Tata Elxsi, a provider of design, innovation and technology services for various industries, has some key projects on its CV including Kochi Metro, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL), Airtel Internet TV, among others. The company has been working on a new connected and autonomous vehicle platform called AUTOSAR Adaptive which was developed in collaboration with a European OEM. Highlighting that the platform aims to help accelerate the development of connected autonomous and driverless vehicles, Gireesh Chandran – Practice Head – Automotive Embedded Development, Tata Elxsi, tells us more about the tech.
A brief on what the Autosar Adaptive platform is. How does it work?
With the introduction of the software-driven Electric and Electronic (E/E) vehicle architecture into the automotive industry, it is expected that the software share would grow by 25-30% by 2025. There is a steep increase expected in the processing power and data handling capacity considering the SW features getting implemented as part of automated driving, in-vehicle infotainment, connectivity, etc.
The SW needs to ensure that these features do not compromise the system’s safety and security while maintaining the flexibility of updating software and features post-production. As an initial step of the transition, the E/E architecture has partially migrated to domain-specific control units, is gearing towards zone-oriented architecture, and later on to domain-independent Vehicle computer architecture with flexible SW configuration/update features.
AUTOSAR aims at a function-based system design, enabling transfer and exchanges of vehicle functions within an automotive network. It ensures standardization of interfaces between application components and essential infrastructure software, providing a reference design and standard workflow for ECU SW development. The standardization is accompanied by concepts that ensure necessary tool support, which helps in easy configuration and integration of both application and basic software. There is a Classic AUTOSAR platform targeted for microcontrollers running on OSEK OS and Adaptive AUTOSAR platform targeted for SOCs running on POSIX OS.
What segment of vehicles can the platform be used in currently?
The AUTOSAR consortium consists of automotive OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers, automotive software suppliers, automotive and semiconductor manufacturers, etc. Its core partners manage the AUTOSAR development cooperation. The actively contributing resources are provided by the globally distributed AUTOSAR Core, Premium, and Development Partners. These members under different technical workgroups continuously contribute to various topics to build a standard automotive SW platform. The consortium works under the slogan “Cooperate on Standards, Compete on Implementation.” Tata Elxsi is a Premium Member of this consortium since 2008.
How does it improve the driving experience (or the experience of being driven in the case of fully-autonomous cars)?
Adaptive Platform follows a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) with Ethernet as its backbone. This design enables easy handling of large volumes of data, which would be required for future mobility. The applications are designed to run on POSIX OS, which allows loose bonding of the application, thereby helping update the applications and features as required, which is one of the critical requirements for Software-Defined Vehicles (SDV). The standardization comes with the necessary tool support to define and configure SOA-based applications on AP.
Another critical point about AP is the standardization of communication middleware that enables the communication between local applications and applications residing on other ECUs. This includes the interaction with the AUTOSAR Adaptive services. Most of the other middleware features required for future mobility, like Over the Air Update, Crypto module to meet security requirements, connectivity to the cloud, etc., are standardized under Adaptive AUTOSAR. As Classic Platform continues to exist for deeply embedded applications, Adaptive Platform is defined in such a way that it allows co-existence of both CP and AP.
Benefits of adopting Adaptive for OEMs and Tier-1s
To meet the future mobility requirements, high processing power and large data handling capacity are required, which cannot be met by the Classic platform, which is designed for microcontrollers targeted for time-critical applications. The main drivers for the adaptive platform are highly automated driving and Car-2-X applications. Adaptive AUTOSAR, OEMs, and Tier-1 will benefit by having a standardized architecture with seamless toolchain support designed for future mobility solutions.
Role of engineering companies in helping AUTOSAR implementation
A majority of the engineering companies have adopted AUTOSAR. The classic platform has been adopted extensively in production for the last decade. As most engineering companies are members of the consortium, the specifications have undergone continuous improvements based on the feedback and future mobility requirements. Most Proofs of Concept (PoCs) are already built on the Adaptive platform, and companies are gearing up for production with Versions R19.03 and R19.11.
How Tata Elxsi is playing the role of an anchor in AUTOSAR deployment
Tata Elxsi being a premium member in the AUTOSAR consortium since 2008, has provided solutions centered around CP for various programs. This includes Secured Gateway, Ethernet – CAN Central Gateway systems, OTA on classic platforms, etc. Apart from integration services on AUTOSAR for various production programs, Tata Elxsi has developed IP solutions for classic platforms deployed in research and production programs.
When Adaptive AUTOSAR was introduced, we combined our earlier expertise on similar architecture in infotainment applications and classic platform (Ethernet/SomeIP) expertise to quickly adapt to the Adaptive AUTOSAR platform. We started our journey in Adaptive AUTOSAR by helping customers define use cases and early developing multiple demonstrators for various applications like eCockpit, Sensor Fusion, etc. This has been developed on various HW platforms and multiple POSIX compliant OS.
Future possibilities of AUTOSAR and roadmap info
Tata Elxsi plans to build capability and provides services based on the future mobility requirements in Classic (Ethernet, Safety, Security, Multi-core distribution). Also, we are working with various customers on adopting Adaptive AUTOSAR for multiple applications. With the Adaptive AUTOSAR architecture matured to an extent by the release of version R19-11, Tata Elxsi is has been working on providing a complete Adaptive AUTOSAR solution as an IP. We have also designed an Adaptive AUTOSAR Tool framework to produce SW Packages for Adaptive Applications. The entire SW has been designed to integrate safety-relevant applications (up to ASIL-B).