AEF and Isobus
The Universal Terminal (UT) project made some progress. The conformance testing to the Isobus standard was finalized.
The nonprofit AEF association pre-developing communication standards for the CAN-based Isobus networking organized several online events in 2020. In October, even the general assembly took place as an e-meeting. But the elections were organized in an extraordinary face-2-face meeting on November in the AEF office in Guetersloh (Germany). The incumbents for chairperson (Peter van der Vlugt), treasurer (Peter Hieronymus), and secretary (Mark Benishek) had agreed to continue for another term. However, there was a change in the position of vice-chairperson as Marcello Mongiardo has had to step down. Andrew Olliver was the nominee. He is working for CNH Industrial.
Three long time AEF member companies, Amazone, Horsch, and Poettinger, have decided to combine efforts and requested to join the AEF core group that makes up the steering committee. The steering committee approved the joint request from the three companies. The representative and deputy from this alliance officially joins the AEF steering committee meetings from January 2021.
Project activities for the UT 3 functionality conformance test have received interest for the past few years. In January 2020, a face-to-face meeting was held in Osnabrueck (Germany) to align the project activities. The UT 3 project is comprised of three sub-projects: CAN-based tests; automation and extension of the graphical tests; and an upgrade of the existing Object Pool validation tool used in the test. Test specification and implementation are outsourced to AEF development partners, while the AEF project team works on test requirements and acceptance testing and reviews of supplier deliverables, and maintaining the guideline.
More engineering support is needed in this project, which has ramped up its activities in 2020. The pool validation subproject is currently nearing completion but the graphical tests and CAN-based test implementation will continue development in 2021. The project is expected to run to completion in the first quarter of 2022. Interested individuals from AEF member companies are invited to join the UT 3 project team.
In October 2020, the third AEF Service Council took place in Warendorf (Germany). The event focused on the AEF Isobus database, related questions, and experiences from the participants. Moderator Jan-Hendrik Woelker presented new features of the AEF compatibility check. Isobus-connectable vehicles, which consist of multiple components (e.g. tractors often include a display and joystick), are now presented in an extended view in the database. Dealers find this additional level of details helpful, especially when having to diagnose any issues. A new topic for further discussions is regarding the format of prescription maps, which are transferred from the USB stick to the display.
In 2020, the AEF association started scheduling an educational series called Tech Talks on a monthly basis. These AEF Tech Talks are short condensed introductions to different topics. In 2021, AEF plans sessions about different data models for FMISes by Daan Goense and a future vision of Isobus presented by Timo Oksanen.
The postponed Isobus plugfest is not scheduled yet. If possible, it will take place in Stuttgart (Germany). Normally, the Isobus community organizes plugfests twice a year, one in North America and one in Europe.
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