Madrid, April 2023

DDS in the automotive industry

In the automotive industry, data is everything. From engine control systems to advanced driver assistance systems, automotive manufacturers rely heavily on real-time data to make important decisions. However, transmitting this data reliably and efficiently has been a challenge for many years. That’s why the DDS middleware protocol (as a technology capable of delivering microsecond latency, ISO 26262 safety certification, top security, and operational proof) has become a key component for intelligent vehicles manufacturers to deliver an outstanding driving experience while meeting demanding requirements in distributed systems design.

DDS (Data Distribution Service) technology, the middleware protocol based on the publish-subscribe pattern that is standardized by the Object Management Group® (OMG), is a communication technology that enables real-time data sharing across a distributed network of devices. It has become increasingly popular in the automotive industry because it provides a reliable and scalable way to manage the increasing complexity and number of MCUs and CPUs used by an application.

One of the key benefits of DDS is its ability to handle large volumes of data with low latency and high reliability. This is essential for safety-critical systems such as autonomous driving, where real-time communication is vital for safe and efficient operation. DDS also offers a high level of interoperability, allowing different systems and components to communicate seamlessly with one another. For these reasons DDS has been integrated into various key automotive platform ecosystems, such as AUTOSAR Adaptive and ROS 2 (Robot Operating System 2), the popular open-source framework for robotics development.

Real-world applications of DDS in the automotive industry can be found in different areas:

  • Autonomous Driving: In the development of autonomous vehicles, data sharing between multiple sensors and systems is critical for safe and effective operation. DDS provides a standardized way for these systems to communicate with one another in real-time, enabling the vehicle to make split-second decisions based on the latest information.
  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS): DDS can be used to support various ADAS applications such as lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and collision avoidance. DDS enables the exchange of real-time data between different sensors, such as radar, lidar, and cameras, to provide a more comprehensive view of the environment around the vehicle.
  • Infotainment: DDS can also be used to support infotainment systems in vehicles. Infotainment systems require the exchange of data between different devices such as media players, smartphones, and navigation systems. DDS can provide a reliable and efficient platform for data exchange, enabling a seamless user experience.

In this context eProsima’s Fast DDS has become popular in the automotive industry as an open-source DDS implementation that offers high performance and low latency, making it ideal for real-time systems such as engine control and infotainment. Fast DDS has been adopted for projects of NXP, Deutsche Bahn, Apollo.auto and Autosar, among others.

micro-ROS, as the framework that puts ROS 2 into microcontrollers, and its underlying middleware Micro XRCE-DDS, an open-source implementation of the DDS XRCE standard that provides a DDS standardized communication middleware for resource-constrained devices, also provide a solution for the automotive industry by enabling seamless and efficient communication between the different components of a vehicle.

eProsima has also recently announced Safe DDS, an ISO 26262 certifiable middleware with Automotive Safety Integrity Level D (ASIL D level) that provides standardized real-time communication to help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) access DDS from an increasing number of MCUs and CPUs. This middleware implementation is designed for safety-critical systems such as autonomous driving and is focused on embedded systems that require real-time behavior, high performance, and reliability.

In conclusion, DDS has become an essential technology in the automotive industry, providing a reliable and scalable way to manage the increasing complexity of modern vehicles. Fast DDS and Safe DDS are two popular implementations that offer high performance and safety-critical features, respectively. As the automotive industry continues to push the boundaries of what is possible, DDS will undoubtedly play an increasingly important role in enabling the next generation of vehicles.


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