Kuksa and APPSTACLE bring open source software development to the automotive industry

Bringing open source principles to the automotive industry would allow break-down of silos and increase flexibility of solutions across the whole automotive eco-system. This is one key goal for the ITEA3 APPSTACLE consortium. One important element is the recently established Eclipse KUKSA open source project, which unifies technologies across the vehicle, IoT, cloud and security domains. The APPSTACLE community now invites researchers and developers to explore and contribute to KUKSA!

Appstacle consortium
Representatives of the APPSTACLE consortium, comprising of 19 industry and academia organizations in Europe: including Eclipse Foundation Europe GmbH, Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and Bosch Software Innovations GmbH from Germany, Eindhoven University of Technology and NXP Semiconductors from Netherlands, Ericsson and University of Oulu from Finland, and KoçSistem from Turkey.
Roberto Morabito

Experienced Researcher

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The automotive industry has evolved quite radically since a few decades ago, when driver experience was all about vehicle aesthetic, engine, and ergonomics, without any interaction with the outside world. Nowadays, even a single vehicle is like a small ecosystem, characterized by numerous components and highly sophisticated systems interacting with each other to ensure safe driving and a great quality of experience. Network connectivity plays a key role in this ecosystem, as it represents the enabling factor for establishing communication between vehicles or other entities like pedestrians, Road Side Units (RSU), and data centers.

The technological growth of the automotive sector is also driven by the progress and the ever-increasing optimization of software solutions specifically dedicated to the automotive domain. The software programs running in a vehicle's equipment can be seen as the "lifeblood" of the vehicle itself - the amount of source code in most advanced cars is more than 200 million Line Of Codes (LOC), and set to increase for the foreseeable future! This is mainly due to the wide set of application and services offered in modern vehicles, including location, media and driving assistance software.

The majority of automotive software development is currently made in-house by individual carmakers or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), with little to no openness towards the Open Source world. This approach cannot meet the long-term challenges of the industry. The main goal of the ITEA 3 APPSTACLE project is to ensure that the automotive industry can take advantage of open source and break away from dependency on proprietary solutions.

Now we are very pleased to present a major step: the open source project Eclipse KUKSA!

It started with the aim to deploy an open and secure vehicle-to-cloud platform connecting a wide range of cars and transport vehicles to the cloud via open in-car and internet connections, taking advantage of 5G or alternative connectivity solutions. It then evolved to establishing a software development and deployment environment and create an open ecosystem taking into account the specific quality requirements of the automotive industry.

The ECLIPSE KUKSA project

The idea of an open-source project derives from the APPSTACLE goal to overcome the lack of open technologies in current automotive systems. Today, car manufacturers or OEMs can customize only single automotive ecosystem's components, for example in-vehicle platforms or cloud applications, which leads to the development of silos-based architectures lacking in interoperability and extension flexibility.

KUKSA aims to fill the gap by providing a complete and functional open source platform that allows common development initiatives across suppliers, OEMs, tooling enterprises, and developers. The approach has several benefits: easier development of full-connected vehicle ecosystems, adding value to the open source community in the automotive context, and boosting a more rapid and qualitative development.

There is also the possibility to open the market to external applications and service providers who can easily integrate functionality through the use of open source software. KUKSA seeks to become a basis for building customized, proprietary, and open source systems, but is not trying to reinvent anything that already exists. The idea is to use and foster existing open source solutions supplemented by specific KUKSA components.

Eclipse KUKSA consists of three major platforms. They are characterized by a comprehensive software environment that includes frameworks and technologies for deploying the in-vehicle platform, the cloud platform, and an applications' integrated development environment IDE, shown in the figure below. The complete tooling stack includes network services enablers that allow Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Cloud (V2C) connectivity, by taking advantage of in-car and internet connections.


The KUKSA ecosystem eases deployment, in a consistent software environment, of in-vehicle and cloud applications. Applications' development infrastructure, maintenance approaches, security, over-the-air (OTA) update and upgrade management are also managed by the same ecosystem. Another key feature of KUKSA is the capability of collecting, storing, and analyzing vehicle data in the cloud. The possibility to process these data can become very relevant for critical information to the vehicle, and consequently take benefit of functionality such as improved routing, software configuration updates, etc.

As you can see, KUKSA has very ambitious goals and therefore the entire APPSTACLE community invites everyone with an interest in the automotive domain to contribute to KUKSA!

For further information and details on the APPSTACLE and KUKSA projects, please visit the following links:


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Roberto Morabito
Roberto Morabito is an Experienced Researcher with the IoT technologies research team at Ericsson Research in Finland.
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