The AECC announced an expanded edition of its technical report titled Driving Data to the Edge: The Challenge of Data Traffic Distribution V 2.0, offering guidance and discussion around three new issues that pave the way forward for the connected vehicle ecosystem. AECC President and Chairperson Ken-ichi Murata-san, AECC Directors Christer Boberg and Joel Obstfeld and AECC Technical Solutions Working Group Chair Leifeng Ruan discuss how OEMs, MNOs, cloud providers and other technology stakeholders in the connected vehicle ecosystem can benefit from the report’s findings.

Q1: Experts predict that data traffic from connected vehicles will exceed 1,000 times the present volume, surpassing 10 exabytes per month by 2025. What should OEMs, MNOs and technology providers know about developing business models and strategies for moving big data between vehicles, edge data centers and the cloud?

Connected vehicles are transforming the automotive industry with emerging services driving the requirements for high volumes of data communication. As more connected vehicle services are deployed, the demand for machine-to-machine connectivity will increase. In principle, every new vehicle manufactured will be continuously connected, resulting in massive volumes of data that need to be transmitted from the vehicle to the cloud.

Figure 1. AECC Technical Report: Driving Data to the Edge: The Challenge of Data Traffic Distribution V 2.0. Download for free

Data needs to be transported and processed for vehicle fleets that are operating on a global scale. Therefore, the global ecosystem of OEMs, technology solution vendors, network operators, cloud infrastructure companies and service providers will need to consider how communication networks and computing resources will be orchestrated securely and cost-effectively in a consistent manner. This report provides OEMs with guidance on how they may be best able to utilize the capabilities of cellular networks. For MNOs, the report provides information on the functionality that is required by the next generation of connected cars and recommendations on how their networks must be configured to support the emerging connected car ecosystem.

Not only does the connected vehicle ecosystem need to know how to translate data requirements into business models, but the ecosystem needs to prepare and build the network and computing infrastructure that will support this data-driven future. By solving this challenge at the connected vehicle ecosystem-level, new connected vehicle services will deliver the user experience customers expect.

Q2: What are the most important takeaways from the report?

This technical report provides a summary of the in-depth study performed by AECC members, focusing on six of the key issues and corresponding solutions as well as initial high-level research results of the distributed computing challenge. Specifically, the report includes the AECC’s initial guidance around three important issues:

  1. Edge Data Offloading: How cellular networks can support the offloading of data from the cellular network to appropriate localized distributed computing infrastructure in an efficient and flexible manner, considering the mobility of vehicles and service requirements;
  2. MSP Server Selection: How connected vehicles are able to select mobility service instances in the distributed computing infrastructure; and
  3. Vehicle System Reachability: How connected vehicles can be awakened and contacted, despite vehicle mobility and network topology changes.

The technical report expands to include discussion and recommendations around three new technology solutions identified by the AECC that are needed to manage the growing data challenge. These issues include:

  1. Access Network Selection. How connected vehicles can select appropriate access networks according to service requirements and capabilities of the access networks;
  2. Provisioning and Configuration Update. How configuration parameters and policies can be provisioned to connected vehicles in a dynamic and distributed environment; and
  3. Opportunistic Data Transfer. How cellular network resources can be used to offer latency-tolerant data transfer with minimal interference with existing services.

Figure 2. Six key issues addressed by the AECC technical report Driving Data to the Edge: The Challenge of Data Traffic Distribution V 2.0

Q3: How do these issues fit into the proposed “Distributed Computing on Localized Networks” solution concept the AECC is proposing?

The AECC believes that the current mobile communication network architectures and cloud computing deployments are not fully optimized to effectively handle the emerging data requirements of globally distributed connected vehicle fleets. In response, the AECC proposes the use of a “Distributed Computing on Localized Networks” architectural concept to solve these issues, with a proposal for a system architecture able to accommodate the predicted volumes of connected vehicle data traffic. The concept focuses on three main aspects: localized networks, distributed computing, and local data integration.

By combining network coverage with access to distributed edge computing resources such as “edge data offloading” mechanisms, the connected vehicle ecosystem can focus on advancing services and offering additional value to connected vehicle fleet operators. The concept also allows for innovation to take place at the services level, instead of requiring services to be limited to available communication coverage and capabilities.

Every major vehicle manufacturer is on a path towards a connected vehicle future — some faster than others. The challenges described in this report are common to all manufacturers, and the “Distributed Computing on Localized Networks” concept is already starting to be deployed by some leading manufacturers.

Q4: How does this report spotlight or address new challenges related to edge data offloading needed for connected vehicle services?

The technical report addresses the expected large increase in up-link traffic volume from the next generation of connected vehicles, such as through edge data offloading, which is key to addressing the data volume challenge. By focusing on the edge computing component, the technical report addresses some of the mechanisms to manage and, if applicable, reduce this data volume with a consistent service experience. Subsequent revisions of the technical report will outline additional technology components for the network.

Q5: How will the technical report’s research and recommendations be put into practice?

The technical report provides insight and guidance on the challenges and potential solutions for supporting the needs of connected vehicles.

The technical report’s content, along with related internal AECC studies, will be used to affect standards, where applicable, to inform MNOs and cloud providers about the functionality that is needed and how to consider designing their networks to support the needs of the automotive sector. It is also a guideline for OEMs and vehicle technology providers with respect to how vehicles will be able to interact with communications networks and services. The AECC has a Proof of Concept committee to coordinate efforts across AECC member companies to adopt AECC technical report solutions into their own proofs of concept.

Q6: How can companies get involved with the AECC?

We encourage OEMs, MNOs, technology companies and cloud providers to consider the report’s findings when creating and delivering proofs of concept. We hope that companies will report back to us on how the technical report aligns with their internal perspectives on connected vehicles. Where does your company agree or differ, and what do we need to consider for future revisions of the report? By joining the AECC, companies have the opportunity to set the direction and establish best practices for the coming vehicle and computing convergence.

The AECC thrives on a diversity of perspectives and ideas. We invite companies to join the AECC to shape how connected vehicle innovations can come to life. The AECC’s working groups are scrutinizing the technology choices available and what new functionality will be needed. Companies participating in the AECC have full access to these discussions and how the organization forms the technology and business recommendations for the next generation of connectivity and networks. In addition, members have the opportunity to become involved in various membership initiatives, technical working groups and member-only meetings. We invite technology and solutions providers to join the consortium’s efforts to ensure that new technologies and standards will meet the future needs of the full connected car value chain.