Built By


Seed Funding

Core Nodes
La Trobe University link

Industry Nodes
Centre for Health Innovation link

LateralPlains-link PPS-link NeighbourhoodCable-link Cisco-link Nominum-link Matrium-link AARNet-link La Trobe-link eVision link

Maddocks link

Phase 4: Automotive Sector and VIC6

The aim of VIC6 Phase 4 was to build one or more demonstrations of IPv6 capability to support applications for the automotive manufacturing sector. Arising from these demonstrations, sector organisations would then be in a good position to gain understanding and experience to allow smooth transition to IPv6, which will ultimately stimulate sector innovation based upon IPv6.

IPv6 is fundamental to the ongoing deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems, the next generation automotive enhancements expected to tap new markets for ongoing growth. Some initiatives currently under way includes the offer of VIC6 testbed facilities to the Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) Industry Panel as part of their work on IPv6 based vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communications.

This area is based upon VIC6 automotive members supporting the ISO's Communications, Airinterface, Long and Medium range (CALM) wireless communication protocols and air interfaces. CALM spans multiple modes of communications and multiple methods of transmissions in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). The CALM architecture is based on a IPv6 convergence layer that decouples applications from the communication infrastructure.

Development of Phase 4

1. Business Analysis: discussions with the Victorian automotive sector on the business parameters, issues and timelines to IPv6 adoption.

2. IPv6 Demonstration: based upon the Business Analysis, designing relevant demonstrations of automotive sector applications and VIC6 network interoperability.

3. Project Review: Based upon the above, providing a written analysis on the results, the issues arising, and the potential benefits of IPv6 to the automotive sector.

Automotive Sector Input

Business input into the use of the VIC TestNet in automotive areas was pursued in a number of forums. Industry meetings were attended by IPv6Now personnel from late in 2008, where opportunities to engage in the VIC6 program were discussed with participants. Discussions have continued over the whole of 2009, both in person and by email.

Meetings included the AusDSRC Industry Cluster meetings on 2/12/2008 in Melbourne, 12/2/2009 in Adelaide, 22/4/2009 in Brisbane, and 17/6/2009 in Sydney. VIC6 was also discussed with the delegates at Embedded Systems Australia and at NICTA meetings, such as on 28/5/2009. Briefing and discussions were held with the Federation of Automotive Parts Manufacturers (FAPM).

In November 2009 the Intelligent Transportation Systems '09 conference was held in Melbourne, attended by the researchers, company staff, government agencies, and international delegates involved in ITS. A VIC6 Automotive Sector Workshop was held during the conference, on 18/11/2009.

Over 2009, a number of organisations have had input into clarifying the automotive sector's involvement in IPv6 and potentially the VIC6 TestNet, as below:

Australian Dedicated Short Range Communications (AusDSRC)
The new AusDSRC Industry Cluster is focussed on Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) in automotive facilities. DSRC can be delivered using various international standards including the IEEE1609 standard, which mandates the IPv6 protocol suite as part of its operation. IPv6Now/VIC6 is a recognised stakeholder in the AusDSRC Industry Cluster. We have a seat on the Management Committee, chaired by John Humphreys of the Global Innovation Centre. As all manufacturers and users of DSRC will have to use IPv6, IPv6Now has proposed that training and familiarisation with the protocol should be a key issue for all participants.

All of the lead automotive communications technology research organisations are involved in the AusDSRC Industry Cluster. Its major sponsors include AutoCRC, Global Innovation Centre, Holden, QUT, UniSA, Intelematics, NICTA, Toyota, Transurban, Cohda Wireless, VisionStream, and ITS Australia. These organisations are complemented by other participants in the AusDSRC Steering Committee. Participants also include representatives of government organisations. See

ISO TC204 WG16 - Intelligent Transport Systems (CALM)
IPv6Now is represented on the Standards Body which manages Australia's ISO voting for Intelligent Transport Systems. ITS is a fast moving area and new initiatives are are constantly emerging. Participation in this standards committee is important for keeping abreast of ongoing ITS/IPv6 developments.

Related to this activity, Australia is hosting the April 2012 ISO TC 204 Plenary Meeting in Melbourne. This is a week-long event for thousands of national and international ITS specialists. This will focus the world's spotlight on ITS and should represent an opportunity to promote the adoption of IPv6 based ITS initiatives.

International Centre for Connected Mobility (ICCM)
Gary White from the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Automotive Technology (AutoCRC) is championing the creation of an International Centre for Connected Mobility (ICCM). See (under construction). It is is being coordinated by Janice Humphreys, General Manager, Global Innovation Centre Pty Ltd.

Rail Crossing Safety Project (RCSP)
Rail Crossing Safety Project is an initiative of the AutoCRC, RailTransportCRC, ITS Australia, Embedded Systems Australia, NICTA, and the University of Queensland. It is led by Prof. Jack Singh, La Trobe University. The idea is to use DSRC and other technologies to signal to vehicles that they are on a collision course with a train at a level crossing. This may be extended to interact with the vehicle fuel system or brakes to bring the vehicle to a stop.

Over-Height Vehicle Project (OHVP)
The NSW RTA and NICTA are working on a Over-Height Vehicle Project (OHVP) to develop a warning system to stop over-height vehicles from entering tunnels or passing under gantries or bridges that are too low for them. A test road network is being created at a RTA lab site at Eastern Creek in Sydney's west. This is a DSRC demonstration project. Planning has commenced and the original target was to have the project running and initial funds expended by 30 June 2010.

Smart tag being developed by David Harris, Managing Director, Dejai, which integrates vehicle monitoring, security, toll tags, GPS, DSRC and other applications, all fitted into and displayed on the rear-view mirror. Currently at Version 2, and Version 4 uses IPv6. This is a development being undertaken in Malaysia and funded by European auto manufacturers, but as Australia is the first place these devices will be deployed there is a need for local involvement. See

1. Business Analysis

Unlike some other industry sectors, there are participants in the automotive sector which have a very good understanding of IPv6 and its role in the future of the industry. The international standards, such as CALM and IEEE1609, already mandate the use of IPv6 as the default networking platform. Partly due to the efforts of international standards groups, IPv6 is already seen as a key component of automotive Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). ITS allows the transmission of information between vehicles, and between vehicles and road infrastructure, utilising Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC).

1.1 Who's Already Doing Automotive IPv6?

  • Renault and Cisco won an award as long ago as 2003 for their joint IPv6 system.
  • Audi, BMW, Toyota have automobile network test implementations.
  • China, Japan, USA, European advanced ITS implementations are all IPv6 based.
  • DSRC standards mandate IPv6, e.g., IEEE1609 (safety messages and services), 802.11P (wireless access in vehicular environments, WAVE).
  • ISO TC204 WG16 CALM (Communications Access for Land Mobiles) is IPv6 based.
  • IETF MobileIPv6 working group (Network Mobility, NEMO, for automotive industries).

Work on DSRC in Australia is based on the IEEE 1609 protocol which defines two stacks - the Wave Short Message (WSM) stack (used for safety messages etc.) and an IP stack (for service applications). Participating companies and researchers in Australia have full 1609 stack 6 currently under development. This includes the IP stack (with IPv6 support) in addition to the Wave Short Message Stack. Many of the Intelligent Transport Systems initiatives are national in scope but apply to and have participants from Victoria.

AS mentioned above, IPv6Now is a member of the ISO Standards Australia Working group TC209 on Automotive Network Services. This national body formulates Australia's position in response to the international standards for ITS and the ICT Network platforms being deployed world-wide. These activities inform the applications that are useful for VIC6 participants, as well as identifying international developments that may be useful for VIC6 users.

1.2 Overarching Themes

IPv6 reduces costs, especially relevant in the context of the Global Financial Crisis. It has a flat marginal cost of implementation (MCI), compared to IPv4's accelerating MCI (as address exhaustion takes hold). For organisations, internally it simplifies existing networks, reduces cost of growth for expanding networks, and simplifies mergers and acquisitions. Externally, it simplifies supplier and customer relationships, and expand links to world growth markets, especially in Asia.

Some parts of the automotive sector involved with Intelligent Transportation Systems have a sophisticated appreciation of the role of IPv6 as fundamental to the protocols they are using. Several organisations in Australia (such as NICTA, Intellematics and Cohda Wireless) are pursuing IPv6-based product and service development, and internationally there are many other companies pursuing these developments.

The appreciation of the need for IPv6 appears to be much lower among automotive parts manufacturers, and logistic and supply chain component manufacturers. Major vehicle manufacturers such as Holden and Toyota have indicated to IPv6Now that all their development takes place overseas and that there is little need for IPv6 testbed access in Australia. This is probably a reflection of their positions as local arms of giant conglomerates that keep all of their testing in-house.

Fortunately, State Government departments have expressed interest in the need for IPv6 and understand that this protocol should be factored into their future planning. Discussions with VicRoads, NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, and Qld Main Roads are ongoing.

However, discussions with automotive sector members have highlighted a problem for the uptake of IPv6 in the current industry environment. The OSI model of network architecture defines layers of functionality as below:

  • 7. Application Layer: Network communications with applications
  • 6. Presentation Layer: Data representation, encryption and decryption
  • 5. Session Layer: Establishes, manages and terminates connections
  • 4. Transport Layer: End-to-end transfer and reliability, flow control
  • 3. Network Layer: Path determination and logical hierarchical addressing
  • 2. Data Link Layer: Physical addressing, error detection
  • 1. Physical Layer: Electrical signal and binary transmission

IPv6 and essential Internet protocols like TCP/IP have Layer 3 and 4 functionality. But on one hand, some industry activities like DSRC and CALM are focussed on the upper layers 5, 6 and 7, and on the other, developers such as Cohda Wireless are focussed on the lower layers 1 and 2. Neither extreme appears to understand the advantages that engagement with the middle layers would bring to their products.

IPv6 is fundamental to the Internet's "public/private sea of interchanging packets"; it is critical to the working mechanism. However, in automotive areas such as vehicle networks, tollways, level crossings, etc, the interactions are seen as private, localised and limited. Hence the value in standard protocol communication is not necessarily recognised, despite the current level of connected mobile devices already being widely appreciated and seen as the basis of the future "Internet of Things".

2. Automotive Sector IPv6 Demonstration Design

There are a number of ITS-related demonstrations taking place around Australia. The most advanced one is in Albion Park NSW, and therefore not directly relevant to VIC6. There are, however, Victorian stakeholders in that project who could benefit from the use of VIC6 services. Australia is also participating in European DSRC demonstrations and a number of firms are contributing to these activities, including Cohda Wireless and Intellematics. Cohda is Adelaide based but has a number of key associations with Victorian firms. Intellematics is headquartered in Melbourne.

Victorian educational institutes are key participants in advanced automotive sector developments and will eventually have a need for a non-vendor aligned independent test bed for IPv6 related activities. Chief amongst these institutions are Swinburne, Monash, La Trobe and RMIT.

2.1 Potential Demonstrations

On the basis of industry discussions, potential areas suggested for exploration included:
  • Team collaboration, including video conferencing over IPv6-enabled networks - would address transition into production networks, and operation in hybrid IPv4/IPv6 networks.
  • Set-up and operational deployment of IPv6Now tunnels to AusDSRC participants, including support for demonstrations or pilot implementations as they evolve.
  • Implementing IPv6-based video conference facilities between sources and sinks in a way that addresses skill distribution issues. This may be extended to include international elements, as some of the demonstrations being considered are European-based.
  • Testing on VIC6 for vendor interoperability and performance management.
  • Demonstrating IPv6-enabled collection of data, also to address skill distribution issues.
  • Enabling 'smart communications' applications with IPv6 to show applicability across national locations.
  • Developing capacity for in-vehicle telemetry and monitoring based upon IPv6.

Demonstration Implementations

Due to the issues identified in Section 1.2, it was not possible to organise any specific VIC6 IPv6 demonstrations with automotive sector members. Our interactions with key researchers indicate that they consider that they are comfortable with their own IPv6 expertise and would not consider using VIC6 until it either demonstrates superior capabilities or they come up against some IPv6-related problem they cannot solve.

The sector cannot seem to see IPv6 as anything more than a nuts and bolts issue. Members all understand that they have to deal with it at some time, but few seem to appreciate that their lack of recognition of the more subtle benefits will be relevant to them.

Even when they see the need for a testbed, they are not thinking at the IPv6 level. They see testbeds as private interoperability processes for completed devices. They are thinking end-use functionally, not the networked component level. While some industry members are are starting to engage with IPv6 issues, this does not appear to result in the perceived need to use VIC6 or any external testbed environment. So far, most automotive sector members seem to prefer the option of building their own.

However, involvement with VIC6 is still an option in a number of cases, but they are projects not yet come into operation. There were a number of positive outcomes of discussions:

1. AusDSRC: VIC6 has been accepted as one of six projects being recommended to the AusDSRC community of interest in Australia for future action. Still in discussion about participating in some of their ongoing activities, including the European Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge (robotic vehicle demo in 2011). IPv6Now is still engaged with this community, but believes that there is little understanding of the downside risks that inattention to IPv6 can generate.

2. ISO TC204 WG16 (CALM): The chair of Working Group 16, Jared Ring, University of Queensland, is supportive of VIC6 and hopes to open up opportunities for IPv6 TestNet activities as they emerge.

3. International Centre for Connected Mobility (ICCM): This initiative expressed support for a place for IPv6Now and the VIC6 TestNet once the Centre becomes operational.

4. Rail Crossing Safety Project (RCSP): The first trials will be about a year away, but considerable development will be happening in the meantime. The use of a test bed is an integral part of the development planned for this project. As this is DSRC (and therefore IPv6) based, the use of VIC6 would seem ideal. Participants are supportive of VIC6 involvement, so there should be good potential synergies.

5. Over-Height Vehicle Project (OHVP): IPv6Now/VIC6 are on the management team for this project but we are not one of the five funded participants. VIC6 is welcomed as an unfunded contributor to the project. The RTA also expressed some disquiet that VIC6 was seen as a Victorian initiative and therefore might not be welcomed by some NSW bureaucrats, however that remains to be seen whether it would be an issue in practice.

6. Dejai: Dejai management feel that IPv6Now and VIC6 would be useful to test the IPv6 compatibility for their products as they become available. Unfortunately this may be as far away as a 2013 time frame now. The Malaysian developers currently prefer to use a testbed in Malaysia. However, as Australia is the first place these devices will be deployed there will be a need for local involvement.


Unfortunately, it was not possible to organise any specific VIC6 IPv6 demonstrations with automotive sector members, as key researchers indicated that they are comfortable with their own IPv6 expertise and would not consider using VIC6 until they must approach some IPv6-related problem they cannot solve.

Few seem to appreciate the more subtle benefits of broader IPv6 understanding that would be relevant to them. While some industry members are are starting to engage with IPv6 issues, this does not appear to result in the perceived need to use VIC6 or any external testbed environment.

However, involvement with VIC6 was still an option in a number of cases described in Section 3, but these projects are not yet active. As IPv4 address space becomes exhausted, it is probable that IPv6 testing will become a priority on a wider scale for the Automotive sector.