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German Research Institute for Public Administration

Cooperation for embedded systems: Networking public administration with intelligent Industry 4.0 environments

Whenever a participant incorporates hardware and software components into a comprehensive product in order to realize product-specific functional features, this involves "embedded systems". Defined interfaces and protocols make it possible for them to interact with the outside world. An illustrative example is seen in the area of logistics: not only drivers and companies are networked together with navigational systems and smart phones (Internet of Services), but more and more vehicles and deliveries are linked as well (Internet of Things). Both levels merge into one intelligent logistics environment to exchange data on position coordinates and weather conditions, the condition of the goods, and the vehicle and the driver's capacity, and to coordinate and optimise the transportation industry on this basis. Even the smart factories of the future will control and coordinate many processes in real time via embedded networked systems. Based on the most current process data, companies can coordinate the value creation chain with the transportation elements that are connected to each other. The needs-based use of machines designed to be open to applications can be organised automatically to the greatest extent possible. In future, work pieces can process the environmental data using embedded systems and derive control commands from this. In addition to this vertical integration, Industry 4.0 is also seeing the horizontal networking between multiple companies: it is the starting point for flexibly customisable value chain creation processes.

In both example scenarios, an industrial data space connects the individual levels of interaction. This interface accomplishes the task of an interpreter for seamless communication between various technical instances as well as that of a data custodian for factually correct and trustworthy allocation of sensitive business and personal data. The autonomous systems therefore set the offsetting requirements for their risk management. They are on the one hand risk averse, while on the other hand also particularly open to risk: under their regime the reliability of persons is less critical than the reliability of the system (system stability). They promise maximum gains in efficiency, but at the same time can only be controlled to a certain extent and can therefore prove to be inefficient and dangerous with internal control errors/deficits. Standards for proper output programming are the central agenda items at the start of an innovation cycle. The effective, secure and legal networking of the public administration with the intelligent environments is critical for the sovereign supervision over and malfunction-related intervention in autonomous embedded systems. What does a cooperative control approach for embedded systems and intelligent environments - legal in terms of both competition and allocation - look like? This raises numerous scientifically challenging questions. Because the ideas and issues surrounding Industry 4.0 have essentially been raised in the recent past, the general state of research into them is not particularly advanced.

In view of the need to protect networked systems, lawmakers have intervened in the field of security for critical infrastructures at increasingly shorter regulatory intervals. Art. 32-34 of the GDPR expanded the range of legal requirements for data security and tried to adjust this important regulatory field of activity to the needs of the digital world. The programme area presents the challenge of accompanying the technical, regulatory and administrative development of an Industry 4.0, an Internet of Things and their interfaces with interdisciplinary science from the start.

Note: The text on this home page is copyrighted. It is taken verbatim or based on Martini, "Digitalisierung als Herausforderung und Chance für Staat und Verwaltung" (Digitalisation as Challenge and Chance for State and Administration), FÖV Discussion Paper No. 85, 2016, in particular p. 67 ff. 

 

Senior Fellow

Prof. Dr. Mario Martini

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Researcher

Tobias Rehorst

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