The disruptive nature of tech evolution has created a rush for innovation within the automotive industry. Due to this, there is an increased demand for software integration. The need for automotive software development is high because it can be applied to a number of different ways.
The highest demand for it is in the autonomous drive technology, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), digital cockpit technologies, vehicle electrification, and others. This increase in demand has created trends that are reshaping the automotive landscape. There is always a need for computing platforms and other software requirements.
Automotive software development in recent years has changed vehicle architectures and increased the quality of security and functional safety. Companies from all over are trying to integrate these changes and trends created by the emergence of automotive software development companies.
Now companies approach the design aspect in a different way. Long gone are the days of focusing on hardware mostly. Nowadays the smart approach is to go ahead with hardware/software holistic view.
Trends That Are Changing The Field In Automotive Electronics
One of the biggest change has been brought on by the adaptation of ADAS. The move towards autonomy has increased the amount of data flow and processing within the vehicle. On top of that In-Vehicle Infotainment are become much more complex and feature-rich.
Driver information systems like digital instrument clusters, heads-up displays, and mirror replacement by cameras are playing a vital part in designing the cockpit and changing the approach to automotive design. With the electrification of the car, the data processing need has increased.
From motor control and monitoring capabilities for the management of on-board energy to battery storage conservation, all require extensive data flow and processing. These have brought on new dawn within the automotive industry.
So what are the trends that have been caused by automotive software development? Well, the following passages will be about 8 trends that disrupting and changing the automotive space as we speak.
Electronic Control Unit Functionality Increase
So the increase in functionality of the ECU allows automotive architects to design ECUs with software that re-calibrates its workload. The change in architecture and the change in silicon-based platforms allows designers to consolidate more functionality and features within one ECU.
Before each functionality would require different ECUs. Now with the development in the automotive software technology, one ECU can host multiple functionalities within it. The differences are separated virtually and controlled by the software an automotive software company develops.
The virtual solutions are separated through virtual commands controlled by a single ECU. This change is unprecedented within the automotive industry and has changed it for the better.
Functional Safety Integration
Functional safety integration is a major part when designing an automobile these days. This is what processes and mitigates the faults that may occur within the system. There are strict restrictions that functional safety requirements are met when installing ECUs.
The automotive software has to meet the standards of ISO 26262. This is the way the software gets the green light for installation within an ECU. Whenever any OEM is designing an ECU with multiple functionalities they will always provide an Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) requirement.
This way the company developing the automotive software will know what to integrate for which functionality.
Now with cars being so feature-rich, there is an increased demand for network connectivity. ADAS features, telematics, and infotainment systems all may require additional outside connectivity to function.
Now the OEM makes sure that the vehicle is designed in such a way so that multiple fleets can be serviced by a single cloud network. Multiple connections are a security risk that most manufacturers want to avoid.
This is why automotive software development companies utilize a single software platform OEMs so that all the connectivity features can be accessed through it.
With an increase in connectivity requirements for cars its a no brainer that cyber-security is a big issue. The vehicles are becoming smarter as time goes on and each different system has specialized security requirements for it.
The problem with this is scalability and complexity of the operation. As one would have to make sure that the car’s functions can’t be compromised from within or from outside. Physical security is not the only pressing option as autonomous cars are already on the road.
Automotive software developers are scrambling to provide and create state of the art security options for these new-generation cars.
Over The Air Updates
You update the software on your phone and other devices through the internet. So why should you need to go to the service center for software updates for the ECUs? Well, now with the increased connectivity OTA or over the air updates are available.
The software needs to be able to be developed in such a way that it allows for OTAs. This trend has changed the automotive industry a lot now people don’t need to go to a service center for simple things like software updates.
They can easily do it themselves from home. While it is not widespread yet it should be a common phenomenon in the upcoming years, given that this feature has been in cell-phones for more than a decade.
Open Source Software Utilization
If you look hard enough you will already see a lot of open-source software utilization within the automotive industry. With more and more OEMs and Tier 1s are integrating open-source software within the IVI space. If you analyze the software then you will find that open-source software like Linux has been in use for a long time.
However, you won’t see it pop up when your car starts or the IVI system reboots. In a recent Auto grade Linux meeting it was stated that there are at least 15 different Linux distributions are used within the automotive space. This is expected to fall as the industry is transitioning to automotive-grade Linux.
On top of all this, a spike in Android OS usage has increased as well. These are not the only options nowadays. There are other open-source software elements that have been developed with the safety regulations in mind and provides perfect functional safety.
These software elements provide you with functional safety in safety separation for virtual ECUs and Real-Time OSes that support real-time ECU workloads. Its a well-known fact by now that there will be widespread adoption of open-source software elements by automotive software developers for production solutions.
There is no single way of approaching OSS element integration. You can approach it in any number of different ways. This allows the developers to meet safety regulations along with finding innovative integration solutions. Because of its open-ended nature, it is a great way to integrate software at a lower entry cost.
If you want an ECU with a complete set of safety requirements then you would need to make sure that it has certifiable hardware and software elements. This is can be an expensive venture as you would need to develop artifacts and pay for certification and long-term support for the integration and other services.
However, automotive software development companies can access OSS elements and use previous certifiable artifacts to build a new system. This innovative idea has been reshaping the automotive industry in recent years.
Now OSS adoption is a lower risk and lower cost option for automotive software development companies. In the long run, more and more developers will adopt OSS with full safety requirements and eventually the entire industry will have prominent OSS element usage.
Proprietary Software Usage
Automotive software development companies are the common suppliers of proprietary software for functional safety requirements. Manufacturers contact development companies who have experience in safety certification to provide software solutions with a certification level of ASIL D or even ASIL B.
This trend shows that as time goes by the reliance on automotive software development companies will increase. With more and more dependency on software elements like hypervisors and RTOSes, you know for a fact that proprietary software usage will become an integral part of designing a vehicle and its ECUs.
Long-Term Software Support
With so much software being put in a car these days you know that it would require constant updates. This means that OEMs will need long-term software support. This is because the car needs full functionality and it can come with continuous software updates.
So the trend of long term software support has become imperative within the automotive domain.
There you go these are 8 automotive software development trends that are changing the automotive landscape. These trends are mainly dependent on the emergence of software technology and enhanced connectivity requirements.
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With that being said I will conclude the discussion here. Let us know in the comments below your thoughts and suggestions. We look forward to your input on our work. Till next time, See Ya!