W3C’s Automotive activity is comprised of a Business Group and Working Group. The Business Group acts as an incubator for exploring areas of potential standardization and the Working Group is rigidly chartered for delivering specific standards.
The primary goal for this work is to create a rich on-board application ecosystem that can exist across manufacturers. By defining services we make it possible for applications to be in HTML5, Qt, Java (Android) or essentially any programming platform. Participants include auto manufacturers, tier ones, tech companies, solution providers, researchers, telematics services providers and fleet managers. Perspectives from a diverse set of stakeholders better ensures the resulting solutions address their myriad of needs.
Presently the W3C Automotive Working Group is finalizing the Vehicle Information Service Specification (VISS) and progressing on the Member Submission made by the Volkswagen Group, Volkswagen Infotainment Web Interface (ViWi). ViWi is being referred as RESTful Service Interface (RSI) within the W3C Auto group which is examining how to converge the two approaches.
VISS has reached Candidate Recommendation (CR) in the W3C standards process. At this point the specification is expected to be mature and in order to leave CR must have an accompanying test suite to ensure interoperability and implementation reports demonstrating feasibility. We have a test suite and several implementation reports with expressed intention from at least two auto manufacturers of putting it into production vehicles. In addition to implementations being done by OEM and Tier 1s, there is an IoT proof of concept done by ETRI and Samsung for OCF.
ViWi is in production vehicles with the plan of being rolled out across VW Groups’ brands. With multiple brands each with a different architecture, VW Group is a microcosm of the auto industry. They want to be able to create applications that run across all their brands and for a common application platform to exist for the industry as a whole so as to be able to attract content providers to create applications. In addition to vehicle signals, ViWi also has modules using the same paradigm for media library and services, mixer and content delivery network (CDN). Using the same approach a researcher has presented a draft for rudimentary navigation/location based services capabilities and we are talking with stakeholders to develop a more robust solution. Other candidate modules are under discussion.
In addition to being able to create applications with these standards interacting with the operator and passengers, there are multiple use cases these specifications enable that require no human interaction including notably data sampling and edge computing. This is garnering interest from OEMs, fleet managers, telematics service providers, regulators and others.
In May 2018 we launched a task force to look at the broader automotive big data picture. The goal of this task force is to identify the various needs, how W3C VISS/RSI and other standards from W3C and elsewhere fit in, perform a gap analysis and work on solutions for the remaining components.
Previously we had been in communication and received a presentation from some participants (Daimler and PSA) of the Extended Vehicle and Neutral Server effort at ISO. We have been in more communication with the organizers of Neutral Vehicle project that aims to take that work further, producing open source proof of concept systems. We are also coordinating with Sensoris and seek to at least work on a data mapping between the two approaches.
There will be other potential collaborations including but not limited to W3C WebAppSec and WebAuthN Working Groups, W3C Privacy Interest Group, a proposed cybersecurity research group at MIT where W3C is headquartered, nearby US DOT Volpe, Genivi and AutoISAC.
There have only been a few task force teleconferences so far, first call was a review of potential focus areas. Several, such as data transmission leveraging W3C EXI, were deemed out of scope at least for the time being. The topics being taken up initially are ontology work undertaken by a researcher at EURECOM/Institut
Telecom in collaboration with BMW, capturing consent based on models being developed by Caruso and Fraunhofer, and data contracts based on direction from Geotab.
The ontology work is being applied to the data model used by VISS. This metadata enables better data management, governance, analytics and for both developers and AI to disseminate information.
Demonstrable and enforceable user consent of information is paramount to sound privacy protection when sharing information with designated third parties and required by law in the EU (GDPR compliance).
Data contracts are necessary because otherwise data can be meaningless without knowing how it was collected. For instance sampling speed at one minute intervals can miss rapid acceleration and hard breaking events. A data contract is necessary to convey the methodologies used to handle peaks, troughs, event listeners and the like when sampling data.
More areas have been identified for further exploration. Participants are presenting solutions to these problems and will be making proposals for potential standards. Interested parties are encouraged to get involved in the W3C Automotive WebPlatfom Business Group.