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How to Respond to the Challenges of Digital Complexity?

The automotive industry is evolving faster than ever before, likely looking to bring more transformation in the next decade than we’ve seen in the last hundred years. Automotive developers need to innovate new operating models that enable them to reduce complexity while increasing efficiency in software development to navigate these new challenges.  

How to Respond to the Challenges of Digital Complexity?

The industry is going through exciting times with the new technologies within the industry and innovative products for consumers. Digitalization is having a profound impact on the automotive industry, the amount of data in software-imbued cars are skyrocketing. More and more vehicles are being equipped with technologies to assist human drivers, and cars are increasingly connected, autonomous, and electric.  

 

Related reading 

The Use Cases of Machine Learning in the Automotive Industry 

 

Adopting new methods of product development  

Traditional software development isn’t enough anymore. In the past automotive software was mostly developed externally and delivered to the OEM by ECU suppliers. The software worked well with the specific hardware it was embedded in due to the close coordination throughout the product development process. Increasingly, OEMs strive to develop large parts of the software themselves, based on a domain-specific vehicle reference architecture or platform. This shortens development times and enables OEMs to continuously flash the new software into the vehicles via OTA, keeping their functionality and behavior up to date and establishing new revenue streams.  

Agile development and user-focused software requirements management go hand in hand with implementing new strategies for modular product design. Focus on customer value is greatly supported by the use of Agile development strategies. Agile supports the involvement of customer feedback throughout development. This enables mobility companies to prioritize the innovation of features, products, or components based on customer value.  

 

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Modernizing product design & architecture 

Modularization and software-hardware decoupling, combined with a Systems Engineering approach, help accelerate the development of systems-of-systems products. Automotive systems engineers should attempt to decouple the hardware and software architectures that are the building blocks of their mobility products as much as possible. Since they have very different lifecycles, bounding them together limits the pace of innovation as software and hardware updates need to happen in lockstep. When decoupled it is much easier to establish a modular approach to product development. Modularization supports the implementation of efficient reuse and Product Line Engineering strategies, while also enabling the easier management of interdependencies.  

If you are planning to adopt a modularized approach you also need to implement the Systems Engineering concept. Systems Engineering provides a holistic, all-encompassing framework to tackle the challenges caused by gaps and information silos in the product lifecycle, disconnected toolchains, product complexity, and misalignment between parallel development streams.  

 

Enabling teams with future-proof tooling 

Modern software development tooling is a key enabler of user-focused and software-driven efficiency in automotive systems innovation.  

Adopting the strategies and practices mentioned above and the rest that you can find in the eBook mentioned below requires automotive systems development teams to operate in an entirely new way. Equipping the organization with an adequate tool infrastructure is invaluable in ensuring the success of this modern approach to automotive software development.  

Managing high-velocity development processes while maintaining quality control, traceability, and transparency is greatly supported by integrated software suites that help teams manage the application development lifecycle. The use of integrated suited such as cutting-edge Application Lifecycle Management platforms deliver a holistic view of software development and provide data access for stakeholders and specified tools covering all phases of the lifecycle. These tools enable teams to automate workflows that support development, testing, and regulatory validation.  

 

Download our eBook to learn more about key factors of development maturity to accelerate digital mobility innovation 

3 Consumer Behavior Shifts Defining the Future of Mobility

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