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By Chip Downing, Wind River Systems

A global leader in delivering software for intelligent connected systems, Wind River® offers a comprehensive, end-to-end portfolio of solutions ideally suited to address the emerging needs of IoT, from the secure and managed intelligent devices at the edge, to the gateway, into the critical network infrastructure, and up into the cloud. Wind River technology is found in nearly 2 billion devices and is backed by world-class professional services and award-winning customer support.

Electronic systems in automobiles are becoming similar in complexity to those found in the aerospace industry. Both industries face pressure to constantly improve their efficiency, without sacrificing safety.

The emergence of autonomous vehicles, coupled with low cost rental schemes, car- and ride-sharing initiatives have become a new ‘mobility as a service’ concept that will see the automotive industry become closely resemble to the commercial aviation industry. Safety, reliability, up-time and overall efficiency will be the driving force behind its success.

Aerospace innovations resulted in standards which have since provided both technological and commercial benefits. This ensures continuous improvement, measured in term of the SWaP (size, weight and power).

The aviation industry is aslo leading the way in the adoption of the Internet of Things. Nearly every system in a Boeing 787 is now connected, and the Airbus A380-1000 will contain more than 10,000 sensors.

This translates in to terabytes of data being created by every aircraft, every day.

The engines alone constitute a large part of this. These vast amounts of data are already used to identify patterns that could warrant actions that will keep aircraft operational for more of the time, while improving safety.

Turning an aircraft into an IoT platform takes investment that is expected to give a return in further improving safety; increasing efficiency; enabling a multi-vendor supply chain, and optimising maintenance and repair operations (MRO).

The next generation of automobiles will need to embrace the IoT in a similar way on their way towards a mobility as a service model. Most notably will be the need for autonomous platforms; reliable solutions that can deliver reliable and (time) efficient travel while increasing the level of safety, and at a lower cost.

In recent years the automotive industry has developed a standard exchange format for software modules and their interfaces (or APIs), as well as development methodology. These have been standardised as the AUTOSAR layered software architecture, for using electronic components from different manufacturers in multiple vehicles.

By moving the AUTOSAR standard towards an ARINC 653 model, many of the disparate systems could be consolidated.

Another area of convergence, based on open standards, is the human-machine interface. The graphics used in both the avionics and automotive markets are evolving, and standards now underpin safety critical cockpit displays.

This model could be adopted by the automotive industry; an industry-wide consortium aimed at defining and developing a standard, layered software architecture for consolidated automotive electronics on shared hardware platforms. Such an initiative could really accelerate the innovation of electronic control systems needed to enable the autonomous automotive industry.