While over-the-air (OTA) updates for autonomous or partially autonomous vehicles are already on the market for some models, says the company, no companies have yet demonstrated the ability to streamline the vehicle software update process to make it nearly invisible to end users. Installing and implementing such software updates in autopilot or assisted cars can take hours and can be fraught with problems.
The company is addressing such issues with its concept of what it calls “liquid software” – software that gets continuously updated with no impact to the user.
“The next wave of OTA innovation will be real-time updates with no interruption to drivers or vehicle operators – no downtime,” says JFrog Vice President of Business Development and IoT executive sponsor Kit Merker. “No more scheduling installations of updates overnight that can’t be stopped once started.”
“Perhaps most importantly, no software related recalls that require notifying customers and expecting them to visit a service center for a critical software repair,” says Merker. “For security and safety reasons, software updates need to happen seamlessly and immediately.”
When developing its driverless car software updating demonstration project, the company says it created four rules that its software mechanics should be guided by:
- Rule 0: Don’t kill anyone!
- Rule 1: Should be up-to-date with the turn of a key.
- Rule 2: The car should get better over time.
- Rule 3: Reduce anxiety for drivers and developers.
The IoT team at JFrog then demonstrated their platform at the swampUP 2019 JFrog User Conference with a live, hands-on demonstration using RC vehicles (image). At this small scale, says the company, it showed how its platform can be used to update the software of vehicles while they are in motion.
The system uses industry specific technologies including the Yocto build system for embedded Linux which the company has integrated with Conan, its C/C++ package manager. It also uses Automotive Grade Linux integrated with IoT tools such as Lava for automated device management and testing.
“As well as this demonstration works in our lab with our cars,” says Merker, “we’re even more excited to work with our customers in their vehicle environment, and help everyone live the rules of software mechanics!”
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