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The Automotive Industry Has Experienced Dramatic Changes In The Past Decade

Highly automated driving technology, connectivity to Internet services and new types of mobility—like Uber and other mobility-as-a-service companies—are major trends shaping the industry’s future.

Today, software sets vehicles apart, and will be playing an increasingly important role in vehicles as they become more highly automated and autonomous. The amount of software in the vehicle will continue to increase, as will its complexity. For example, in 2013, only around 10% of a car’s total value was based on its software. According to industry experts, by 2030 this figure will increase to around 30%.

The increasing role of software in automotive should come as no surprise. If you own or if you have driven or been a passenger in a late-model car, you’re already familiar with the many ways that software makes your experience a more enjoyable one. Software touches every part of today’s vehicle. It makes possible the navigation, the advanced driver-assistance features, the voice-control and touch-screen interfaces, automatic updates from the cloud, and much more.

Unbeknownst to most drivers and passengers, building increasingly automated and self-driving cars is also requiring a complete overhaul of the car’s core architecture…including the software that powers it. Previously, as a new component was added to a car, it was commonplace to install a small specialized computer to control it. This has resulted in modern cars containing up to 100 small separate computers and literally three or four kilometers of electrical wiring connecting them all. Although this method was tenable for many years—the amount of raw wiring has become excessive and the interiors of modern cars are inevitably running out of available space. Instead of continuing to add more of these computers, a new approach must be taken to consolidate the computing power and allow the vehicle to operate in a smarter and more efficient manner. In addition to this hardware, the software governs everything in the vehicle that is critical to its operation. It includes systems for ensuring cybersecurity and functional safety. With this new architecture, Internet connectivity is making it possible for security and safety updates to be made in near-real time.

Carmakers and their suppliers are eager to benefit from software experts who can help them make the difficult transition to these more advanced systems. This is where a company like Elektrobit—with years of experience managing and executing complex software development for the world’s leading automotive brands—comes into the picture.