As modern vehicles include more features and functionality, they now resemble consumer smartphones — with multiple layers of software, application programming interfaces (APIs) and electronic control units (ECUs) integrated in a single operating system. While hardware used to lead the development of automotive electronics, today software is clearly the priority. In fact, industry leaders are working toward developing a vendor-agnostic, open-source standard for the software-defined vehicle.
This marks an important evolution in the development of automotive electronics infrastructures. Historically, software and associated ECUs were created to act independently, fulfilling very specific functions in the vehicle such as steering or braking. Today, vehicle platforms are designed based on the concept of harmonized abstraction, which capitalizes on economies of scale as software components proliferate. The complex network of ECUs are now deployed on a single platform and managed as a single device. Individual applications are built on top of system-level APIs to ensure maximum portability and maintainability — forming a robust, tightly integrated ecosystem.
What benefits are delivered by the modern automotive operating system, or Automotive OS? This single ecosystem ensures faster network communications, delivers higher data rates, supports an increasing amount of new software functionality, and makes it easier for OEMs and their Tier 1 suppliers to manage growing network complexity. A harmonized, tightly integrated Automotive OS minimizes development time and costs by reducing wiring and simplifying component integration. Finally, it enables a very secure cloud-connected architecture that is more impervious to cyberattacks and other risks.
An increasing need for specialized expertise
As carmakers and their suppliers make the transition to the software-defined vehicle and work to develop a harmonized vehicle platform, they may lack the specialized expertise to master this challenge on their own. Meeting the speed and bandwidth demands of automated driving, in-car entertainment systems, remote diagnostics, and electric engines — built on a single, integrated Automotive OS platform — is a complex task.
Automotive development teams need to partner with a provider that understands the process of moving away from static, zonal ECUs and simplifying with a single, centralized ECU. As multiple in-car systems are brought together to communicate with each other simultaneously, safety and security are paramount. Connections to the automotive ethernet, virtual switches, ethernet switches and virtualization modules must all be designed in compliance with industry protocols and international safety standards. Data must be shared securely, in real time, across all electronics systems and software components, as well as with the cloud.
For example, autonomous driving systems require a stream of instantaneous data from multiple sensors mounted across the vehicle infrastructure. These systems must be combined with external mapping information from the cloud to create a safe, appropriate, real-time response to external conditions. Without multiple systems flawlessly communicating and working together at the same time, this is simply not possible.
With human safety at stake, car manufacturers simply cannot afford to shortchange the development process as they work to create next-generation harmonized vehicle infrastructures. They need to partner with a company that has demonstrated expertise in this area, keeps up with continuing technology developments, and works with industry groups like AUTOSAR (Automotive Open System Architecture) to ensure thought leadership and regulatory compliance.
Enabling the infrastructure of tomorrow
Elektrobit is a world leader in designing, developing, and integrating advanced software into many of the world’s best-known automotive brands — and is already powering millions of cars around the world. We offer a unique expertise in providing platform services that manage functionality across different ECUs and developing middleware solutions for optimized application management and communication.
We create robust, layered safety and security architectures, configuring and testing the Automotive OS infrastructure, and ensuring fast and seamless communications across all mission-critical systems and software.
Elektrobit’s EB tresos product line provides automakers with state-of-the-art ECU software encompassing basic software, operating systems, configuration tooling, functional safety and testing solutions.
The EB corbos product line positions car manufacturers to adopt new Adaptive AUTOSAR standards built on high-performance controllers (HPCs), providing support for interconnectivity and real-time updates. EB corbos includes basic software, hypervisor, configuration tooling and a high-performance operating system that work together seamlessly.
To learn more and speak with experts who can help you realize your own vision of the software-defined vehicle, contact us.