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Integration of FOTA Solution with Infotainment Head-Unit, for the leading Electric Vehicle OEMs’

About the Customer:

Our customers (Two highly admired Electric Car and Electric Scooter Start-ups) have partnered with our Product Engineering teams, for some of the world’s most innovative production programs.

During our engagement, for the development of Android based Infotainment and Head-up Display systems, a need for integration with Firmware-Over-The-Air (FOTA) solution was realized.

Business Challenge:

Both our customers agreed to include integration of the Firmware-Over-The-Air (FOTA) with the Android based Infotainment and Head-up Display systems.

This decision was made because both the Electric Vehicle Start-up companies realized the value of FOTA solution in helping them overcome the following challenge:

  • Ability to remotely manage the software updates: With FOTA solution integration, any new release of the software/firmware can be managed remotely (end-users are not required to drive their Electric Vehicles to the service station).

Such new software releases are needed for bug-fixes, security patch updates or feature enhancements of the existing version.

Embitel’s Solution:

During our existing engagement, for the development of In-Vehicle Infotainment and Automotive Head-up Display systems, our customers had developed trust and confidence in the technology expertise of our Connected Car teams.

They did not feel any hesitance in extending the scope of the project and partner with us for the FOTA module integration.

Both the Electric Vehicle Start-up Companies decided to develop a FOTA solution which will support both Complete (Bootloader , Kernel, OS, Application) and Partial ( Only Application Software) software updates.

Our FOTA solution development and integration team included the following experts:

  • Solution architect,
  • Embedded Firmware developer,
  • Cloud Server Consultant
  • Quality Assurance expert for FOTA Testing.

The following is the snapshot of the Project Roadmap:

  1. Firmware Update Image Creation:
    • Development of the FOTA Image hosting server
    • Development of the device side interfaces (GUI) : to schedule and manage the firmware image update.
    • Configuration of Build Environment, tightly coupled with the OS
    • Configuration of Flash Memory, to store the firmware image.
    • Integration of the communication module for secure data/command exchange between the target device and the FOTA hosting server.

    FMEDA ProcessData flow diagram for FOTA update solution

  2. Integration of Vehicle Pre-Conditions:Certain pre-conditions for vehicle have been integrated, as per the project requirements. These pre-conditions need to be fulfilled, in order to initiate the new FOTA update The following are the details of the pre-conditions:
    1. Whenever the user is planning to download the latest version of FOTA packet , released by the OTA update solution provider, one need to ensure that:
      • Gear is set to “Parking mode “
      • The Battery charge level > 50%
      • Vehicle speed = 0 kmph
    2. The infotainment device should have a reliable WiFi/GSM connection to receive regular updates.
  3. Image Security & Device Authentication:
    1. Tight coupling of Build Server Environment (BE) with the Infotainment OS : This ensures that the target end-user device is updated by firmware images , sent by only an authenticated FOTA server.
    2. Device Authentication has been done using SSL certificate Authentication. The device SSL certificate gets verified at every boot session.
    3. Each FOTA image is encrypted using AES-128 encryption standards.

Embitel’s Impact:

  1. With integration of FOTA with the Infotainment System, our customers (the Electric Vehicle Start-ups) are now able to remotely & efficiently management the application software.
  2. The FOTA solution developed by Embitel team consisted of various reusable components, including the FOTA software stack, the cloud framework etc. This translated into development time and cost savings for the customers.

Tool and Technologies:

  • MQTT Protocol: For command exchanges between the cloud server and the infotainment devices.
  • HTTPS : To send secure OTA update to the target end-user device ( Infotainment)
  • PostgressSQL NOSQL: database server
  • Android 7.0 OS

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