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Transportation Networking

Your Next Car's Electronics Will Likely Be Connected By Ethernet 180

Posted by Soulskill
from the mobile-lan-party dept.
Lucas123 writes "As the sophistication of automotive electronics advances, from autonomous driving capabilities to three-dimensional cameras, the industry is in need of greater bandwidth to connect devices to a car's head unit. Enter Ethernet. Industry standards groups are working to make 100Mbps and 1Gbps Ethernet de facto standards within the industry. Currently, there are as many as nine proprietary auto networking specifications, including LIN, CAN/CAN-FD, MOST and FlexRay. FlexRay, for example, has a 10Mbps transmission rate. Making Ethernet the standard in the automotive industry could also open avenues for new apps. For example, imagine a driver getting turn-by-turn navigation while a front-seat passenger streams music from the Internet, and each back-seat passenger watches streaming videos on separate displays." This might get us into trouble when the Cylons show up.
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Your Next Car's Electronics Will Likely Be Connected By Ethernet

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  • Imagine (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:35PM (#46371925)

    "For example, imagine a driver getting turn-by-turn navigation while a front-seat passenger streams music from the Internet, and each back-seat passenger watches streaming videos on separate displays."

    Imagine!

    Except they're already doing it now on their fondleslabs.

    • Re:Imagine (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bob_super (3391281) on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:41PM (#46371985)

      Yes, it's a stupid summary, probably from someone who doesn't have a clue on what the current buses do.
      Nobody's saying "Man, I wish my CAN bus had more bandwidth so I could stream!

      And really, people, if you're going to change the bus, can't you make the new one based on plastic fiber and cheap LEDs, so that we stop having fried computers every time a cable gets bad?

      • Re:Imagine (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Friday February 28, 2014 @08:06PM (#46372163) Homepage

        What's messed up is the article itself, especially in the belief that automakers will want to switch to this. Right now Cadillac and Lincoln cars have been using fibre in their cars for the 'drive-by-wire' system for years. As well as in parts of the HUD, and rear-display systems. Beleive you and me, they want to use this, because it's reallllly expensive it if gets toasted, and they have to replace part of the harness. This isn't really a job your layman can do, compared to say pulling and restringing an entire wiring harness inside the cab. That's something anyone with a bit of patience and weekend or two can do.

      • Nobody's saying "Man, I wish my CAN bus had more bandwidth so I could stream!

        Yup, in *theory* you know that a CAN bus is used for critical automotive functionality (say engine, ABS, power steering, or even drive-by-wire, autonomous steering, etc.)
        Whereas the streaming should stay confined within the media subsystem, and both should be kept completely isolated from each other.
        So it doesn't make sense to speak about successor of CAN bus technologies and media consumption in the infoteinment system of the car.
        They are completely separate networks.
        In theory.

        In practice, you know pretty

    • Re:Imagine (Score:4, Funny)

      by ThatAblaze (1723456) on Friday February 28, 2014 @08:21PM (#46372267)

      What a fantastic idea! By switching to a well understood standard it will finally make our vehicles trivial to hack!

      Ohh.. wait.. maybe that isn't such a good thing? *shrug*

      Well I look forward to the day in which I no longer have to call a taxi, I can just take out my laptop and make one drive to my location.

      • Re:Imagine (Score:4, Insightful)

        by benjfowler (239527) on Friday February 28, 2014 @08:30PM (#46372331)

        If somebody determined to get up to mischief, they'll do it anyway, regardless of whether or not your car is networked over CAN or Ethernet.

        What you're suggesting, is that security by obscurity works, not that CAN is all that obscure...

      • Every ethernet network is trivial to hack?

      • by jrumney (197329)
        Ethernet is a well understood standard? I think very few people have had to deal with transport level details of ethernet since the advent of ethernet controller ICs in the 1980's (or maybe early 1990's). Most hackers work at higher levels which wouldn't necessarily be deployed on a network that needs guaranteed delivery timing.
    • by Immerman (2627577) on Friday February 28, 2014 @10:34PM (#46373041)

      What a horrible, horrible idea. Not the ethernet aspect, that makes sense, reinventing the wheel is usually a bad idea, and especially so when the competition has a multi-decade lead on eliminating bugs and malicious exploits and offers cheap, reliable off-the-shelf hardware. No, it's the idea of putting anything whatsoever user-accessible on the internal network I object to. If this data bus is carrying the information that tells my increasingly fly-by-wire care to apply the brakes or turn right to avoid oncomming semis then all it takes is one misbehaving flappy-bird clone spamming the network at the wrong moment to kill me, to say nothing of malicious attacks. There's absolutely no reason *anything* but internal systems communication should be on that network. Period. If you want an media network fine, but that can probably be provided far more cheaply and conveniently by including an airgapped $10 wireless hub with a 10' range that can only talk directly to things like the steering-wheel mounted media controls and the dashboard LCD/windshield HUD. And maybe a cellular modem. You're in a pretty decent approximation of a Faraday cage, so non-malicious outside interference should be minimal, and any communication with the mission-critical network should be heavily firewalled, at an absolute minimum. Not much reason to allow bi-directional communication at all - "spam" the wireless network with multicast up-to-the-second system and diagnostc data and you're good, at 0.01% of total bandwidth. No reason for anything not physically connected to be able to say a %$#@!* thing to the mission-critical components. If ever there was a non-hyperbolic use of the term "mission critical", maintaining control of a car is it.

      * %$#@! - when no variation of "fuck" is strong enough. Bonus points if you can pronounce it. Q-Bert did, but then he had that hose-nose to work with.

      • by fluffy99 (870997)

        There are multiple busses in vehicles already, separated by function. Engine controls are usually on a higher speed can bus, stuff like the speedo and body (lights, doors, etc) on a low speed can bus. I can see adding a third bus for entertainment type stuff such as the radio sat nav, wireless hotspot etc.

    • Do not want. All this complexity of modern cars makes me appreciate my classic car (no computers at all) more and more.

  • What?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by plebeian (910665) on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:37PM (#46371941)
    Lucas123 wants to stream audio and video across the same switches as his throttle by wire?????, I say we sell tickets to this event!
    • Re:What?? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by amorsen (7485) <benny+slashdot@amorsen.dk> on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:40PM (#46371969)

      Mixing entertainment systems and critical safety systems on the same bus is common already. The only change is that with ethernet you get decent bandwidth and well-understood QoS.

      • Mixing entertainment systems and critical safety systems on the same bus is common already. The only change is that with ethernet you get decent bandwidth and well-understood QoS.

        QoS is OSI level 7. Ethernet is OSI level 1. There is no reason to assume that TCP/IP or QoS will be standardized upon or even used at all here.

        Also, QoS is a total dog if you are trying to employ it on consumer grade equipment. At least, that's been my experience with numerous linksys, d-link, and netgear devices. I'm kind of down on QoS as a result. Great idea, ruined by the implementation that most consumers will ever see.

        • You may want to review your OSI model. I don't remember QoS, but layer 1 is the physical medium. Ethernet is layer 2.

          • Layer 7 is application layer, which is indeed where QoS sits (it deals with the source of the data).
            Ethernet, as in 802.3 is indeed layer 2, but wikipedia confirms: its more than just that. It includes the physical layer too.

          • You may want to review your OSI model. I don't remember QoS, but layer 1 is the physical medium. Ethernet is layer 2.

            And Diffserv operates at layer 3, assuming TCP/IP. QoS definitely does not take place only or even primarily at layer 7.

            • by skids (119237)

              It's called 802.1p, a mechanism for QoS tagging in a dot1q tagged frame.

              That said, this move could give new meaning to the second C in CSMA/CD.

        • by Jeremi (14640)

          Also, QoS is a total dog if you are trying to employ it on consumer grade equipment. At least, that's been my experience with numerous linksys, d-link, and netgear devices. I'm kind of down on QoS as a result.

          Automobile manufacturers are considering using AVB [wikipedia.org] as the mechanism [avnu.org] by which they get their quality-of-service guarantees -- basically re-using the audio/video bandwidth-reservation protocols as a way to reserve bandwidth for their command signaling data.

          Whether or not this is a good idea I will leave as an exercise to the reader; but at least it is not relying on your father's broken QoS system.

        • by amorsen (7485)

          There is no reason to assume that TCP/IP or QoS will be standardized upon or even used at all here.

          There is every reason to assume that. The car manufacturers are working hard not just to standardize on IPv6 in general, but in fact to have a common approach to such things as address allocation. QoS will be much easier to handle with ethernet, not because it is less complex but because the code is already written and widely deployed.

          Also, QoS is a total dog if you are trying to employ it on consumer grade equipment.

          I must admit that I have never tried to use QoS on ethernet with consumer grade equipment. Why would you want to though? Generally you have precisely one switch at home, and t

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by plebeian (910665)
        As a systems/network administrator I must say that If you are relying on general purpose wan connection for life or death services you are doing it wrong. Where I work we physically segment everything that is truly critical. The fire and alarm systems have multiple redundant connections including two that are 100% separate from our data network. The closest thing we have to a critical system running on a general purpose network is the use of SIP to provide connections from our phones to the PBX and that
        • by amorsen (7485)

          I believe they will segment mission critical systems to a dedicate physical bus with redundant links in any proposed in car network.

          I will be surprised if they do that. It would make sense, but since they do not do that today, why should they suddenly start doing so?

      • by putaro (235078)

        Just because it's done doesn't make it a good idea.

  • They should just make it Micro USB. Then you can charge your electric car and transfer data with the same cable. Just like a phone. I don't want to have to buy new cables just so I can charge my car.
    • by Arker (91948)
      You know, that's a great idea, except for how incredibly long it would take to charge your car!
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Bah, just use one of the 2.1A USB things instead of the 1A USB things and it'll be fine, right? ;-)

  • The SAE has been talking about this for years. This article is from 2012:

    http://articles.sae.org/11142/ [sae.org]

    I think the BMW 7 series has used ethernet for the infotainment systems for a while now.

    • Ethernet seems like the wrong system to be using for anything where the configuration is fairly static and reliability is at a premium. You really want your steering wheel traffic hitting the windshield wipers because their NIC blew up and started claiming every MAC address as their own?

      You can fix this stuff on enterprise networks with really expensive switches with L2 authentication / sticky MACs, STP, etc-- but that seems like the definition of "overengineered".

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Ethernet seems like the wrong system to be using for anything where the configuration is fairly static and reliability is at a premium. You really want your steering wheel traffic hitting the windshield wipers because their NIC blew up and started claiming every MAC address as their own?

        What makes you think this can't happen with CAN bus?

        • by epyT-R (613989)

          It wont' happen if you use a couple of switches and some relays for the wipers instead, and mechanics for the wheel/accel/brake etc....a lot cheaper too.

          • by fluffy99 (870997)

            It wont' happen if you use a couple of switches and some relays for the wipers instead, and mechanics for the wheel/accel/brake etc....a lot cheaper too.

            But then you can't have a smart car with a moisture sensor and rain detector to automagically turn the wipers on for you. Although, I have gotten spoiled by not having to remember to turn on/off the headlights. Same deal for interior lights, - you could go with the old school mechanical switches but it is nice to have them turn on at the appropriate times and turn them selves off if your toddler left the light on and you didn't notice.

            Brakes and steering are still mechanical, btw.

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        Ethernet = several decades of bug-fixes against everything malicious SOBs can throw at it, included in all but the cheapest off-the-shelf networking hardware. CAN, etc = ???.

        Reinventing the wheel is usually a bad idea unless you're shooting for something fundamentally different than anything that has been attempted before.

  • IPV4. bets?

    • by decsnake (6658)

      nah, IPX

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        nah, IPX

        (slaps forehead) Of course!

      • by swb (14022)

        Even though we're all supposed to believe IPX was inferior to IP, I still think the addressing scheme has some advantages over IPv4.

        It's a larger address space, with 32 bits of network addressing and 48 bits of node addressing using the MAC address by default, and there was no need for DHCP as clients could easily autoconfig node addresses by listening to the wire.

        Assuming IP had adopted this addressing scheme, I sometimes wonder how many man-hours and dollars would have been saved over the years from the e

    • Irrelevant on a private network.

    • by grim4593 (947789)
      Not a chance! With the advent of car to car networking and internet accessibility every component in your car will have its own internet facing IPV6 address!
      Imagine the possibilities: You could open your trunk from anywhere in the world, you could preheat the car before your flight even lands, you could update your license plate in real time!
  • by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Friday February 28, 2014 @08:14PM (#46372223)
    This article is about the L1 PHY layer, not the L2 Data Link layer. There is no reason to assume this means your car will be using TCP/IP. The diagram in TFA clearly indicates that the PHY layer being discussed here is independent of the protocol.

    In fact, the included diagram seems to indicate broadcom is pitching some kind of adapter device which would enable inclusion of the new L1 layer with no changes whatsoever to the programming of the devices on either end. One would hope that such a thing would be only considered a stop-gap measure while they reworked their components to use the new bus natively in future models. History clearly shows that such adapters tend to be inefficient.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      This article is about the L1 PHY layer, not the L2 Data Link layer. There is no reason to assume this means your car will be using TCP/IP. The diagram in TFA clearly indicates that the PHY layer being discussed here is independent of the protocol.

      There's every reason to suspect that TCP/IP will be used for audio/video modules. There's no particular benefit to using anything else; no matter what, crypto is going to have to be a part of it.

      • by jrumney (197329)

        There's every reason to suspect that TCP/IP will be used for audio/video modules. There's no particular benefit to using anything else

        Except that using protocols that are designed for audio and video instead of general IP traffic ensures that you see/hear a glitch free stream without waiting for buffering before you start playback every time.

        • Funny, with digital TV, any kind of it including over-the-air, you have to wait a few seconds for buffering. (or waiting for the next full frame and whatever, I don't know in great detail and accuracy)
          It was quite noticeable when it coexisted with analog TV and channel switching was instantaneous on that one.

          Also the parent (or grand-parent) forgot about UDP/IP, to niptick a bit.

          • by jrumney (197329)
            MPEG video streams are slow to start because not every frame is a full frame. There are also latencies everywhere within the transmission system of digital broadcasts that adds up to a couple of seconds delay when compared side by side with analog broadcasts. But the additional buffering required to get smooth playback on a shared TCP connection would be multiples of that delay.
      • by TheSync (5291)

        The article mentions Parrot's Ethernet AVB [wikipedia.org] connected systems. The carriage of audio/video media over AVB has been standardized by the AVB Transport Protocol in IEEE 1722 [ieee.org], and yes, it is just Ethernet, no IP.

        The theory is that your car is a LAN, and does not need to have Layer 3.

  • imagine a driver getting turn-by-turn navigation while a front-seat passenger streams music from the Internet, and each back-seat passenger watches streaming videos on separate displays.

    Just because there's an internal network for the car's electronics doesn't mean there's any internet connection (and there'd better not be).

    • imagine a driver getting turn-by-turn navigation while a front-seat passenger streams music from the Internet, and each back-seat passenger watches streaming videos on separate displays.

      Just because there's an internal network for the car's electronics doesn't mean there's any internet connection (and there'd better not be).

      Just the possibility of playing NetWars on my car's intranet has me all in a tizzy.

    • But there will be. Because some marketing genius will convince the higher-ups that it will save $50 per car on the implementation of On-Star.

      I am still waiting for the great-On-Star-Hack-megaJam. We should make it easier for someone to shutdown half the US cars in one mouse-click...

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Friday February 28, 2014 @08:30PM (#46372315)

    and be locked into the poor build in radio system that can't be upgraded to a better 3rd part one.

    • by jrumney (197329)
      If its standardized instead of the mess of proprietary buses we have now, it will reopen the possibility of replacing components.
  • What about AVC-LAN (what Toyota uses)?

    Not that I would suggest it has the bandwidth of ethernet!

    • by jrumney (197329)
      AVC-LAN is even slower than CAN. Its basically a remote control bus for the A/V components to send commands to each other over. Actual audio and video is taking a different route (probably analog).
  • by dave562 (969951) on Friday February 28, 2014 @09:10PM (#46372601) Journal

    Need teh NATz for my car!

  • ... watch their streaming video on their phones and tablets. That way, they can carry their downloaded content with them away from the car.

    Built-in entertainment systems are stuck in the vehicle. And unless you have a service that allows it, they require additional service plans for those devices. A phone/tablet needs (for longer trips) a USB power port. A 12 volt port with suitable adapter does just fine.

    • The way I'd do it would be a file server with 1TB+ hard drive, that'd be better than a puny 16GB flash per tablet (assuming that tablet can access file shares on a network, which probably leaves Apple stuff out)
      USB power jacks built-in directly to the car with the latest "Power Delivery" specifications would be nice as well, no need for 12V outlets (round? cigar plug?).

      Or you know, passengers could sleep, watch the scenery, talk to each other.

  • by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Friday February 28, 2014 @09:24PM (#46372669)
    Will they provide the paperclip to reset my car when it hangs up?
  • What is wrong with you people? Can't you just read a book or magazine or sleep if you aren't driving? Look out the window? Count the blue cars? An hour in solitary and you all will be curled in a ball moaning for mommy.

    • by Firethorn (177587)

      Can't you just read a book or magazine or sleep if you aren't driving?

      Sometimes. Sometimes it makes me nauseous. Looking out the window only works for so long.

  • Ethernet is notoriously susceptible to the emp from a close lighting strike. If you don't think so, just work in the cable industry for a while. After every serious lighting storm we will have several modems that appear fine except the ethernet is blown. It is usually the only thing burned out in the house. Often the rf side is still working fine and sending information back to the management system. It will suck when you have to go into a parts store and say gimme a box of ethernet chips for my car.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday February 28, 2014 @10:20PM (#46372977) Homepage

    For example, imagine a driver getting turn-by-turn navigation while a front-seat passenger streams music from the Internet, and each back-seat passenger watches streaming videos on separate displays.

    Now imagine how much the data plan for your car is going to cost you. You'll be locked into a plan with the car company and pay through the nose.

    No thanks. I have a dedicated GPS, an MP3 player I can connect to my car stereo, and most everybody has portable devices which can play video already.

    Now get off my damned lawn, because I don't want or need a car which is connected to the interwebs.

    • Car companies are carriers now?
      I find this stuff unlikely.
      More likely, you change the car's nav and entertainment system's SIM card if you want to change cellular provider and if you don't want one, don't have any.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        More likely, you change the car's nav and entertainment system's SIM card if you want to change cellular provider and if you don't want one, don't have any.

        I have seen little evidence of car companies being willing to do such things in the things they make.

        Like every other company, they want lock in, monetization, and a big piece of the action of ongoing revenue.

        I find it hard to believe the won't try to force you into buying from them. They're not going to make things they aren't going to profit from, bec

  • News flash; we are coming to the end of the petrochemical age. We are very much at peak oil, and the way down will only see rising fuel costs. Buying a Hybrid may be more economic and efficient, but ultimately our whole way of life will be challenged. Get used to the idea that soon we will not have the pervasive availability of cheap fuel. Get on your bike.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday February 28, 2014 @10:35PM (#46373043) Homepage Journal

    As long as I don't have to make my own cables.

    One of the longest days of my life was many years ago when I told a friend I could wire up his little storefront business if he bought a spool of Cat5 and a bunch of connectors.

    I sat there with that crimping tool and my fumblefingers and invented entire new categories of curse words. A friend from a local Army base came by and for a few slices of pizza and a six-pack he knocked out those cables like nothing.

    It was a humbling experience. Which I probably should not have shared here on Slashdot because you guys were probably all making your own ethernet cables since your were like five years old.

    • by dbIII (701233)

      you guys were probably all making your own ethernet cables since your were like five years old.

      We're not all teenage fans of Justine Beaver here. It's not so long since co-ax was used for ethernet.

      • by fwc (168330)
        I was recently in Weird Stuff Warehouse in Sunnyvale. I like to walk through the store when I'm in the area just for the walk down memory lane... They have used computer stuff for sale from, well, pretty much the last thirty or so years of computer history.

        At one spot in the store, I stopped and picked up a device I hadn't seen for years, and thankfully haven't had to touch one for much longer than that. And then realized that many of my younger networking peers wouldn't have a clue what the heck it wa

  • Doesn't the Airbus A380 have a pile of ethernet cables running all over the thing?
  • I for one, was quite terrified after looking over CAN-BUS and similar post ODBC-II standards that the shitheads who design car electronics would start using modified versions of USB 2/3 for automotive communication.

    Seriously look over any automotive electronics spec and you can smell the steaming pile of, "I want to be guaranteed easy employment another 10 years" shit from a mile away. I wish engineering projects included more ethics audits that resulting in contractors and employees getting fired, black b
  • Is this being proposed as a replacement for the engine-control bus, like the CAN-bus ? Do we really want (relatively high-bandwidth) entertainment shizzle to be on the same bus/network as the as all the engine sensors, actuators and controllers etc. ? Fine if it's just some control signals, like 'volume up', 'play', 'next', 'accept incoming call' .. whatever. But wouldn't it make much more sense to use a separate good-old ethernet cable, or even WiFi to for the actual media devices and the internet. If it's
  • Ethernet is already in widespread use in vehicles. The Tesla already uses Ethernet for almost everything mentioned in the article including real time connectivity to the internet for turn by turn directions, streaming music, diagnostics and more. It also uses WiFi for things like tire pressure sensors. Tesla is just one example; many luxury vehicles use WiFi for their tire pressure sensors. Yet another standard for automotive cabling and the use of existing protocols is common sense and hardly a major break

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