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Automotive Software Architectures

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“Without exception, our aim must be to improve the current status; and instead of being satisfied with what has been achieved, we must always strive to do our job even better.”This is the direction which the famous automotive entrepreneur Robert Bosch gave already at the dawn of the automotive age. It is still valid today, and we are indeed never satisfied with where we are in the automotive sector. 

Software and IT are the major drivers of modern cars—both literally and from a marketing perspective. Modern vehicles have more than 50 electronic control units (ECUs), with premium cars having more than 100 such embedded computer systems. Some functions, such as engine control or dynamics, are hard real-time functions, with reaction times going down to a few milliseconds. Practically all other functions, such as infotainment, demand at least soft real-time behaviors. Today automotive software is spearheading IT innovation.

 Software engineering for automotive systems today encompasses modern embedded and cloud technologies, distributed computing, real-time systems, mixed safety and security systems, and, last but not least, the connection of all these elements to long-term sustainable business models. 

The everyday relevance of automotive software for today’s software engineers is high, and it is the focus of this book to bring this message to practitioners. Its main goal is to underline the convergence of embedded software with highly complex distributed IT systems. Each automotive area has its own requirements for computational speed, reliability, security, safety, flexibility, and extensibility. 

Automotive electronic systems map functions such as braking, powertrain, or lighting controls to individual software systems and physical hardware. The resulting complexity has reached a limit that demands an architectural restart. 

At the same time, innovative functions such as connectivity with external infrastructuresand vehicle-to-vehicle communication demand IT backbone and cloud solutions with service-oriented architectures (SOA). 

Software and IT in vehicles and their environments are evolving at a fast pace. Multimodal mobility will connect previouslyseparated domains like cars and public transportation. Mobility-oriented services such as car sharing creates completely new eco-systems and business models far away from the classic “buy your own car” approach. Autonomous driving demandshighly interactive services with multisensor fusion, far away from currently deployed functionally isolated control units.

 Connectivity and infotainment have transformed the car into a distributed IT system with cloud access, over-the-air functionalupgrades, and high-band-width access to map services, media content, other vehicles and surrounding infrastructure. Energy efficiency evolves the classic powertrain towards high voltage hybrid and electric engines.