What autonomous driving can learn from trains and planes: Page 3 of 4

January 04, 2019 //By Zohar Fox, Aurora Labs
What autonomous driving can learn from trains and planes
As passengers in airplanes and trains, very few of us think that their safety depends on the smooth functioning of complex software-controlled systems. But most people are reluctant to leave the steering wheel in the car to a computer. The article examines what needs to be done to eliminate these fears.

Self-healing software for connected cars

To ensure that the “software on wheels” runs safely and error-free, problems must be eliminated as quickly as possible. Therefore, the ability to detect and repair software errors over-the-air (OTA) must become as universal as safety belts. These OTA updates are not a new concept. With the introduction of 3G networks and smartphones, they have become a widespread technology for remote updates. In the automotive industry, however, OTA updates have so far been limited to infotainment systems.

But before the OTA update become active, the problem must first be detected. Finding the software bugs that require an update in the vast amount of code in the complex car architectures is as difficult a task as fixing them. This requires a solution that scans the software for errors and detects them before they even become a problem. Software health pursues such an approach. The procedure monitors the behavior and resource requirements of the ECU software in order to proactively maintain the vehicle’s on-board systems and thus minimize downtimes and breakdowns.

Aurora Labs’ Software Health Solution uses machine learning algorithms that take over all three stages of troubleshooting to identify and repair software problems and seamlessly implement OTA updates. The solution does not require installation on the ECU or rebooting it. Using a backend solution, software errors and the risk of a possible ECU failure can be predicted. Then, the software heals itself by rolling back to the last safe version. Now, the OTA updates come into play: Efficient, clientless OTA updates ensure that all ECUs in the vehicle always remain up-to-date – without errors or downtime.

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