“Back in the days” software was a commodity supporting functionalities of the car. Less than a decade ago, the automotive industry entered a key transition towards placing software in the middle of vehicle differentiation. As software evolves, it goes from a static and hardware-coupled design to a continuously changing feature. Today, automotive software provides crucial vehicle level functions and enhances user experience with tremendous customization capabilities, enabling the software-defined vehicle. The emergence of software-defined vehicles has brought about a change in the way automotive software development is organized. The challenge lies in creating an ecosystem that enables partners to co-develop, use and maintain a future-proof software-defined vehicle software platform. The transition towards software-defined vehicles has introduced several challenges, including distributed development over multiple sites, countries, even companies. Cloud-based testing, massive simulations, and continuous software updates are appearing to enable every software vendor unicorn-dream “from code to road in one day”. To address these challenges: - How flexible are current processes, methods and tools? - What are the market trends on the importance to create a tooling ecosystem that enables users to co-develop, use, and maintain a future-proof software-defined vehicle software platform? Integrating package-based software elements, x-in-the-loop testing, and deployment of continuous integration processes seems to be a must have to enable smoother software development. This integration would help partners to develop software faster and more efficiently while ensuring regulation compliancy, like safety and cybersecurity areas. The success of the software-defined vehicle depends on the mass market adoption as well as positive impact for the end user. How shall collaboration between automotive manufacturers, suppliers, and technology partners look like? One possibility is to establish a strong partnership that enables the co-development of software, sharing of expertise, and maintenance of the software-defined vehicle software platform. Partnering would enable the pooling of resources and expertise, making it easier to create a tooling ecosystem that can support the development, testing, and deployment of software for the software-defined vehicle. Through partnering, it is possible to create a software platform that is not just future-proof but also scalable, flexible, and secure. With this paper we will assess current methods and processes and discuss the possible and necessary shift in methodology and collaboration to achieve a sustainable and profitable software-defined vehicle, for all parties including end users. Keywords: Software-defined vehicle, multi-company development, Cloud-based integration and testing, Software update, Tooling ecosystem.
Mr. Guillaume Cordon, Senior Expert System Architecture, ELEKTROBIT