up offline conversations with interested attendees.  Virtual beer and snacks will be served. (smile)  More information on how this will be executed will be made in another blog post and through Mike Nunnery, GENIVI Marketing Manager.

While many of us would have enjoyed being face-to-face, we will have to wait until the fall to do so.  But in the meantime, keep your calendars marked for 12-14 May for the first ever, GENIVI Virtual Summit.  If you have any questions about this event, please contact me (scrumb at genivi dot org).

Stay healthy and safe and I wish you all the best during these challenging times.

Automotive OEMs are increasingly adopting Android(tm) Automotive embedded as a solution for their IVI stack. This adoption has introduced a series of challenges around integrating the Android Automotive embedded solution into existing legacy software and into other systems present in the vehicle.

Through a GENIVI-hosted Android Automotive Special Interest Group (AASIG), OEMs, their suppliers and the broader cockpit software ecosystem can discuss requirements, identify gaps and provide an aligned, community voice for discussion with the Google Android Automotive team. There are currently two active projects under the GENIVI AASIG umbrella: the Vehicle Hardware Abstraction Layer (VHAL) / Vehicle Data APIs project and the Audio Hardware Abstraction Layer (Audio HAL) project.  Android-related discussions are also occurring in other GENIVI projects.

The AASIG VHAL / Vehicle Data APIs project has recently detailed a delivery roadmap for its initial deliverables.  During a successful face-to-face meeting hosted at the beginning of February by BMW in Munich, the project team identified four proof-of-concept (coding projects) corresponding the various software architectural options that have been debated since last November’s GENIVI Technical Summit, held in Troy, Michigan.  

The four proof-of-concepts include:

  1. External Data Server (EDS) proof-of-concept: One rationale for extending Android access to vehicle data is that the number of vehicle properties currently defined in standard Android is very limited as compared to the thousands of vehicle-related signals OEMs are considering for their connected vehicles. Although the project could propose to expand the standard vehicle property list in Android, the integration of Android into a complex electrical and connected vehicle architecture suggests a bigger picture to consider.  Standard data access methods should be applied in the entire vehicle and in cloud connected services.  This EDS proof-of-concept intends to validate the concept of a data server accessing the vehicle dataset as described by VSS (Vehicle Signal Specification standard), which is used also in W3C Automotive Group, and enabling authenticated Android apps to access the vehicle data through a web socket protocol. The actual values of the vehicle signals will be queried / updated thanks to a VSS feeder that will connect to the rest of the vehicle using, for example, Some/IP.
  2. Internal Data Server proof-of-concept is only a variant of the External Data Server above, where the data server is inside the Android Automotive framework.
  3. SomeIP stack inside the Framework proof-of-concept relates to a Some/IP stack running in the Android Automotive framework. It is worth noting that in the GENIVI github repository there is on-going contribution for porting the vsomeip component to Android Automotive.
  4. Google VHAL + OEM Extensions inside proof-of-concept explores the coexistence at the VHAL level of a Google-certified/compliant implementation of the vehicle properties as well as the access to the extended data as defined by the rest of the vehicle architecture and as needed by OEMs as explained above.

The AASIG VHAL project team has decided to implement first the External Data Server proof-of-concept because it relies on a very limited coupling of the Android Automotive side and the Vehicle side and can be implemented with available technologies like GraphQL, Node.JS and VSS data server.

The team has developed a complete work breakdown structure for the EDS proof-of-concept which is available here. We are now in the process of recruiting volunteers to help with the development activities.

The EDS proof-of-concept project roadmap is organized around four milestones, each representing a demonstrator deliverable:

  • milestone #1 - Spring AMM (12-14 May)
  • milestone #2 – Present findings to Android Automotive experts for validation (early Q3)
  • milestone #3 - Fall tech summit (Q4 – November)
  • milestone #4 - CES 2021 (January 2021).

All contributors are welcome! Now is the right time to join the team and share your expertise in the project's implementation and test activities. For questions about how to join the team, please contact GENIVI PMO Lead or GENIVI Development Lead.