Various embedded equipments are becoming more and more numerous inside transport vehicles. Apart from mandatory devices such as the digital tachograph, different other equipments are available such as radio communication systems (GSM / GPRS), localisation devices (GPS), and a variety of miscellaneous tools and equipments for specific needs (data loggers, PC tablet, cameras, mobile phones, On-board computers, etc.).
However, in practice there is a sub optimal and reduced exploitation of theses technologies due to selective and closed hardware and software interfaces. Usually equipments have very limited sharing of their hardware resources (communication interfaces, embedded sensors, etc.) with each others.
This results in services duplication, void redundancy of system features and sub-optimal utilization of available hardware and software resources.
To address this problem and allow rationalization of investments, C2A project aims to develop a generic technology for interoperability ("intelligent communicating bus") allowing communication and resource sharing between embedded devices in the vehicle.
The project is structured around two main actions:
- R&D action consisting of design, development and implementation of an embedded system prototype allowing connection and automatic recognition of a wide range of peripheral devices.
- A dissemination action which objective is to implement a structured communication involving both ICT services companies and transport and logistics operators around the R&D work in the project.
Two Proof-Of-Concept prototypes were developed in 2010. They illustrate some of the innovative features of the system such us the automatic recognition of peripherals, the continuous monitoring of the status of available resources and the activation of simple services based on the gathered data.
Theses prototypes were slightly enhanced and their experimentation showed that the core architecture needs to be redesigned in a more flexible way. The new architecture should allows for a true dynamic instantiation and scalable management of peripherals, signals and services.
New system architecture was proposed and a first implementation of the core functionalities implemented using development libraries well-suited for dynamic instantiation and effective inter-process communication.
The final objective is to supply an open reference implementation of the C2A concept through a demonstrator covering a wide range of peripherals and services.
Added Value for Companies
C2A is a technological innovation which will enable optimized use of existing equipments inside transport vehicles. The ICT companies can develop new features and services by interfacing their solutions to the C2A system and accessing an extended data set. They could also implement their own services on top of C2A architecture or even integrate the C2A building blocks into their own solutions. Companies and operators of transport and logistics field can deploy these new services and benefit from a flexible system well tailored to their needs but also easily adaptable and extensible.