FOUNDRIES.IO INSIGHTS

Case Study: Aeler C3 shipping containers assured with complete chain of trust with FoundriesFactory

By David Baur, Trina Watt | June 22, 2020

Aeler is a Swiss AI-driven company designing hardware and software to meet fundamental logistics requirements by revamping the standard shipping container. Aeler envisions a world where logistics operations are efficient, clean and intelligent. To that end, they believe that building the next-gen intermodal container, one of global trade’s core components, will enable a new era of both economical and environmental efficiency.

Aeler has built a 20ft (6m) shipping container, which is intrinsically less costly to operate and has embedded within its structure an IoT sensor mesh with proprietary electronics. This design allows shippers and logistic service providers to receive information on both the container environment and the condition of the cargo it transports. Connectivity enables Aeler’s C3 container to broadcast its location and condition via cellular transmission. The container is built out of composite materials to be lightweight, durable and better insulated, offering customers the possibility to load up to 4 tons (4000kg) more cargo than steel containers.

From a structural perspective, the additional payload, higher insulation and the decrease in tare weight offer a direct and significant OPEX reduction, particularly beneficial in some verticals, such as bulk liquids and sensitive goods. From a digital perspective, the containers are designed to be able to track their location, as well as what is going on around them. The IoT sensors consist of temperature, humidity, pressure and light sensors, an accelerometer, GPS and cellular communications. The C3 containers are expected to be used initially by companies shipping bulk liquids, high-end luxury goods, pharmaceuticals and other sensitive goods.

Due to the high monetary value and sensitivity of certain container contents, security and environmental awareness are critical. The ability to quickly and securely update the software in the sensor device is paramount, so that the container remains continuously reachable and secure throughout its lifespan, no matter its location.

David Baur, CTO at Aeler, explains, “Aeler now uses FoundriesFactory as a robust, easy to implement system for securing software in sensor devices within our C3 shipping containers. The easy-to-use Over the Air (OTA) update system ensures that devices are kept up to date and secure throughout their lifecycle, wherever they are located. Devices can be easily onboarded with provisioning, authentication and a secure chain of trust.”

Partnering with Foundries.io has allowed the Aeler team to fast-track the development of their next generation solution by enabling OTA and Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA) updates early on in the development process. Doing so has made possible the ongoing delivery of new firmware

and software features, opening up the option to continuously improve the C3 product, whenever and wherever. Foundries.io team’s expertise has helped to rapidly integrate Aeler hardware with Foundries.io LmP (Linux microPlatform) solution and to progress from a prototype to an industry-ready embedded system within a few months.

With each passing day brings new IoT security breaches that compromise private data and sensitive systems,making security a clear priority for Aeler. FoundriesFactory, via the LmP, offers an always up-to-date distribution and a robust system to deploy OS and application level updates as soon as a patch or critical update is made available. Foundries.io security expertise keeps Aeler embedded systems up to date and safe, minimising the attack surface by ensuring a proper software chain of trust is enforced on each device.

The Linux microPlatform offers OTA/FOTA updates and a secure platform as a service by relying on an open source code base common to the Foundries.io customer pool. This benefits all users by changing the bring up from a single product BSP with a costly and lengthy project-specific approach, to a lighter customization approach on top of a generic platform, which supports various architectures and is continuously maintained by embedded Linux specialists. This reduces friction, development time and costs, transferring the man hours and effort of Aeler developers from the software infrastructure over to the application logic. Aeler can now focus more fully on the specific features that bring product differentiation in the knowledge that the platform is securely set up, regularly updated and that any vulnerabilities will be fixed and flagged to Aeler as soon as they occur. FoundriesFactory provides Aeler with a customized, embedded Linux-based solution, enabling them to get to market quicker and freeing up developers to concentrate on C3 product features.

David Baur, CTO at Aeler
Trina Watt, CMO at Foundries.io

To find out more about Aeler, visit www.aeler.com.

To find out more about Foundries.io solutions:

  • Visit our FoundriesFactory product information pages
  • Head to the Foundries.io YouTube channel and learn how to Develop, Deploy and Maintain Secure IoT and Edge Devices
  • Stay up to date with regular updates to our social media feeds on Twitter and Linked In
  • Contact us
comments powered by Disqus