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 spanning intelligent driving, improved safety, increased efficiency and greater reliability.
- Academia and 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); Open Edge Computing, among others
- Mobile Network Equipment Providers
- Mobile Network Operators
- Policy and Standards Groups
- Teir 1 Suppliers
The consortium was formed because we see that the current deployments, business models and possibly the network architecture do not support the connectivity, communications and big data issues challenging the automotive industry, traditionally reserved for the high-end vehicle segment that are evolving to include all types of vehicles. By bringing together all of the leaders within the connected vehicle ecosystem, the consortium can address these automotive technology challenges with the industry’s wireless, mobile and technology standards and technical communities.
On Aug. 10, 2017, DENSO Corporation, Ericsson, Intel Corporation, Nippon Telegraph, and Telephone Corporation (NTT), NTT DOCOMO, INC., Toyota InfoTechnology Center Co., Ltd., and Toyota Motor Corporation announced the formation of the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium.
On Feb. 22, 2018, the AECC officially launched 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.
On March 26, 2018, Dell EMC announced it had joined the AECC:
The shared goal is to establish an open, global technology framework designed to support the automotive technology ecosystem as all vehicles become connected requiring a huge amount of data to be exchanged between vehicles and clouds in a fast, safe, reliable and cost-effective way
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 vehicular technology use cases and current and anticipated system constraints to 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 take advantage of next-generation mobile networks and integrating 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.
The number of vehicles connecting to data, communication networks, and the cloud is no longer restricted to high-end luxury vehicles. The planned work products of the consortium 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 the consortium brings together all the players involved within the ecosystem to help vehiclery the 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 coming big data explosion and have the ability to connect with a more accessible communication structure. Additionally, the ecosystem will need to address harmonization among multiple systems, including vehicles, networks, and cloud servers, as well as diverse latency Some applications, such as high definition (HD) map creation and machine learning, don’t require low latency communication to collect data. While this does not mean there isn’t 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 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 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. With future vehicles expected to transmit and produce up to 30 terabytes of data each day, a communication infrastructure that drops a signal or provider that charges according to a data plan will no longer be feasible moving forward.
An open-standards framework will also support new uses cases and services that allow for more substantial amounts of vehicle data to be sent to the cloud, enabling timely collaboration with mobile, traffic, mapping, and communication networks. As a result, 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 cloud-based information and communications framework that connects hardware, software, and applications, enabling high-quality vehicle control, services, and experiences. Within the connected vehicle ecosystem, the local data center closest to the vehicles on the road (i.e., the edge) manage each vehicle’s computing needs to complete a task. Then, the local data center submits the vehicle’s relevant data to a centralized data center for more advanced analysis.
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, e., the edge, will soon overwhelm cloud computing and communications infrastructure resources. As all vehicles become connected, the issue becomes how to send massive streams of data back to a central analytics framework over multiple network nodes. Add to this the challenge that data will be coming from multiple locations around the world simultaneously – all within low-bandwidth environments.
For many applications, the connected vehicle data computation and analysis close to the edge are critical — allowing for more efficient and faster decision-making locally, while also allowing the right data to transport to a central location for analytics. For the future of the connected vehicle ecosystem to succeed, it’s not a question of whether to perform edge processing principles — the problem is how to ensure vehicle-centric requirements and needs are met. Data gravity, latency, costs, and government regulations all drive decisions about where to perform processing. The question is if industry standards, protocols, and processes will be designed to address critical vehicle technology requirements and can be implemented across the board as new connected vehicle communications and data infrastructures begin to take shape.
- The consortium brings 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.
- The consortium will focus on increasing network capacity to accommodate automotive big data in a reasonable manner between vehicles and the cloud using edge computing and a more efficient network design.
The founding companies invite relevant global technology leaders to join the AECC to help define requirements and develop use cases for emerging mobile devices with a particular focus on the automotive industry. 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 the members.
AECC has developed a white paper 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 will outline open standards approaches for vehicular technology adoption and integration designed to meet the unique needs of the connected vehicle ecosystem. The white paper will address an expanding set of connected vehicle standards, such as wireless, big data, and cloud, as they apply to vehicle-centric technologies, including distributed, layered and edge computing; public and private clouds; telecommunication networks and mobile and related vehicular technologies.
The AECC will develop 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 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.
Define use cases and requirements of connected services with particular focus on the flow of big data and its processing in a timely fashion, with an inherent scale-out nature between clouds and mobile devices. These applications may include cloud-based mobility enhancements such as cooperative learning, high-resolution map creation/delivery, and remote diagnostic maintenance.
Formulate a roadmap strategy, from technology development to market introduction.
Identify relevant communities for standardization and open source software development, and support these with input for use cases and requirements, as well as contribute to realization activities.
Address efficiency issues in resource utilization from the viewpoints of communication bandwidth, computational power, and storage capacity. Determine the best way to meet various requirements by appropriate parameter settings with a small impact as possible on system architecture complexity. The solution may include, but not be limited to; 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.
Automotive OEMs, Cloud Providers, Mobile Network Operators, Chip Manufacturers, Independent Software Vendors, MaaS providers, etc.
All companies interested in the connected and autonomous vehicle ecosystem are encouraged to become members. Three AECC membership levels, Sponsor, Promoter, and Affiliate, are open to companies across any business vertical, including technology, networking, telecommunications, automotive, Internet of Things and more.
Members receive the opportunity to become involved in various membership initiatives, workgroups, and member-only meetings.
For a full list of member benefits, visit https://aecc.org/membership/