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Build Automotive Gateways with Ease

April 13, 2021

Vehicle network architectures within modern vehicles have been transformed by the introduction of automotive gateways. These gateways enable seamless communication between different vehicle networks and are central to the success of modern architectures. In this article, we are going to cover some of the challenges that automotive engineers face when tasked with converting data between old and new network protocols. We’ll also detail how this process is made much easier using Vehicle Spy’s new “Gateway Builder” feature.

Create an Automotive Gateway the same way you Drag and Drop Files

Making a gateway from one network to another should not be labor-intensive.  It can be accomplished in several ways. Intrepid Control Systems makes it easy to compile scripts that contain complicated routines and require signals that span multiple messages, buses or networks.  Some high-level ECU security functions and safety-critical signals require mathematical calculations for validation and checksum signals. For proper operation, these functions require real-time operation with feedback from other signals across several buses or networks. In the past Function Block or our C Code Interface were used to perform these tasks. Today to make the process even easier, Intrepid has created a Gateway Builder feature in Vehicle Spy that allows you to simply drag and drop one vehicle network to another network. This feature allows you to modify messages between modules, route messages, or even build a new custom message from an existing signal. Gateway Builder supports CAN to CAN, CAN to LIN, CAN to CAN FD, CAN to Ethernet and Ethernet to CAN, etc. Watch this tutorial to learn how to create automotive gateways using Vehicle Spy https://youtu.be/4g3vjKfUGKw

A Foundation of Security Built into Vehicle Spy software

Today the vehicle is nothing less than a data center on wheels.  Like a data center, no one should be allowed inside the vehicle network without proper authorization, authentication, and a valid reason.  Most vehicle manufacturers today need to be as secure as data centers taking into account the valuable roots of trust that come from a Public Key Infrastructure, implementation throughout the entire development lifecycle. When it comes to risk, OEMs need to use PKI to avoid giving away private encryption keys to engineers or third parties during vehicle reflashing. Using PKI to validate and exchange keys will avoid having engineers in the field with the master key.  Vehicle Spy software can now be used as part of this security enclave and is able to communicate with OEM’s servers and PKI to help address this challenge. Once the key is read from the vehicle Gateway module, Vehicle Spy communicates with the PKI to get the unlock code and uses that to unlock and program modules directly using the power of the vehicle Gateway module. In one recent example at an OEM, Intrepid demonstrated a reflash of all ECUs in its latest architecture from over 5 hours to around 15 minutes.  This enables customer confidence to take full ownership and control of the reflashing process without jeopardizing security. To learn more about wireless data logging solutions, read our blog on Wireless Data Logging – without the headache!

Have your Gateway and Log it Too.. 

Today is your birthday, you can have your cake and eat it too. With the Wireless neoVI solution, you can log and gateway vehicle data simultaneously, and upload logs to your own server or an exclusive server maintained by Intrepid. Intrepid has been working hard to address the connection challenges of fleet vehicles and building up scalable solutions to address these challenges with customers globally.  The ability to reflash vehicles using the same logger is also a great value that is part of the Vehicle Spy Enterprise software. It allows you to test and prove out your reflashing strategy then deploy that to vehicles in the field.   

Seamless Virtual ECU Simulations from PC to Standalone

Wait – what is all this gateway stuff anyhow? I want to do simulations of missing ECUs. Did you know Intrepid lets you create, test and validate Restbus simulations on your laptop using Vehicle Spy Function Blocks?  Once the scripts are validated on a PC you can load the scripts and run them automatically at power-up without a PC. The script will run on the Intrepid hardware in real-time. Having the ability to run in real-time allows you the confidence to validate other ECUs on the bus or network. You can also do a man-in-the-middle type architecture to physically isolate the bus between two ECUs using two CAN channels and creating a custom Intrepid Gateway to manipulate messages between modules.  This can help you take current model year ECUs, vehicles or subsystems and apply a new model year ECU to the existing system for various validation and verification of new product features.

New Feature – CAN / LIN Channel Expansion into the Cloud 

Are you adding more CAN to your architecture? Intrepid Controls has added a new way to increase the channel count of our neoVI ION and other products. For example, you can combine your neoVI ION with a neoVI Fire 2 to give you additional CAN and LIN channels. Both hardware channels can be synced using the CAN to Ethernet Gateway Builder feature.

If any of the above is of interest to you, please feel free to contact your regional office to have a discussion about your specific requirements.

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