While you are at it you might want to see what technology they are planning on using. Switched Ethernet is pretty much all that is being used today, but shared backbone media might significantly simplify the wiring. At a minimum I could see multiple localized switches. You are not going to want 100 ports on a single switch!
100 year old "Early American antique" cars grace our highways from time to time; will it be possible to maintain the current generation of cars in a century?
DrQuine, I haven't even thought about it before...but it's true. With all these complexity (and not to mention, "islands" of different proprietary nteworking technologies proliferated in cars over time), we may never see cars today being trotted out on highways 100 years from now!
The obligation of auto manufacturers to maintain spares and repair capabilities for vehicles during their likely lifetime gets much complex with yearly changes in networking systems. By the time security upgrades are included (the dozens that Microsoft feels compelled to provide to my computer), the configuration control for a car will become an absolute nightmare. I think it is time to standardize and simplify. 100 year old "Early American antique" cars grace our highways from time to time; will it be possible to maintain the current generation of cars in a century?
There are a couple questions we need to ask ourselves prior to putting Ethernet in a car.
1) How many devices needs to be connected?
2) Do the devices need to talk to each other?
3) Do the existing techologies serve the purpose?
4) How is the wiring done?
5) Where is the Ethernet Switch going to be?
There is an advantage of direct connectivity - 1 fewer device; 1 less uncertainity. Who wants to see a blinking dashboard when the Ethernet switch goes down?
I agree Infotainment is one of the key drivers to the wired automobile. Nowaday, kids are enjoying their cartoon shows and browsing their social network sites in the backseat with their connected tablet. Does Ethernet wired automobile add value to the Infotainment push?
On the other hands, if Ethernet wired automobile is demanded, I believe BroadR-Reach is a superior technology to the job. I learned about the technology in a couple years ago that it can serve with 2 wires (twisted or parallel). The fact that it has high noise rejection ability will definitely fit the environment of any vehicles.
@amagnani, your points are well taken. Actually such efforts as brining in Wi-Fi to wirelessly connect consumer devices (brought into a car) with a backseat display, for example, are already happening.
Obviously, Ethernet won't replace all the tried and true networking technologies inside a car overnight.
But carmakers do have immediate needs for a bigger bandwidth networking technology, for example, to accomodate more than several cameras already installed inside a car for driver assistance. These embedded vision cameras will be streaming video in parallel in real time. LVDS won't cut it.
When you look at designs of future cars, you need to consider networking technologies that can scale. That's I think where Ethernet comes in.
The comments to this article thus far point towards two areas which are important: the physical layer (PHY, cables, etc.) and the higher level protocol (software) layers that ride on top of Ethernet. The part in the middle ("Ethernet") is not being affected.
The automotive industry identified several challenges that need to be overcome to make the whole system be suitable for automotive applications. On the physical layer are discussions ongoing on the required bandwidth and speed, resulting in discussions about both 100 Mbit/s and 1 Gbit/s. And which existing or new PHY solutions could support these communication speeds and meet the automotive EMC, power consumption and cost requirements at the same time. OPEN SIG, IEEE RTPGE and JASPAR are just three examples of consortia that focus on this aspect. For the higher level software is also discussion ongoing about topics like AVB, TSN (Time Sensitive Networks) and profiles. Involved consortia are for example AVnu, AUTOSAR, JASPAR.
All in all enough hurdles that need to be overcome to justify the careful remarks of some of the people who were interviewed in the article.
At least such isolation will prevent the car hackers from taking control of the Car . A CAN network will control the vital systems of the Car such as ECU, braking etc and these systems can remain out of reach for the hackers.