Automotive Telematic Systems

The telematic systems send and receive the vehicle information and vehicle remote commands to and from user over the telecommunication (GSM, 4G/LTE/3G/2G). The telematic system connects the Vehicle to OEM, Dealer, Service station and Driver/Owner, this connectivity can be explored for many use cases (e.g. Insurance, Warranty, Maintenance, Shared Mobility).The following telematic systems changing the future of modern vehicles

Vehicle tracking system

The vehicle tracking systems sends important vehicle information and alerts to cloud, this information can be used for fleet management, asset tracking, driver behavior monitoring and vehicle usage monitoring. The OEMs can use the information for warranty checks.

Following are the key features of Vehicle tracking system:
  • Safety Alerts
  • Security Alerts
  • Tamper Alerts
  • Geofence Alerts
  • Harsh speed
  • Harsh Cornering
  • Harsh Braking
  • SOS
  • Panic Button status
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Shared Mobility:

Shared mobility is changing the mode of transportation and commuting. Instead individual own a vehicle, now the trend changed to share and use a vehicle. Shared mobility is changing the people lifestyle and helping in reduce the carbon footprint. The following types of shared mobility are in the current world

The telematics are helping in track, schedule, maintain and manage the vehicles in shared mobility efficiently.

Online vehicle diagnostics/Predictive maintenance

Telematic system collects the vehicle health status, important parameters(RPM, Odometer, Engine hours, Total hours, Fuel level/Battery discharge indicator, Brake POT, Throttle POT), diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) from sensors, actuators and other ECUs ( E.g. Engine control unit ) and upload the data to cloud.

The data in the cloud processed by automated software which does continuous predictive analysis and sends maintenance alerts to OEM, Dealer and Owner/Driver. The alerts can be sent in an Email, SMS or mobile app notification. This increases the vehicle safety and reduces breakdowns and vehicle maintenance cost.

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Remote control operations

User can remote control the engine on/off (Immobilizer), Lights, Mirrors, Doors, Roof top and Trailers via internet, Radio Frequency (E.g. Bluetooth). Immobilizer unit is very useful in protect vehicle from theft, and it is useful in control the vehicle engine on/off in Self Driving vehicles.

Secure over the air upgrades (COTA and FOTA)

In olden days, upgrading software in vehicle requires either, technician has to visit vehicle site, or the vehicle has to be brought to Service center, this involves a lot of efforts and cost. Now, with connected telematic gateway systems, upgrade a system in the vehicle is very easy.

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Telematic gateway system is an interface between Cloud and Vehicle. Any system that is connected to the in-vehicle telematic gateway unit can be upgrade with new configuration and firmware (software) over the air. User can select a system for upgrade in mobile/web application; the request reaches to gateway via Cloud, the telematic gateway pools the data in background and performs the actual upgrade operation in vehicle safe condition e.g. Vehicle stopped. To keep the Delta firmware upgrade over the air (DFOTA) is latest technique that reduces data usage and upgrade time. As part of DFOTA technique, the new ECU firmware file shall be compared with previously loaded firmware file and the differences captured in DFOTA file. The FOTA server sends the DFOTA file instead of original new firmware file to Telematic gateway system for the ECU upgrade.

Telematic gateway system is an interface between Cloud and Vehicle. Any system that is connected to the in-vehicle telematic gateway unit can be upgrade with new configuration and firmware (software) over the air. User can select a system for upgrade in mobile/web application, the request reaches to gateway via Cloud, the telematic gateway pools the data in background and perform the actual upgrade operation in vehicle safe condition e.g. Vehicle stopped. To keep the Delta firmware upgrade over the air (DFOTA) is latest technique that reduces data usage and upgrade time. As part of DFOTA technique, the new ECU firmware file shall be compared with previously loaded firmware file and the differences captured in DFOTA file. The FOTA server sends the DFOTA file instead of original new firmware file to Telematic gateway system for the ECU upgrade.

infotainment
Infotainment

In-vehicle infotainment system provides entertainment and vehicle important information to the driver and co-passengers. Modern vehicles are integrating new technologies (Cloud, Web, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GSM, GNSS, Sensors) into infotainment for better connectivity and user experience.

The infotainment system fetches important vehicle parameters (RPM, Speed, Engine Hours, Odometer, Fuel level, Diagnostic Trouble Codes) from other ECUs and display on Dashboard display system.


Telematic System Architecture

Accord developed both Hardware and software (including server programs and mobile apps) for Vehicle tracking / Fleet management system, secure telematic gateway system and infotainment systems. This diagram shows basic architecture of telematic system

Key features of Accord developed telematic gateway ECU:

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  • Fully automotive grade components used in the design
  • Power supply: 12/24V, protection for load dump, reverse supply
  • I/O: Digital inputs and outputs with protection, Analog inputs, Frequency inputs
  • Interfaces: UART, RS-485, Ethernet, CAN, LIN
  • Sensors: GNSS, LTE CAT4 Modem, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Accelerometer, Gyroscope
  • Processing: Vehicle interface processor, Application processor
  • Memory: EEPROM, eMMC, DDR2
  • Emergency: SOS and breakdown switch interface
  • SIM: eSIM, Plastic SIM
  • Antenna: GNSS, LTE with diversity, BLE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • Internal Backup Battery: 4-hour backup
  • Connector: Main 48-pin
  • Firmware: Bare metal and open source Linux
  • Security: Secure Boot, Secure key storage, Secure communication, Secure Digitally signed certificates
  • Tamper Detection
  • Secure over the air upgrade (COTA , FOTA and DFOTAA)

Key features of Accord Vehicle tracking ECU:

  • Fully automotive grade components used in the design
  • Supports NiMh chemistry for internal battery backup
  • Provision for both internal and external antenna for GPS/IRNSS/GSM
  • GSM modem supports upgradeability from 2G to 4G in the same footprint
  • Interfaces: CAN , UART
  • Sensors: GNSS, Accelerometer, Gyroscope
  • I/O: Digital inputs and outputs with protection, Analog inputs
  • Tamper Detection
  • Secure over the air upgrade (COTA , FOTA and DFOTAA)
  • Firmware developed on bare metal
  • Message protocol complies to the AIS-140 specification*
  • *AIS-140 is a government of India regulation that specifies the requirements for vehicle tracking units installed in public transport vehicles in India

Key features of Accord Fleet management system (Mobile and Web application):

  • Fleet Administration
  • Vehicle Grouping
  • User Account Management (Multiple Roles)
  • Driver Management
  • Alerts (Harsh Braking Alert, Harsh Cornering Alert, Harsh speed Alert, Safety Alerts, Security Alerts, Tamper Alerts, Geofence Alerts, Towing Alerts, Crash Alerts, Excessive Idling Alerts, Warranty Alerts, Driver Alerts, Maintenance Alerts)
  • Fleet Level Reports
  • Charts and Visual Reports
  • Predictive Maintenance (Reminders)
  • Routes and Trip Management
  • Report Automation
  • SMS and Email
  • FCM Push Notifications

Telematic ECU Software Architecture

Security is the most important point telematic ECU architecture. Software developed to secure coding standards (e.g. CERT) and design guidelines (e.g. IEEE Center for Secure Design (CSD)) are less susceptible to security attacks. A few examples are below

  • Assign privileges (e.g. File system permissions) to components based on its need.
  • Important interfaces shall not be directly accessed by less privileged components.
  • Vehicle network interface (e.g. CAN) shall not be exposed to less privileged components.
  • Run the components from user space where possible.
  • Don't run all software components from Root of the operating system.
  • Use latest security algorithms
  • Use latest security algorithms
  • Don't store key in software executable
  • Don't use one key for all the devices
  • Don't store important information in files without encryption
  • Don't keep extraneous and dead code
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After security, the next import point is Store and Forward. When there is no network availability, the telematic system shall store the important information and forward the same information to Cloud upon the network availability.

Telematic ECU architecture shall be scalable for future updates. Telematic ECU undergo more frequent updates comparative to other ECUs, so the telematic ECU architecture shall support Firmware over the air upgrades.

Telematic security

  • Unauthorized data access
    • Man in the middle
    • Spoofing
  • Unauthorized software upgrade
  • Box tamper
  • Power Removal
  • GSM SIM removal

The telematic ECUs are equipped with the following hardware and software solutions to protect ECU from security attacks:

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Hardware security protection:


  • Secure Boot
  • Secure key storage (SHE)
  • Tamper Detection
  • GSM SIM removal detection
  • Power removal detection

Software security protection:

  • Develop software to secure coding standards (CERT)
  • Stack overflow checks
  • Secure communication using Encryption and Decryption
  • Secure digital signatures

Accord Services in Telematics

Accord has very good experience in design and development of Telematic systems in Automotive domain. Accord has developed big scale telematic system to one of the leading OEM in India.

Accord is one stop solutions for entire Telematic echo system development. Accord provide services in design and develop full telematics echo system including Hardware, Software, Communication stacks, Security, Cloud micro services, Web applications, Mobile applications and Automatic test equipment.

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1. THE CHALLENGE FACED BY CUSTOMER

Customer wants a solution which acts as a data logger and gateway. The solution is to be developed as Platform and the product will be derived from the platform, based on the business needs and requirements.

The challenges are

  • To develop a single solution, as a platform which needs to be customized based on the business needs and requirements.
  • Dynamic configuration support (e.g., CAN Protocol, number of CAN messages, number of signals per CAN message, number of IO, AI, DI, DO lines, etc.,)
  • Pptimization of memory usage as per the dynamic configuration
  • Data Logging as per the dynamic configuration.
  • Data transmission to web as per the dynamic configuration.
  • Sleep Current consumption - Device should not consume more current and drain the vehicle battery.
  • Device Boot time – Device should not take more time to boot and miss the vehicle data during boot process.
  • Secure Data Storage
  • Secure Data Communication
  • Secure Boot without delay in boot time
  • Secure Key Storage
  • Secure Firmware Update Over-The-Air
  • Secure Configuration Update Over-The-Air
  • Data accuracy, consistency, and timely capture as well as historical (poor network areas, server down) storing of vehicle data was required for vehicle tracking and failure analysis.
  • Maintenance & Updating of all vehicle data was a great challenge.
  • Aggressive timeline for product development.
  • Cost of the product challenges in security along with some of proposed countermeasures

2. SCOPE OF WORK

Accord understood the customer’s requirements and the expected device functionality, by interacting with the customer’s technical teams. Accord came up with the below solutions:

  • Dual process architecture to split the tasks between processors and achieve low current consumption
  • IoT based application with following features.
    • To maintain the history data and enable report generation in cloud.
    • Security features to detect device tamper, application tamper, etc.,
    • to develop a secure telematic device, which collects logs, alerts, and perform analyses of vehicle data from different sensors, IO(s), ECU(s), etc.
    • to securely transmit the data to cloud
    • to support Secure Firmware update Over-The-Air for self and other ECU(s) through 4G modem and CAN network.
    • to support Secure Configuration Update Over-The-Air through 4G modem and CAN network
    • Support for BLE, BT, Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi Hotspot
    • Support device wake for sources like Ignition, as per configured Accelerometer threshold, as per configured sleep time, etc.,
    • Automation of Secure Key provision in the Device EOL
    • Automation of flashing more than one device in Device EOL
    • Validation of each device component in Device EOL
    • Automatic Loading of customer configuration in Device EOL

2.1 SOLUTIONS AND SERVICES PROVIDED BY ACCORD

2.1.1 The Approach

Accord proposed two different hardware variants,

  • Base Variant
    • Acts a data logger and collects the vehicle data and transmits it to cloud over 4G Modem.
    • No support for BT, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Hotspot, USB charging port, Audio amplifier, and Back up battery.
  • Smart Variant
    • Supports the functionality of Base variant and provides addition support for BT, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Hotspot, USB charging port, Audio amplifier, and Back up battery.

2.1.2 Technology and methodology applied.

  • Accord designed a dual processor architecture where MCU collects the vehicle data, and MPU transmits it over 4G modem.
  • Used OpenCPU MPU for application development and data communication over 4G Modem.
  • Optimized Device Intelligence algorithms to detect and raise various alerts.
  • Optimized smart real time task scheduler in MCU to schedule the task on real time.
  • Smart software design to support the dynamic task subscription, and data sampling as per the configuration.
  • Secure Boot
  • Secure Data storage
  • Hardware Security Module for Secure Key storage
  • Accelerometer Calibration and wakeup
  • CAN Wakeup
  • BLE Wakeup
  • Device Tamper
  • 4G Modem for data transmission
  • MQTT specification version 3.1.1 with TL1.2 for Secure Communication
  • History data storage when there is no data connectivity.
  • Configurable Blackbox data storage
  • Software and configuration Upgrade over CAN bus and 4G modem
  • Error detection Algorithm
  • Support for third party application execution
  • Alert notifications and SMS for critical alerts
  • Automatic Flashing Station to flash more than one unit in the device EOL
  • Automatic Secure Key provisioning

2.1.3 Implementation and specific learning’s

  • Dynamic configuration, which makes complete system as configurable.
  • Used HSM for secure key storage and for other security features.
  • To achieve the sleep current requirement MCU is kept in low power mode and MPU is shut down when the vehicle is idle and not turned on.
  • MCU is used to wake up the system when vehicle is turned on or any movement is detected in Accelerometer.
  • The system can be extended for music streaming from the Sources like Smart Phone through BT interface & USB.
  • The audio play back can be controlled from Smart phone application through Bluetooth interface.
  • Design and Development of Automatic Flashing Station to flash more than more unit in Device EOL
  • Support for Automatic provisioning of Secure Keys in Device EOL
  • Support for Automatic loading of customer configuration in Device EOL

2.2 BENEFITS TO THE CUSTOMER

  • Two different variants to support different vehicle platforms based on the customer requirement.
  • Accurate data collection and transmission to cloud
  • Secure System
  • Dynamically configurable software, which allows customer to use the same hardware for different vehicle variants.
  • Low current consumption
  • High Performance, and compressed data storage
  • Quick response time for alerts
  • Software and configuration upgrade over the air with resume feature.
  • Support for third party application execution
  • Automatic provisioning of Secure Keys
  • Automatic validation of device components in Device EOL