Saturday, October 13, 2007

Software Engineering for Automotive Systems - Starting with Car Talk

Nowadays, it is notorious that our cars have more functionality that the previous ones. If you imagine a Fusca 66 and BMW 2006 it is not hard to see it. A strong component of this change is the amount of software presents in the new cars. The Institute (Vol. 31, No. 01, March 2007) presented an important essay about this topic. It essay was based on a new family of four IEEE standards is ensuring among others functionality that cars and roadside can communicate with each other. In general, the researchers believe that these standards could do for cars and vehicles what the IEEE 802.11 wireless standards have done for laptops and networking. The IEEE 1609 suite of WAVE Communications standards, developed for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), covers the underlying architecture for WAVE (Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments). Three of the standards (IEEE Std. 1609.1, 1609.2, 1609.4) in the suite have been approved for trial use, and one is pending (IEEE Std. 1609.3). The standards cover since methods of securing WAVE messages, management of simultaneous data streams, until control and service channels. In the practice, according to Lee Armstrong editor of the IEEE Stds, 1609.1, 3, and 4., the WAVE system can do driving safer and easier since WAVE-equipped cars will transmit information to other cars and to roadside transceivers about their location, speed, acceleration, brake status, among others. In this way, we can imagine these cars connected with traffic lights and roads facilitating and improving our lives. The currents scenario is that tests involving the WAVE system are scheduled to start soon, electronic manufacturers are prototyping WAVE radios, and the auto industry is developing ways to build the radios and their antennas into cars. The forecast is to see cars with WAVE may come off the assembly line in about 2011.

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