Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-3503
2000-12-04

Internet-based Vehicle Communication Network 2000-01-3503

A number of different data networks have been implemented for electronic control unit communication in vehicles to date. Each network serves a particular need, such as low-cost networking of cab components or high-speed networking of powertrain components. Although each communication network performs its original purpose, the different communication networks, especially those using hardware-based messaging protocols, are expensive to integrate for information sharing and are not readily upgradeable with new messages. This is complicated by the growing number of different communication networks for vehicles, often driven by OEM and supplier technology consortiums rather than by end-user requirements. The result is added vehicle-support costs for the OEM, dealership and customer to maintain multiple networks.
The application of a world-wide internet-based messaging protocol standard, eXtensible Markup Language (XML), will be explored as an easily-integrated and field-upgradeable messaging protocol usable for a wide variety of vehicle networking applications. The advantages are unified rather than disparate access to all vehicle component information, software rather than hardware extension of vehicle system performance, and lower support costs by using globally-available internet-based technology rather than proprietary custom support systems. This translates into opportunities such as:
  • Quicker drop-off of shipments having RF tags that transmit their ID to a yard computer system when delivered, causing an internet-based invoicing process to be initiated without the need for a clerical staff at either the shipper or the receiver.
  • An automobile computer system that accesses a service center chain's schedule while in transit, then suggests to the driver the best times and nearest locations to repair the automobile component.
  • A sensor or a switch that instead of sending an analog signal or closing a circuit, broadcasts an Internet message routable across many different types of hardware networks.
EXtensible Markup Language has been implemented in many different industries. For the purposes of this paper and for demonstration at this conference, we will examine the use of XML in vehicle communication networking.

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