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Collaboration is key: new Eclipse software-defined vehicle working group

connected car with cloud services, white background

The complexity of vehicle software is rising continuously. While 10,000 lines of code were enough to develop a compact car in 2010, today this number amounts to 100 million. What’s more, the current paradigm shift from vehicles as isolated hardware islands to active, software-based players in an ecosystem requires us to re-think development and maintenance processes. In a nutshell: it is time for automotive and IT industries to open up and collaborate.

Where are we heading? The software-defined vehicle has modern E/E architectures and cloud-based services, making it both a sender and receiver of data. It will deliver an outstanding digital experience, with customers expecting it to be state-of-the-art throughout its entire lifespan, including regular new features for comfort, safety, and performance. Hence, software maintenance and digital vehicle services will grow and provide entirely new revenue opportunities in the future.

Bringing together the best from the IT and automotive industries

While mechanical complexity in vehicles has decreased, software-centric uses cases and new opportunities for product differentiation are on the rise. Consequently, software components are integrated into high-performance central vehicle computers – and their number, and the emerging complexity, will continue to increase. Adding internet connectivity, we see how important a new perspective on automotive software is.

How to deal with this increasing complexity? And how to deliver innovative functionalities in shorter intervals to customers? The shortest possible answer is collaboration. There is a gigantic amount of knowledge, solutions, and ideas out there, which is currently still isolated from each other by country, company, application field and connectivity boundaries. Bringing together the experts from different fields is one part of the solution. Another, complementary approach is to establish new ways of co-working, where everyone – the large corporation as well as the digital vehicle start-up – will reap the benefits. This is why Bosch is proposing a new open source working group for software-defined vehicles, together with the Eclipse Foundation and other industry leaders.

Here, major players from the IT and automotive industries collaborate to develop an open source in-vehicle application runtime stack. “Technological, organizational, and cultural innovations pave the way for the software-defined vehicle. The use of open-source software and technological neutrality are the pillars for a strong community to actively shape the transformation in automotive software engineering together with our customers and partners,” said Sven Kappel, vice president, head of the software-defined vehicle project at Bosch.

Passing on knowledge for future joint developments

An active participation involves sharing knowledge and proven solutions with the community. Bosch has been doing this for years, for example through contributions to open-source initiatives like the Common Vehicle Interface Initiative (CVII), Eclipse Kuksa or OpenADx. The latest addition is Eclipse Kanto, which builds the vehicle edge by bringing the essential AIoT enablement for software-defined vehicles together, i.e. cloud connectivity and digital twins, container management, and software updates. Based on a field-tested modular IoT Edge software developed by Bosch, Eclipse Kanto makes it possible to deploy containerized applications in vehicles, to process and act on vehicle data locally or send it to the cloud and seamlessly manage heterogeneous in-vehicle software remotely using a cloud backend of choice. Eclipse Kanto promotes the open source approach and brings cloud-native technologies to the lightweight edge to solve the ever growing complexity of edge hardware and software. It integrates seamlessly into existing open source ecosystems as well as modern development toolchains and is optimized for in-vehicle hardware platforms for the QM domain. Eclipse Kanto enables others to easily adapt it for various use cases and hardware – and develop it further.

The same holds true for the new SDV working group. Its goal is to scale in-vehicle software across vehicle models, product lines, brands, organizations, and time (product generations). It is, of course, not a closed effort. On the contrary: additional contributors are welcome to make this project grow into a strong and diverse community – from the established car manufacturer to completely new software-centered cross-sector businesses.

If you want to learn more about why we need this approach, read the following article: Why we need an open source initiative for software-defined vehicles.

More on open source

Bosch contributes software to the Common Vehicle Interface Initiative (CVII) to establish a common, industry-wide vehicle data language.

If Bosch can do it, you can do it too: Our journey toward becoming an active open source contributor.

Bosch pursues an open source strategy to transform IoT: Learn about our involvement in the Eclipse IoT community