The automotive infotainment industry is currently pressured with many challenges. Tier-one manufactures must accommodate disparate and quickly changing features for different carmakers.
Moreover, the use of a dedicated platform for each brand and model is no more viable. The use of an open platform would permit sharing costs across the whole customer spectrum, and it will allow products to grow and adapt to the user preferences, by providing the possibility of executing third-party applications. Google Android is a recent operating system, designed for mobile devices that perfectly fits to embedded devices such as those used for automotive infotainment.
In this paper we present a proof-of-concept architecture based on Google Android that combines extendibility and safety requirements and support for third-party application segregation with a safety related layer. It provides an abstraction of the vehicle functions that can be used by trusted third party applications preventing untrusted applications from accessing vehicle functions and interfere with vehicle safety.
The custom Android platform applications sit aside the automotive-specific application and supporting components through the use of an Automotive Manager application that takes care of interacting with the automotive extension of the Android platform.
It has two interfaces: one to the applications and another to the components of the platform. It is an ordinary Android application developed upon the Automotive Android SDK and signed with platform certificate. Since the manager resides outside the platform, the user can update it without help from specialized personnel (even through the internet).
The prototype has been tested on both the Android emulator, based on ARM processor, which we customized to model the typical functionalities and user interface of an lVI, and on a netbook powered by an Intel Atom processor.
To read more of this external content, download the paper from the author's online archives at Polytechnic Institute.