A Data Pipeline for Effective Automotive OTA: Five Key Aspects of the eSync System: Page 2 of 5

January 12, 2018 //By Shrikant Acharya, Excelfore
A Data Pipeline for Effective Automotive OTA: Five Key Aspects of the eSync System
Automobiles coming into the market today contain many millions of lines of software. Therefore, regular updates are unavoidable. Given the sensitivity of the automotive environment in technological as well as in societal terms, such updates must be secure. This article describes how the necessary degree of security can be achieved.
  1. Pipeline from the Cloud to the End Devices

The eSync System uses a three-part architecture, with server software in the cloud, client software as the hub of eSync-related communications in the vehicle, and software agents at the ECUs or sensors. This server-client-agent architecture provides a coherent pipeline from the cloud all the way to the end devices in the vehicle.

Systems drawn from non-automotive markets are often based on simpler server-client architectures, and do not reach to the end devices in the car. They must rely on unrelated data management processes and pipelines within the vehicle to extend the OTA process to end devices.

The eSync architecture allows great flexibility in how the capabilities of the eSync System can be configured in any given car. The client can be resident in a head unit, a network gateway/switch, or a TCU (telematics control unit). The agents allow eSync-compliant ECUs, sensors, and actuators to be added, replaced, or removed from the vehicle system quickly, with minimal integration effort needed on the eSync system.

The eSync System architecture even allows for multiple isolated OTA or diagnostic domains within the vehicle if separation is desired by the carmaker, allowing for example separate eSync clients for safety-critical ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) or motor control, each managing their own set of agents.

There are many benefits from having a coherent pipeline from the cloud all the way to the end devices. It is easier to provide bidirectional communications so that end device status is reported back to the cloud, it is easier to establish end-to-end security, and it is easier to ensure that the cloud-to-car solution is scalable to reach dozens, or even hundreds, of end devices in the car.

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