AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture
The Networked Vehicle
Automobiles now contain many computerized control units from multiple vendors. Many of these components need to communicate with each other or with external diagnostic equipment. In order to avoid a Babel of vendor invented communication interfaces, among other goals, a group of automobile manufacturers, component suppliers, and tool vendors created the AUTOSAR group. AUTOSAR has established a standard software architecture for automobiles that includes standard interfaces for the application software components used in automobiles. Internal implementation of the components is not specified beyond the communication requirements; this is often referred to as the electrical/electronic architecture.
AUTOSAR is of importance well beyond the automobile manufacturers - electronic chip and system manufacturers are examples of firms that have become AUTOSAR partners. Other firms who are not yet partners are affected because their products find their way into automobiles and those firms find they need to consider the standards during development and testing of their products.
TCP/IP in Your Vehicle
The Requirements on Ethernet Support in AUTOSAR document specifies the TCP/IP protocol stack as one of the communication requirements. It includes a list of IETF RFCs to which a vendor's device is expected to conform. For example, it states that IPv4 must be implemented as stated in IETF RFC 791.
But how is a vendor to validate and prove that their device conforms to an RFC such as RFC 791? Initially the AUTOSAR specification described a complex process, but this is now simplified to allow the implementor to select his own methodology. InterWorking Labs' Maxwell Pro TCP/IP Test Suite is a Conformance Test Suite that will help implementors verify their implementation.
Validate the Networked Vehicle
The Maxwell Pro TCP/IP Test Suite is a third party CTS that can be used to satisfy the needs of paths A and B, avoiding the less desirable paths C and D. It has the added advantage that it brings easy-to-use third party independent testing directly into the development cycle. An on-site test suite provides faster cycle time and lower cost when failures are found compared to external third party CTA testing. The latter can become very costly whenever conformance regression testing is needed after new features or changes are made to the software. Maxwell Pro CTS provides a more competitive and more pragmatically useful conformance claim than all other options, while also getting robustness testing included.