SAE and IEEE Join Forces to Explore Potential IoT Standards
SAE International and IEEE are jointly exploring a standards framework related to the rapidly emerging Internet of Things (IoT)—the billions of interconnected “smart” devices that enhance our daily lives and are already impacting vehicle development, manufacturing, the customer experience, and technology innovation.
The organizations hosted a workshop May 7 to discuss IEEE P2413, a standard currently under development that is aimed at providing a robust architectural framework and multi-stakeholder platform for the IoT. About 150 engineers from the mobility and other industries attended the workshop, held at SAE’s Troy, MI, office. Topics included overviews of IEEE’s IoT initiative and relevant SAE projects. Legal/liability aspects of the IoT were covered by Bryant Walker Smith, Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina Law School, who spoke via WebEx.
Many engineers view the absence of IoT standards as a hurdle for achieving interoperability and finding technical solutions for critical global issues such as cybersecurity. IEEE began its IoT activities in 2012 and formed a working group for the IEEE P2413 project in 2014. They looked to SAE for the technical depth of its membership in the automotive, aerospace, and commercial vehicle sectors. Both organizations are globally respected for their neutral, consensus-based decision making within the industries they serve.
IEEE plans to have the first version of the architectural framework standard published in late 2016, said Oleg Logvinov, Chair of the IEEE P2413 Working Group and Director of Special Assignments, Industrial and Power Conversion Div., at STMicroelectronics.
The recent SAE-IEEE workshop “is the first of many steps to actively engage the automotive industry in developing applicable IoT requirements and standards,” said Jack Pokrzywa, SAE’s Director of Ground Vehicle Standards.
He said the mobility industry “cannot afford to miss the opportunity to get on board quickly and work with other sectors toward common solutions” aimed at increasing vehicle safety and reliability, improving the user experience, and exposing new revenue streams for manufacturers and service providers.
Logvinov described the IoT as “a huge, multifaceted subject—like the ‘elephant in the room.’” He said IEEE wanted to partner with SAE “in order to summon the domain expertise of both organizations and create something that has value for engineers. This standard would have to be cognizant of what SAE is doing in these areas, as well as what telecom providers, industrial companies, and others are doing,” he said.
For those developing V2V, V2G, and related technologies within vehicle systems, the IEEE P2413 architectural framework “will hopefully simplify their jobs by creating a ‘blueprint’ for integrating everything together in a safe and secure fashion,” Logvinov noted. “If we can accomplish that, I would consider it a tremendous success.”
To learn more about IEEE P2413, “Draft Standard for an Architectural Framework for the Internet of Things (IoT),” visit the IEEE Standards Assoc.
A vital “building block” for creating robust IoT standards is schema—the process for tagging information for digital consumption. A common example is XML—the markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is readable both by humans and machines. “But there are also schemas that are used for information retrieval, and that’s what is needed in the application of the IoT,” explained Ashleigh Faith, an ontology engineer who leads SAE’s taxonomy and knowledge management activities.
SAE’s industry-leading technical database and its depth and breadth of subject-matter experts (SMEs) “can provide rich inputs for schema standardization, alignment, and mapping,” said Faith, a Ph.D candidate at the University of Pittsburgh who has worked on schema projects with NATO, NASA, Caterpillar, and Deere, among others.
She added that without adding intelligence through schema, “the IoT will be like the Internet was in the 1990s—a promising technology without a vehicle to drive it.”