Motivation and Background
The current trend to connect cars via 3G/LTE to cloud services enables many new applications:
- Remote Diagnostics
- Remote Control of Car Functions
- Media Streaming
- Highly automated Carsharing
- Control of traffic flow
Car manufacturers take different architectural approaches to integrate connectivity modules into their cars. Solutions range from discrete modules connected to a car bus to highly integrated modules like infotainment or gateway systems. Regardless of which approach is chosen, there is always a clash when the consumer-driven connectivity world hits the classic car environment and it networks.
The main challenges that must be solved are:
- Power consumption
- Bandwidth (the need for a high-speed bus in the car)
- Open Source Software
- Cost savings
Security is critical and must be carefully built into the system. Depending on the architecture chosen different firewall concepts must be implemented to separate the car infrastructure from the outside world.
For certain use cases it is desirable that a car is always online. As a result, the connectivity module must be aware of the vehicle’s state of charge and be capable of reducing its power consumption by switching into power-saving modes.
When streaming media into the car, classic networks like CAN or Flexray are limited in their bandwidth. The new upcoming automotive Ethernet standard is an elegant solution to this problem.
Open Source Software
Many of the technologies used for connectivity solutions e.g. Linux or Android are open source.
Upcoming LTE baseband chips will provide a single ARM core exclusively for applications, which will enable very cost-effective solutions.