Using Ethernet or a Wireless Harness and Named Data Networking in Autonomous Tractor-Trailer Communication 2023-01-0924
Autonomous truck and trailer configurations face challenges when operating in reverse due to the lack of sensing on the trailer. It is anticipated that sensor packages will be installed on existing trailers to extend autonomous operations while operating in reverse in uncontrolled environments, like a customer's loading dock. Power Line Communication (PLC) between the trailer and the tractor cannot support high bandwidth and low latency communication. This paper explores the impact of using Ethernet or a wireless medium for commercial trailer-tractor communication on the lifecycle and operation of trailer electronic control units (ECUs) from a Systems Engineering perspective to address system requirements, integration, and security. Additionally, content-based and host-based networking approaches for in-vehicle communication, such as Named Data Networking (NDN) and IP-based networking are compared. Implementation, testing and evaluation of prototype trailer ECU communication with the tractor ECUs over Ethernet is shown by transmitting different data types simultaneously. The implementation is tested with two networking approaches, Named Data Networking, and Data Distribution Service (DDS) and the test indicated that NDN over TCP is an efficient approach that is capable of meeting automotive communication requirements. Using Ethernet or a wireless harness and NDN for commercial trailer Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) ECU provides adequate resources for the operation of autonomous trucks and the expansion of its capabilities, and at the same time significantly reduces the complexities compared to when new features are added to legacy communication systems. Using a wireless medium for tractor-trailer communication will bring new cybersecurity challenges and requirements which requires new development and lifecycle considerations.