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Researchers propose car software interface standards

Posted: 13 Aug 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:standard proposal  car software development  mobilisoft project 

A research group in Germany has proposed a standard for variant handling in automotive software development. The proposed standard could help tier-one companies and OEMs simplify their software development processes.

A working group within the mobilsoft project including carmaker Audi, electronics supplier Siemens VDO, software system house ESG GmbH and Fraunhofer entity ESK has elaborated the standards proposal that bears the working designation "SPL interface." According to the group, the technology would help make the software development process for vehicles "simpler, better and more reliable."

"In today's cars, especially in the high-end and luxury segments, the number of different configurations is unlimited. In this segment, literally every car is unique since they differ in terms of electronic add-ons," explained working group leader Mike Heidrich. The group's approach aims at enabling the different software development platforms used at OEMs and suppliers to manage the multitude of variants.

"OEMs are interested in using their software throughout their entire product range. Tier ones, in contrast, are interested in developing software that can be sold to several OEMs," explained Heidrich. "Our standards proposal would help to offer a common data platform that enables them to straighten and simplify the development process over different product lines."

The problem has not been addressed by existing standards such as Autosar, an ESK spokesperson said. But similar to Autosar, the standard to-be would facilitate software reuse and thus help manage complexity while at the same time make software development cheaper. "Once the standard has been established, new trends in automotive development can be implemented faster."

Mobilsoft is a research project funded in part by the Bavarian government. The project embraces seven projects related to automotive software. Participants include automotive OEMs BMW and Audi, tier ones Siemens VDO, 3Soft and Softing as well as research institutes and universities.

- Jonathan Hopfner
EE Times

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