Remote Diagnostics and Safety Verification

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Principal Investigator:Rahul Mangharam
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Project Status:Complete
Subject Categories:vehicles and equipment
Abstract:The project goal is to design and implement an automotive architecture for remote diagnostics of on-board controller software, and thereby avoid expensive and safety-critical recalls. In 2010, over 20.3 million cars were recalled. Many recalls arise from software problem within Electronic Controller Units (ECUs) which are responsible for safety-critical functions such as stability, traction and cruise control. For example, in August 2011, Jaguar recalled 17,678 vehicles because the cruise controller might not respond to normal inputs and, once engaged, could not be switched off. While most software testing is done in the production phase, there is no support for subsequent diagnostics of safety-critical software. We are developing AutoPlug, an automotive ECU architecture between the vehicle and a Remote Diagnostic Center (RDC), to diagnose, test, update, and verify control software. In the event of a software issue, the RDC will dispatch custom diagnostic code to the vehicle over a network link, and observe the state of the on-board controller. With logged data reported to the RDC, we identify the control system model of the specific vehicle and synthesize a reconfigured controller. The reconfigured controller is dispatched to the vehicle and a code update is performed after sufficient safety guarantees are established.
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