LONDON — Renesas Electronics has introduced a new software development toolset enabling applications based on its R-Car automotive system-on-chip (SoC) to combine dynamic vehicle data and cloud-based data in real time to deliver new services such as predictive driving support and infotainment applications.

It's currently difficult or impossible to carry out in-vehicle testing when developing applications that utilize vehicle-generated data — such as driving status and driver status — and correlating that with cloud-based data, which might include construction, congestion, road conditions, and weather reports and maps, according to Renesas. The company says its new Connected Car Software Development Tools enable out-of-the-box development of connected vehicle applications utilizing cloud services at the edge rather than the traditional approach of simply connecting the vehicle to the cloud.

To link the cloud and the edge, Renesas has adopted Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud services and Greengrass for its software development tools. The software development tools have been validated by both AWS Greengrass and AWS IoT core and have been tested to run on the R-Car Starter Kit under the Automotive-Grade Linux environment.

The new Renesas tools comprise a simulator that can generate vehicle data from the accelerator, brake pedals, and the steering angle; an edge controller that maintains the vehicle data; a vehicle application programming interface (API) that links with applications such as driver monitoring; and interfaces that connect vehicle data to the cloud.

The simulator supports 100 frequently used data types defined in the Vehicle API of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), as well as other vehicle APIs. In addition, the simulator can select information on the vehicle surroundings, such as weather or road conditions, to test the application by running a vehicle traveling along the road course in accordance with the settings specified by the user. The cloud-lined service applications can be developed on the AWS and deployed to the R-Car Starter Kit that supports lightweight languages including JavaScript and Python, enabling rapid development of cloud-linked application software connected to a cloud service such as AWS. This accelerates the launch of the new services utilizing vehicle data.

"To capitalize on the expertise in vehicle data control, we will continue to work closely with AWS, which holds enriched connected services and expertise in edge computing," said Masayasu Yoshida, Renesas' senior director of automotive technical customer engagement. "We are confident that our AWS-linked new software development tools will serve as communication tools and be widely used in the connected vehicle industry.”

Renesas Connected Car Software Development Tools enable cloud-linked automotive applications utilizing vehicle data. (Source: Renesas)
Renesas Connected Car Software Development Tools enable cloud-linked automotive applications utilizing vehicle data. (Source: Renesas)

Renesas says that scalability of applications developed with its tools could be extended to enable coordination with additional data from driver monitoring. For example, predictive driving assistance can be realized in which the application would make calculations based on data from the vehicle, such as information on driver emergencies, driving skills, fuel, or tire pressure, plus forecasts of weather or road conditions from the cloud, and determine the optimal route or provide coaching to the driver.

Realization of these new services enhance convenience and safety for drivers and also help “mobility businesses” such as automakers, dealerships, insurance companies, and car rental agencies to expand and provide more added value to customers, Renesas said.

An evaluation version will be made available as a complementary option for the R-Car SoCs to allow developers to familiarize themselves with the types of vehicle data and their uses.

There are limitations on the data types and the level of fineness (sampling rate) of the evaluation version, but they can be processed on the R-Car Starter Kit (available separately) and connected to the cloud for testing. In addition to the vehicle data, approximately 100 types of new APIs supplied on the cloud side can be used for simulation. For example, an “emotion recognition engine” API that can sense the emotional state of the driver and convey this information to the vehicle is available as an option from Renesas.