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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.

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