Eclipse Kuksa

Celebrating Our First Release

Almost two years ago, Eclipse Kuksa began as a new project at the Eclipse Foundation. In the July 2018 newsletter, we provided an overview of the project, its goals, and organization. Now, we’re celebrating our first release, and we would like to take this opportunity to provide an update on our activities.

A Quick Look at Eclipse Kuksa

First, some context. Eclipse Kuksa is a software platform and ecosystem for Vehicle-2-X scenarios. It was initiated within the publicly funded ITEA project, APPSTACLE

From a technical perspective, Eclipse Kuksa is based on three main pillars:

  • An in-vehicle platform
    The in-vehicle platform consists of a container-based app runtime and supporting facilities that sit on top of a Linux-based operating system such as Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) or Apertis. The platform provides a controlled environment to execute new vehicle functionality as well as secure and standardized (W3C Vehicle Information Service Specification (VISS) or Sensoris) access to vehicle data.
  • A cloud backend
    The cloud backend integrates several projects from the Eclipse IoT Working Group, including Eclipse Hono, Eclipse hawkBit, and Eclipse Ditto, and provides a common Kubernetes-based deployment to set up an automotive IoT cloud backend. It provides an app store that offers a user-focused management UI and automated deployment of in-vehicle apps using Eclipse hawkBit as the underlying technology.
  • An IDE
    The IDE is based on Eclipse Che and Visual Studio Code, providing automation for developing in-vehicle apps. The IDE interacts with the app store to simplify app deployments.

2019 Was a Big Year for Eclipse Kuksa

The Eclipse Kuksa project was very active in 2019. The year started with a large meeting and project hackathon in Berlin. This event allowed interested developers to check out the project and tinker with its components to increase development traction. It also allowed us to kickstart work on two bigger features: the container-based app management needed to support software over the air (SOTA) and firmware over the air (FOTA) functionality.

The first versions of these two features, along with several other improvements, were included in our first milestone release, Kuksa-0.1.0-M1, in February. This was a great achievement because the feature set for our first release was almost finalized, our third-party dependencies were almost cleared, and we were ready to work toward our first release.

Just prior to the release, the project team met for another hackathon in Paderborn to fix the remaining open issues and polish the software to get release 0.1.0 out the door in September.

Release 0.1.0 Includes Key Features

All of this hard work meant we were able to pack a solid set of features into release 0.1.0.

On the in-vehicle side, we introduced the new container-based app management, a virtual CANbus that allows apps to access the Controller Area Network (CAN) in a secure and controlled way.

The in-vehicle platform also includes an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) that identifies network traffic anomalies to prevent malicious access. Another important feature is a unified API based on the W3C VISS that provides access to data from the vehicle through a tree-like data structure. Finally, the FOTA functionality provides a means to update the in-vehicle platform within a vehicle to a newer version over the air. 

On the cloud backend side, we improved security, usability, and stability. We also introduced the Kuksa app store that provides a user-facing frontend to install, update, and remove apps on registered vehicles.

The New Features Are Great for Demos

The new features are handy for creating use cases and demonstrating them at different events.

At an APPSTACLE project meeting, OTOKAR presented two interesting use cases:

  • A driver authentication system that blocks vehicle ignition until the user logs in and receives authorization to start the engine.
  • A system that identifies aggressive driver behavior by detecting anomalies in data collected from the vehicle.

You can see part of these demonstrations in the photo below.

In addition, Robert Bosch GmbH demonstrated a roadside assistance system (shown below) at EclipseCon Europe 2019 and other events. The system demonstrates how a car repair shop can use remote vehicle access to check for possible problems and to either resolve the issue or analyze it so service technicians are informed and know which parts are affected.

These examples are great ways of showing the potential that Eclipse Kuksa opens up. A big thank you to everyone who has contributed so far and made all of this possible!

If you’re interested in Eclipse Kuksa, please visit our website, subscribe to our mailing list, or check out the code.

About the Author

Johannes Kristan

Johannes Kristan

Senior Expert
Bosch Software Innovations GmbH