Dependable Connected Systems

Connected systems with edge, fog and cloud networks bring many uncertainties


The demand for new and more complex applications is constantly growing. By moving individual systems to the cloud or adjacent edge nodes, the overall system becomes more flexible, resource-intense functions are easier to implement and life cycle management improves.

With higher level systems in which many individual systems interact, the architecture must take into account the fluctuating quality of the connections and react accordingly. Especially in dynamic environments where new participants such as devices, machines, applications or networks are constantly added or removed, permanent adaptation is imperative.

During the development phase, the ecosystem consisting of end-user devices (smartphones, connected vehicles…) and edge/fog/cloud networks can be used as a test system only with extensive effort. On the other hand, testing in a real environment is time and cost consuming. Furthermore, edge clouds have not been available for commercial use to date.

Despite the many uncertainties, software architectures must ensure that the complex overall system functions in a dependable manner. Especially when it comes to safety-critical functions, strict requirements must be adhered to, such as the real-time capability, availability and dependability of the connected functions.

Connected systems enable flexible control functions in industrial and vehicle applications

Current service principles such as infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service, together with proven cloud structures, yield a new paradigm for implementing control functions, such as in vehicle systems or industrial control environments.

This had led to the transfer of known cloud computing concepts into production environments as part of the digitalization of the manufacturing industry and the emergence of the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). These centralized solutions make it possible to develop new applications, such as the preventive maintenance and optimized maintenance of equipment and machines.

Even for real-time-critical control functions currently found in vehicle or industrial control systems and mobility solutions for example, shifting functions to an edge, cloud or fog network offers the advantage that more intelligent and flexible control services can be implemented.

Fraunhofer IKS develops dependable and safe connected systems

In order to bring the benefits of connected systems to bear, especially in safety-critical environments such as manufacturing or the automobile industry, the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS researches and develops various approaches aimed at improving the real-time capability, availability and safety of connected systems. Fraunhofer IKS offers services such as:

  • Evaluating distribution concepts for edge-, fog- and cloud-based applications
  • Validation concepts and reference architectures for dependable, distributed applications
  • Simulation of distribution scenarios in a virtual exploration space
  • Methods for monitoring and predicting  connection quality, such as in wireless systems based on LTE, 802.11p or 5G
  • Methods for adapting software to various quality-of-service levels (QoS)
  • Harmonized fail-operational concepts for end-to-end architectures (E2E)

In addition to contract development, we offer you various other options for collaborating with Fraunhofer IKS, such as joint innovation teams, studies and potential analyses. Here you will find an overview of our cooperation models.



Resilient Platforms for Autonomous Cyber-Physical Systems

In this project, Hitachi and Fraunhofer IKS developed a resilient architecture for cloud-based control systems based on the example of an automated valet parking service in a parking garage.



Flexilient End-to-End Architectures

In the whitepaper »Flexilient End-to-End Architectures« we present a novel approach for designing and managing intelligent connected autonomous systems at runtime.



Enhanced Traffic Safety with LTE and Mobile Edge Computing

In the project Car2MEC, Fraunhofer IKS (former Fraunhofer ESK) is working to develop concepts to improve connectivity especially for delay-sensitive traffic safety applications.


ezCar2X®: Streamlining Application Development for Networked Vehicles

With the flexible ezCar2x software framework the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS (former Fraunhofer ESK) provides the key components needed to rapidly create prototype applications for networking vehicles.



Harvesters joining the Internet of Things

In a joint project, equipment manufacturer Holmer, telecommunications manufacturer Huawei and Fraunhofer IKS (former Fraunhofer ESK) succeeded in transferring the predictive maintenance method to a fleet of highlycomplex harvesting machines.


High Performance Center “Secure Intelligent Systems” (LZSiS)

The Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS is part of the High Performance Center “Secure Intelligent Systems” (LZSiS). The LZSiS pools interdisciplinary expertise from university and extra-university research to make digitalization usable in Bavaria.

Challenges of cloud-based automated valet parking

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When safety-relevant functions are moved into the cloud, the connection to the cloud becomes critical. How can a cloud-based system handle connection losses gracefully? In this context, gracefully describes that the system will remain as efficient as possible without violating any of its safety goals. Together with industry partners, Fraunhofer IKS examined the impact of connection losses on a cloud-based system by the example of automated valet parking (AVP).