AWS for Industries

Amazon Joins the Eclipse Foundation with a Focus on Software-Defined Vehicles

In November 2023, Amazon joined the Eclipse Foundation and its Software Defined Vehicle (SDV) Working Group. Amazon’s membership demonstrates its commitment to the automotive and transportation industries, including how open source software and standards can help support these sectors. This blog post provides insights into the business and architectural vision behind Amazon’s membership and why we are excited about what’s ahead with the Eclipse Foundation.

The Eclipse Foundation, a European-based international not-for-profit association, provides a global community of individuals and organizations with an environment for open source software collaboration and innovation. The SDV Working Group (“Eclipse.SDV”) within the Eclipse Foundation offers an open technology platform for software defined vehicles. The Working Group is focused on accelerating innovation within automotive-grade in-car software stacks using open source and open standards to help foster a diverse and vibrant developer community.

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Why Amazon Is Getting Involved

Amazon is a proud supporter of open source projects, foundations, and partners. We believe that open source solutions are beneficial for many industries, and we are committed to bringing the value of open source development to our customers. Participation in the SDV Working Group offers yet another way Amazon can help prototype and scale automotive innovation.

Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director at Eclipse Foundation, shares his perspective: “We’re excited to see Amazon join the Eclipse Foundation, and with their culture of innovation that has transformed industries like retail and cloud computing, we look forward to seeing their contributions in other areas like Software Defined Vehicles and IoT.”

For the automotive industry, open source development and open standards are fundamental for collaboration along a complex and diverse supply chain, and for helping ensure more seamless interoperability of vehicle features for passengers. SDV is the term that describes a new paradigm for the industry, which affects passenger cars as well as commercial vehicles. AWS is committed to supporting automakers, suppliers, and start-ups across the world in their SDV transformation journey. “Consumers are becoming more and more vocal when it comes to the kinds of driving convenience and digital features they want in their next vehicle. This trend requires the industry to take a different approach to vehicle hardware and software architecture, extending from the vehicle into the cloud. We see Eclipse.SDV as an opportunity to help develop and discuss new ideas and from our unique perspective as technologists in the industry.” – Andrea Ketzer, Automotive Technology Strategy Leader at AWS.

Another example of an area where Amazon sees promising applicability of SDV projects is in transportation. Trucks, planes, ships, and other delivery vehicles are becoming more computerized, automated, electrified, and connected. These modes of transportation are perfect examples of the complex integration issues that are being addressed by working groups at the Eclipse Foundation. Amazon Transportation Services (ATS) has created solutions for logistics, supply chain optimization, and transportation as well, including Amazon Relay. Relay is our suite of services that give small- and medium-sized businesses the tools and technology to be successful and compete in the trucking industry. These tools and technology – which would otherwise be proprietary to a company or come at a cost – are offered to carriers large and small to make their businesses more efficient. Carriers and Drivers use Relay via its cloud-native Relay Portal and the Relay mobile app on iOS and Android.

Amazon’s Journey of Automotive Open Source Contribution and Usage

Amazon’s participation in the Eclipse Foundation is a continuation of our commitment to open source initiatives. Some of the most popular developer tools, databases, and services on AWS are based on leading open source projects. In the automotive space, AWS is involved in other open source projects and communities, including FreeRTOS, SOAFEE, Yocto Project, and AGL. For example, the first version of the cloud-neutral real-time operating system FreeRTOS kernel was released under the stewardship of AWS. AWS contributes recipes and layers to the Yocto Project, a collaborative open source project that helps customers create custom Linux-based systems for embedded system deployments in connected edge devices, servers, or virtual environments, regardless of the hardware architecture. The Yocto Project is widely used for embedded Linux projects, as well as the base for the Scalable Open Architecture for Embedded Edge (SOAFEE) reference implementation, EWAOL. Additionally, AWS and others started the SOAFEE special interest group, which brought together automakers, semiconductor, and cloud technology leaders to help define a new open standards-based architecture to implement the lowest levels of a software-defined vehicle stack. AWS is also member of Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a collaborative open source project that brings automakers, suppliers and technology companies together to build a Linux-based, open software platform for automotive applications. At CES 2023, the project showcased an important SDV innovation for the industry, demonstrating how to run the same operating system image in cloud and on three different target hardware systems leveraging VirtIO, an open standard used for devices virtualization and implemented by major open source hypervisors, like KVM. In 2022, AWS IoT Fleetwise, a service that includes a vehicle signal catalog based on COVESA`s (Connected Vehicle Systems Alliance) Vehicle Signal Specification (VSS), was made generally available to customers. The edge agent reference implementation of AWS IoT FleetWise is available on GitHub. AWS supports, an open community of car manufacturers, suppliers, start-ups and end-users, working together to create the next generation of SDV experiences. We recently contributed an interoperability use case and sponsored a co-creation challenge open for everyone with ideas about innovative SDV solutions.

AWS Architectural Vision of Cloud-First SDV

Eclipse.SDV brings together technical experts from industry leading automakers and suppliers. AWS’s architectural approach to SDV emphasizes compute workload portability across a cloud to vehicle edge control plane, modularity, scalability, and security, as described in this architecture:

AWS Architectural Vision of Cloud-First SDV

AWS hosts the same software under development by automakers running in their vehicles, packaged in monolithic applications or containers, with different level of criticalities, and implements a microservices-based approach. OSs, Real-Time OSs, and libraries run in cloud natively and are supported by standard-based virtualization techniques that enables running on edge devices, with no differences, an approach that we refer to as environmental parity. The purpose of environmental parity is to give teams and organizations the confidence that the application will work everywhere. Development and testing are done in the cloud by the customer for the vast majority of the workflow. When the software is verified and validated in the cloud by the customer, it is deployed and orchestrated by the customer inside the vehicle, in a way that helps preserve the mixed-criticality nature of the application under development. A key component is the Mixed Criticality Aware Orchestrator, which helps support various tasks, from entertainment to safety functions, run harmoniously. Overall, the design champions modularity and scalability, combining cloud principles with automotive requirements. This is the software counterpart of the deep Electric/Electronic platform transformation that is happening in the sector, where automakers are significantly reducing the number of Electronic Control Units from more than a hundred in a modern vehicle, to a few, supported by powerful consolidated High-Performance Compute units.

Eclipse.SDV already hosts projects that could contribute to, and help enrich, this architectural perspective. Notable projects are Ankaios and Bluechi, which explore innovative ways to manage and orchestrate workloads and container lifecycles, thus laying the groundwork for more efficient and robust distributed architectures. Additionally, middleware projects like Kuksa and eCAL focus on creating effective hardware abstraction layers. Kuksa, provides vehicle signal abstraction which is an important feature that adopts VSS from COVESA. VSS is also adopted by AWS IoT FleetWise, which reflects a broader industry recognition and acceptance of this standard, and further emphasizes the importance and potential impact of the projects hosted on Eclipse.SDV.

Get In Touch With Us

Amazon’s membership in the Eclipse Foundation offers exciting new opportunities for collaboration, and we look forward to working with Eclipse members and the broader automotive industry to help drive innovation and improve the customer experience. If you would like to get in touch with us, you can find out where to meet us and other working group contributors at Eclipse.SDV events.

Boris Nowak

Boris Nowak

Boris is a Principal Customer Solutions Manager within the AWS Automotive and Manufacturing organization. He is passionate about the opportunity that cloud brings to the industry, and combines technology and business capabilities of AWS to maximize business impact for customers.

Jay Billings

Jay Billings

Jay is a Principal Engineer within Amazon Transportation services. He’s a long time member of the open source community, including the Eclipse Foundation where he is an Eclipse project lead, a member of the Eclipse Architecture Council, and an occasional publisher of bad EclipseCon talk pitch videos on YouTube. Today, he helps Amazon build Amazon Relay to deliver smiles to customers on time and around the world.

Stefano Marzani

Stefano Marzani

Stefano is focused on helping to solve the biggest challenges in the automotive industry. His current focus is helping the automotive industry transition to software-defined vehicles, enabling autonomous functionalities, mobility fleet solutions, and delightful user experiences. Stefano’s technical expertise lies in IoT, Machine Learning, Vehicle Architecture, HMI, and Automotive Software Development & Tooling.