Vehicle Internet Appliance (VIA)


The main objective of this research project is to effectively utilize the Internet technology and services to design the Vehicle Internet Appliances (VIA) and Auto Internet-based normal services. The VIA is a novel idea to bring in and integrate the Internet capabilities with the existing auto standard networks such as the CAN (Controller Area Network) and the MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transfer) and thus make these networks Internet ready.


Multiple sub-networks (CAN, MOST and the internet protocol) have been introduced in today's car. However, these approaches have failed to adequately address and exploit the emerging Internet technologies and services. Our proposed idea is to design and implement a mobile website for each vehicle that is universally accessible (with appropriate security mechanisms) as any contemporary website. Such a website would allow one to access dynamic information about the vehicle almost real-time, such as speed, internal temperature, fuel supply, as well as live video and audio information from the automobile by utilizing the above mentioned sub-networks.


The main functions of the proposed VIA can be divided into four logical domains:

1.      User Interface Domain.

2.      Mobility Support Domain.

3.      Network Interoperability Domain and

4.      Auto Information Domain.

  The VIA Basic Architecture


  Our Approach

1.           VIA Dynamic discovery service:

In this research, we will develop architecture based on Java/Jini technology to enable VIA to support a dynamic discovery service (DDS). At the Internet Technology Laboratory (ITL), a proof-of-concept prototype of the DDS has been implemented using Java and JINI lookup services. In this project, we adopt the current prototype to implement the required auto VIA Internet services.

2.      Lookup Service (LUS):

It is a special service that keeps track of all other VIA services in the community. When a provider of a VIA service wishes to make itself available, it "publishes" its proxy by storing it in a lookup service. Clients (VIA users) can then connect to the LUS and ask what services are available. The LUS can also inform interested parties when new services appear or when services leave the community through remote events. LUS's announce their existence using the multicast announcement protocol.


3.      The in-vehicle VIA Services:

The VIA clients/users will have access to a wide range of auto related information and entertainment services that can be added and removed dynamically. The various suppliers of VIA services advertise their products through an interface that defines the type and features of their services. There are one or more LUS s running in the network waiting for the VIA service providers to register with them. A provider locates the LUS using a combination of multicast announcement and unicast response protocols. This process is known as discovery. Then the supplier sends the service proxy object to the LUS to register itself. This is the join process. For a car user there will be a number of VIA services and every supplier registers its proxy object with the LUS it discovers. There can be a number of attributes associated with each service. Some of the important attributes are Location, Service Id, Subscription Fee/Price, Period, etc. There is a HTTP server running, so that the proxy object class can be downloaded on demand when the VIA client/user makes a request to access one of the provided services. The VIA service provider, which satisfy the request, is discovered and the LUS sends the matching provider's proxy to the car VIA Soap server. The VIA server establishes a connection with the service provider and the transaction is started. In what follows, we describe two examples on how to use this architecture to provide information about car components and how to achieve on-line monitoring and protection.


Research Milestones

The research activities can be summarized by the following tasks:

1.     Development of Vehicle Internet Appliance architecture that integrates and interoperates existing vehicle networks with Internet protocols and services. This involves the design of the stand-alone module in the car with the ARM based processor and its support chips. Once that is done, we can use Verilog HDL to describe the hardware architecture. The ARM Development Suite ADS1.1 will be used to develop and evaluate the VIA hardware functionality and performance.

2.     Development of the VIA routing functions and interoperability mechanisms between standard car networks (e.g., CAN, MOST) and the Internet.

3.      Development of the Apache Soap Server running on the ARM processor.

4.      Development of VIA Internet services to achieve open and on-line access to all the physical resources inside any vehicle by accessing its own website (Auto-based URL). In this activity, we will focus on three areas: a)Entertainment, b) Collaboration, and c) Field Test Data.

   This project is sponsored by NSF Granst number 075857

   - Shalaka Satam
   - Pratik Satam
   - Jesus Pacheco
   - Helena Berkenbrock