Complex Networks: In-Vehicle ITS Software Architecture

CISR is designing a robust system architecture for In-Vehicle Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS’s). These designs extend architectures that are emerging based on research results and standards developments. The extensions reduce the complexity of the system, provide more fault-tolerant systems, and improve the predictability of the behavior of the end product. Two aspects of the architecture that have been considered so far are adaptive in-vehicle ITS core and the layered communication architecture.

In-vehicle ITS’s face significant hurdles in terms of safety and driver acceptance. In fact, there is significant concern that these systems may actually make the driving environment more dangerous. To avoid this problem, CAS's must adapt to a driver's style and limitations. Fortunately, given a robust architecture, a significant portion of this adaptive capability can be realized without additional sensors and with the inclusion of relatively simple hardware.

However, as ITS’s evolve from simple systems handling discrete tasks to adaptive, complex systems managing interrelated driving tasks, the risk of failure from hidden causes greatly increases. The successful implementation of such a complex system depends upon a robust software architecture. Most of the difficulty in implementing the system arises from interconnections between the components. The ITS architecture developed by CISR focuses on these interconnections to mitigate this problem. Moreover, by constructing the ITS architecture through the composition of existing architectural styles, the resulting system will exhibit predictable qualities. Some of the qualities represent limitations that translate into constraints on the system. Others are beneficial aspects that satisfy stakeholder requirements.

CISR has also proposed an improved ITS communications architecture. An architecture is emerging with ITS-specific standards for several layers of the International Standards Organization Open Systems Interconnections communications reference model. However, these standards neither fully leverage the advantages of a standards-based architecture, nor fully address ITS-specific security and networking requirements. CISR’s proposal rectifies these shortcomings by describing a reorganization of the emerging standards and the addition of protocols for two additional OSI layers. The result is an improved communications architecture for ITS networks.