The Automotive Edge Computing Consortium (AECC) is an association of cross-industry, global leaders working to explore the rapidly evolving connected vehicle industry with significant data and communications needs involved in instrumenting billions of vehicles worldwide. The AECC’s goal is to develop an open, global technology framework designed to support the automotive ecosystem as all vehicles become connected. Technology agnostic, the AECC’s working groups will focus on the open-standards, solutions, and technologies needed to support the transfer of data and communications between the vehicle and local networks, near the source of the data, and then to a centralized cloud in a seamless, safe, reliable and optimized manner. The AECC’s members are key players in the automotive, high-speed mobile network, edge computing, wireless technology, distributed computing, and artificial intelligence markets.
The AECC works with leaders across industries to drive the evolution of edge network architectures and computing infrastructures to support high volume data services in a smarter, more efficient connected-vehicle future.
- The mission is to build an ecosystem comprising of mobile communication industry leaders; big data cloud and analytics service providers; and leading automotive industry players through the following activities:
- Development of use cases and requirements for connected services for emerging mobile devices, with a particular focus on automobiles (drones, robots, and other vehicles will be examined in the future). The consortium will develop technical reports and white papers designed to inform relevant standards and open-source communities. These white papers will examine best practices for deploying distributed and layered computing infrastructure, which is comprised of public and private clouds, telecom networks, and mobile devices. In addition, the papers will examine uses cases and the requirements needed to help accelerate their deployment.
- Discuss and agree on reference architectures, such as for next-generation mobile networks and cloud, which are suitable for automotive-oriented use cases.
A future where all connected vehicles can deliver the full benefits of big data enabling intelligent driving, improved safety, increased efficiency and greater reliability.
- AECC members are key players associated with the automotive, high-speed mobile network, edge computing, wireless technology, distributed computing, and artificial intelligence markets. Individual collaborators share deep experience with many roles, such as:
- Academia and Commercial Researchers
- Aftermarket Consumer Electronics Vendors
- Automotive OEMs & Suppliers
- Big Data/Analytics Service Providers
- Cloud Computing Service Providers
- Communities involving telecommunications and infrastructure; Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC); and Open Edge Computing
- Mobile Network Equipment Providers
- Mobile Network Operators
- Policy and Standards Groups
- Tier 1 Suppliers
Consortium members share a concern that infrastructure for connected car networking and computing is not ready to support global deployment of all types of vehicles. In addition to the automotive market, its OEMs and supply chain, AECC is collaborating with the high-speed mobile network, edge computing, wireless technology, distributed computing, and artificial intelligence markets.
The Automotive Edge Computing Consortium was announced on 10 August 2017 by DENSO Corporation, Ericsson, Intel Corporation, Nippon Telegraph, and Telephone Corporation (NTT), NTT DOCOMO, Inc., Toyota InfoTechnology Center Co., Ltd., and Toyota Motor Corporation.
The Consortium officially launched on 22 February 2018 with members including automotive technology heavyweights DENSO Corporation, Toyota InfoTechnology Center Co., Ltd., and Toyota Motor Corporation, along with information communication technology (ICT) leaders AT&T, Ericsson, Intel Corporation, KDDI Corporation, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), NTT DOCOMO, Inc., and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. Dell EMC announced joining the Consortium on 26 March 2018.
AECC members share the goal of establishing an open, global technology framework designed to support the connected car technology ecosystem. The goal will become more urgent as a growing number of connected automobiles require a huge amount of data to be exchanged between vehicles and clouds in a fast, safe, reliable and cost-effective way. Currently, the ecosystem is unable to support this requirement.
The AECC will evaluate the work being done by communication, cloud and other related technology standards bodies and communities to assess the impact to the automotive industry, then share relevant findings with these organizations. Through its working groups, the AECC will identify connected vehicle technology use cases. The use cases will examine current and anticipated system constraints and share recommended requirements and solutions with the appropriate wireless and communication standards organizations.
The Consortium will address critical automotive technical and business issues needed to most effectively leverage next-generation mobile networks and the integration of vehicle platforms with edge computing, connectivity, networking and computing solutions. The AECC will drive advancements by:
- Addressing key technical and regulatory issues around vehicular technology requirements such as wireless connectivity, distributed and edge computing and cloud architectures.
- Defining a roadmap and identifying new use cases, technology requirements and implementation strategies.
- Providing recommendations and solutions for standardization and regulatory bodies.
Connected car technology used to be a feature found only in high-end luxury vehicles. This is no longer the case as virtually any vehicle can be equipped with the technical means to connect to data, communication networks and the cloud. The Consortium’s work products will ensure cross-compatibility of vehicular technology and data, which is critical for allowing all connected vehicles to freely communicate and collaborate across communication networks, big data platforms, and cloud services. The AECC believes that an open industry consortium is an ideal environment through which to support those goals – especially since it brings together all the players involved within the ecosystem to help move the connected car vision forward.
The ecosystem’s pain points are scale, cost, and diverse latency requirements. For example, open standards, solutions, and technologies will need to address the connected car data explosion and provide connectivity with a more accessible communication structure. Harmonization is required among multiple systems, including vehicles, networks, and cloud servers, as well as diverse needs for particular latency specifications. Some applications, such as high definition (HD) map creation and machine learning, don’t require low latency communication to collect data. A scenario like this does not negate a latency requirement; rather, it means that the application will leverage a latency allowance to increase the system capacity and capability.
The data volume between connected vehicles and the cloud is estimated to reach 10 exabytes per month around 2025, approximately 10,000 times larger than the present amount. This expected increase will trigger the need for new architectures of network and computing infrastructure to support distributed resources and topology-aware storage capacity. The new architectures will be compliant with applicable standards, which requires collaboration on a local and global scale.
IHS Automotive forecasts that there will be 152 million actively connected vehicles on global roads by 2020. The combination of new vehicle features and aftermarket devices could mean nearly 2 billion connected vehicles on the world’s roadways by 2025. Conservative estimates from IHS Automotive state the average vehicle will produce up to 30 terabytes of data each day – 3x the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress. This requirement means a communication infrastructure that drops a signal or a service provider that charges according to a data plan will no longer be feasible for anyone.
An open-standards framework will support new uses cases and services that allow for more substantial amounts of vehicle data to be sent to the cloud. The end goal is enabling timely collaboration with mobile, traffic, mapping, and communication networks. So, for example, connected vehicles may expect to have dynamic mapping capabilities where machine learning and artificial intelligence assist the driver and navigate the best routes around traffic and congestion in a timely manner.
Edge computing is a cloud-based information and communications framework that connects hardware, software and applications to enable high-quality vehicle control, services and experiences. Within the connected car ecosystem, the local data center closest to the vehicles on the road (i.e., the edge) will manage each vehicle’s computing needs to complete a task. The local data center will then submit the vehicle’s relevant data to a centralized data center for advanced analytics and processing.
With an open standards-based framework, connected vehicles can take advantage of an entire ecosystem of compatible applications, software and services. This framework will also support all major platforms and systems, allowing timely collaboration with mobile, traffic, mapping and communication networks.
The majority of today’s vehicles operate in conditions with limited connectivity. With data connectivity rapidly expanding from luxury models and premium brands to high-volume mid-market models, the volume of data generated at the vehicle endpoint (i.e., the edge) will soon overwhelm cloud computing and communications infrastructure resources. As all vehicles become connected, the technical issue becomes how to send massive streams of data back to a central analytics framework over multiple network nodes. Moreover, those data will be coming from multiple locations around the world simultaneously – all within legacy low-bandwidth environments.
For many applications, placing the connected car’s data computation and analysis close to the edge is critical. This design allows for more efficient and faster decision-making locally, while also enabling transmission of the right data to a central location for analytics. For the future of the connected car ecosystem to succeed, it’s not a question of whether to perform edge processing principles – the problem is how to ensure meeting vehicle-centric requirements. Data gravity, latency, costs, and government regulations all drive decisions about where to perform processing. AECC’s work is to help ensure that industry standards, protocols, and processes will be designed to address critical vehicle technology requirements and can be implemented across the ecosystem as new connected vehicle communications and data infrastructures begin to take shape.
The Consortium’s role is bringing together the ecosystem’s most respected and accomplished leaders to exchange ideas and ensure that new technologies and standards will meet the future needs of the automotive value chain – from Information Communication Technology (ICT) to automotive technology leaders. Our focus is increasing network capacity to accommodate automotive big data in a reasonable manner between vehicles and the cloud by using edge computing and a more efficient network design.
AECC’s founding companies invite relevant global technology leaders to join the Consortium to help define these requirements and develop use cases for emerging mobile devices with a particular focus on the automotive industry. In leveraging these insights, the AECC will work with standards bodies, industry consortiums and solution providers to evolve and refine standards. The Consortium will also encourage the development of best practices for the distributed and layered computing approach recommended by our members.
AECC has developed a white paper called General Principles and Vision in collaboration with its global members to help standards bodies and connected vehicle technology communities address vehicular technology needs within their guidelines.
The AECC white paper outlines open standards approaches for vehicular technology adoption and integration designed to meet the unique needs of the connected vehicle ecosystem. The white paper addresses an expanding set of connected vehicle standards, such as wireless, big data, and cloud as they apply to vehicle-centric technologies. The latter include distributed, layered and edge computing; public and private clouds; telecommunication networks; and mobile and related vehicular technologies.
Ongoing work by AECC will include contributions and proposals for review by relevant wireless standards organizations and connected vehicle technology communities. By bringing vehicle-centric use cases and corresponding technology requirements into relevant communities, the AECC aims to encourage the global development of connected vehicle best practices and accelerate their implementation. AECC will not create its own standard specifications but contribute to already existing standard bodies.
During 2019, the Consortium will focus on these tasks:
- Define specific automotive use cases and requirements with a particular focus on networking and computing for automotive big data.
- Formulate a roadmap strategy from technology development to market introduction, including the network evolution.
- Identify relevant communities for standardization and open-source software development, and support these with inputs for use cases and requirements with measures of success.
- Address efficiency issues in resource utilization such as communication bandwidth, computational power and storage capacity. Examples of solutions may include in-vehicle systems; edge computing; distributed cloud; process/task migration; network virtualization (SDN/NFV)/containerization (micro-service); network interface/messaging; data center fabric; and multiple-accesses (Wi-Fi/Cellular, etc.).
The Consortium is pursuing our mission through development of use cases, technical reports and reference architectures.
Use Cases – The Consortium is creating use cases and requirements on networking and computing for connected services in automobiles. Examples are high-definition map creation and distribution, intelligent driving and remote diagnostic maintenance. Eventually our work will expand to emerging mobile devices such as drones, robots and other types of vehicles.
Technical Reports – Our technical reports and white papers inform standards and open-source communities on best practices for deploying distributed and layered computing architecture for connected cars. Related technologies include public and private clouds, telecommunications networks and mobile devices. The use cases describe requirements needed to help their deployment.
Reference Architectures – Consortium publications discuss reference architectures for next-generation mobile networks and cloud that are suitable for automotive use cases. For example, AECC is addressing efficiency issues in resource utilization from the viewpoints of communication bandwidth, computational power, and storage capacity. Defining reference architectures is necessary to determine the best way to meet various requirements by appropriate parameter settings with as small an impact as possible on system architecture complexity. Resolving these issues may include, but not be limited to architectures for in-vehicle systems, edge computing, process/task migration, network virtualization (SDN/NFV), network interface/messaging, data center fabric and multiple-accesses (Wi-Fi/Cellular, etc.), relation to public cloud infrastructure and cross-network application orchestration.
For additional information, please download our white paper, General Principles and Vision.
Consortium beneficiaries may include Automotive OEMs, Cloud Providers, Mobile Network Operators, Chip Manufacturers, Independent Software Vendors, Metal-as-a-Service providers, and other stakeholders in the connected car ecosystem.
Please visit the AECC membership page for more information on membership and how to join at https://aecc.org/membership/