By Blog Team on 3 May 2013
Peter Jakobsson, Global Leader for AUTOSAR and Vehicle Networks Practice with KPIT, talks to the Blog Team about how KPIT manages the complexities and challenges associated with AUTOSAR variants and also about some of the recent trends in AUTOSAR.
Blog Team: Peter, appreciate your talking to us. Let us begin by asking –
AUTOSAR was introduced with the idea that software components could be reused. However, many Tier 1s are not benefiting from this due to the different variants of AUTOSAR. How is this addressed by KPIT?
Peter: It is true that Tier 1s have not been able to capitalize fully on AUTOSAR’s potential, but a lot of that has to do with the speed at which AUTOSAR has been innovating or introducing new releases. It is good in a way because it goes to show the rate at which the automotive industry has been evolving. Another reason is that different OEMs introduce AUTOSAR at different points in time, which means every OEM has a different version of AUTOSAR. Now, as soon as the software is introduced and used during the ECU development, it undergoes a change process, i.e. the software will be refined, and depending on the timing of the production and the AUTOSAR version used, each OEM will focus on making the changes to suit to their specific product. This in turn creates further divergence between the different AUTOSAR versions used.
KPIT manages this complexity at several levels. First of all, we have a very refined way of managing changes in our development process, which allows us to manage the long term development of our AUTOSAR products and at the same time create custom variants of that software for each of our customers.
In addition to that we have a very strong support organization that is able to work with our customers such that the specific version of the required software is properly integrated and tested in the actual environment where it is intended to run, i.e., in an ECU within the vehicle.
Third thing that we do to manage the complexity is within our tool chain. Our goal is to make the introduction and usage of AUTOSAR as easy and smooth as possible for our customers and as a big step in that direction we have introduced a very large variety of file import plug-ins in our tool chain and some extensive features that help the user to automatically set up many of the parameters based on the imported files. These features help our customers to limit the development time and cost by making the configuration process much shorter but with higher quality. We also have an extremely good way of managing variants in our development.
Blog Team: What are the latest trends in AUTOSAR?
Peter: From the technical point of view, some of the latest trends include, introduction of ethernet, security & energy saving concepts like partial networking or pretended networking. This is in line with the trends in the automotive electronics industry in general, where the vehicle features are more and more software driven and the fuel consumption and environmental aspects are immensely important.
If we look at the trends in respect to the adoption of AUTOSAR, I think that we are only just gaining some momentum. Of course some regions, like Germany, are early adopters where AUTOSAR has become the standard software platform for all OEMs. We have also started seeing strong intentions from the North American OEMs, and OEMs across the rest of Europe and Korea.
On the whole, AUTOSAR adoption has taken some time but it is gaining speed and there is no doubt that AUTOSAR will grow to be the global basic software standard going forward.
Blog Team: How is Functional safety addressed in AUTOSAR?
Peter: Functional safety is a very important aspect and the parallel introduction of the ISO 26262 standard and the AUTOSAR rollout is creating a set of new challenges. AUTOSAR has been trying to face those challenges by introducing features like End to End libraries, OS classes that provide memory and timing protection features etc.
Feature setting is only half the challenge, the bigger challenge is the development process, and that part has not been addressed by AUTOSAR yet.
Depending on how each implementer decides to implement their functional safety concepts, there will be some advantages and some disadvantages to the users of that software. KPIT has a very good and unique approach to functional safety where we develop the complete software, including the configuration and generation tools according to most stringent level of functional safety (ASIL-D). Doing so allows our software to be treated as a trusted software component and this gives our customers a distinct advantage in terms of performance in the functional safety assessment of their own systems.
Blog Team: We are the first company to release “AUTOSAR R4.0.3 with ASIL D” in the market. How is the market reacting to this product?
Peter: As previously mentioned, this product is unique and offers a clear advantage to our customers and hence the reaction from the market has been, as expected, very positive. This is one of the examples where we are at the absolute forefront of technology, enabling us to provide additional value to our customers. We have a few other examples in our tool chain as well.
Blog Team: What is the role of AUTOSAR in KPIT’s growth strategy?
Peter: Our practice will play a significant role in further enhancing KPIT’s position as leaders in automotive electronics. I am convinced that our expertise in the AUTOSAR space will serve as a driver for further business for other practices, and will play a leading role in the way we create a global organization. The AUTOSAR practice will be able to contribute to our sales and account management strategies as well going forward.
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