Issue: Mar 2011


AUTOSAR building momentum



by Lenny Case

In January 2011, the AUTomotive Open System Architecture (AUTOSAR) Development Partnership appointed Alain Gilberg as spokesperson. Gilberg is the expert leader for development and software architecture in the electronics department of PSA Peugeot Citroën. AUTOSAR changes its spokesperson every nine months, and Gilberg took over from Dr. Stefan Bunzel of Continental with phase three of the AUTOSAR partnership well underway. Phase two was marked by the launch of Release 4.0 in December 2009. 

One of Gilberg’s challenges will be the 3rd AUTOSAR Open Conference, which will be held on May 11, 2011 in Frankfurt, Germany. In 2010, the 2nd AUTOSAR Open Conference in Tokyo hosted 160 participants, with eight speeches. The presentations gave an overview of the current state and the future development of the automotive standard software environment. 

A highlight of the event was the presentation by Shigeru Kuroyanagi, general manager Automotive Software Division, Toyota Motor Corporation, which showed Toyota’s practice with embedded software development for automotive control systems. This was followed by a presentation by Dr Kazutaka Adachi, engineering director, Electronics Control Engineering Group, Nissan Motor Corporation, which gave an impressive view of how JasPar (Japan Automotive Software Platform and Architecture) applied the AUTOSAR specifications to build an optimized implementation that will lead to new ideas for improving the AUTOSAR standard. JasPar implements the AUTOSAR software based on AUTOSAR specifications Release 3.0 and adapted its concept to the AUTOSAR software to achieve better performance while maintaining reusability. In addition, the well-established question and answer session under the chairmanship of Kenji Nishikawa, Toyota Steering Committee member of AUTOSAR, concluded a successful conference. Furthermore, fourteen members displayed their products and solutions at the Tokyo International Exchange Center. 

“More and more companies worldwide recognize that AUTOSAR is the key technology regarding infrastructure software for automotive systems. The results and the success of the second Open Conference in Tokyo in May 2010 proved that AUTOSAR has been gaining momentum in Asia, particularly in Japan,” said Stefan Bunzel, the outgoing spokesperson of the AUTOSAR Cooperation, in an earlier interview with AI.

The AUTOSAR partnership was founded in 2003/2004 by the BMW Group, Bosch, Continental, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GM, PSA, Siemens VDO, Toyota and Volkswagen to develop an open, standardized software architecture for the automotive industry. AUTOSAR aims to improve the complexity management of integrated E/E architectures through increased reuse and exchangeability of software modules between OEMs and suppliers. The standard will serve as a basic infrastructure for the management of functions within future applications and standard software modules.

AUTOSAR Release 4.0 contains a large number of technical and functional improvements to functional safety, architecture, communication stack, methodology and templates, and application interfaces. The AUTOSAR Cooperation says that the AUTOSAR scope includes all vehicle domains focusing on body, power train and chassis domains first. Release 4.0 contains a large set of application interfaces, which are standardized by AUTOSAR. AUTOSAR is the basis for new functions, increasing the speed of their introduction and enabling the development of systems with increased complexity at reasonable costs with high quality. 

Multicore systems are one of the main topics in ECU development, and AUTOSAR addresses these challenges by enhancing the support. The introduction of features for efficient energy management is an important topic, as well as functional safety. The automotive industry answered the challenge of functional safety by developing the standard ISO DIS 26262. For Gilberg, the move to Release 4.1 will give him an opportunity to further expand the AUTOSAR partnership across the globe. Automotive Industries (AI) asked Gilberg to describe some of the goals he had defined for himself as spokesperson for the AUTOSAR Cooperation.

Gilberg: 2011 will be challenging for AUTOSAR as we will be launching the conformance tests with Release 4.0.2. This is a big step towards the interoperability of basic software modules and the continuity of the standard. In addition, AUTOSAR will answer current market needs by integration of a new minor 3.2 Release, which will mainly update the communication stack and add partial networking functionality. Furthermore we will have to finalize the content of Release 4.1 in this phase.

AI: How do you plan to further expand the AUTOSAR Development Partnership?

Gilberg: Besides the technical achievements, AUTOSAR especially addressed the Asian market and intends to intensify links with India and China. The ongoing close cooperation with JasPar is well established. AUTOSAR is already in close contact and discussion with several Chinese OEMs, and the development partnership organized a technical seminar with 35 Chinese companies, institutes and governmental organizations. The next step to intensify the links will be another conference in 2012. Furthermore, AUTOSAR also has its sights on India to address local needs, as well as on the USA to achieve a higher level of publicity. 

AI: How do you hope to further globalize the AUTOSAR standard?

Gilberg: The migration plans of the AUTOSAR core partners and members are proving that it will become the standard for E/E systems in the automotive domain. Several OEMs have started the development of high volume vehicle platforms which apply AUTOSAR at one or several of their ECUs. This comes along with many AUTOSAR series projects at suppliers and tool providers.

The advantages of AUTOSAR are so convincing that in the next years we will see a lot more car model launches with AUTOSAR ECUs on board. As soon as all AUTOSAR members bring AUTOSAR on the road, the globalization of the standard will increase significantly.

AI: What will the focus of this year’s AUTOSAR Open Conference be?

Gilberg: The objective of the AUTOSAR Open Conference is to provide a platform for researchers, engineers, academics and members to present their results and development activities relating to the AUTOSAR standard. In the present phase, the upcoming releases are of highest interest. Additionally, the presentations by AUTOSAR members will focus on the current roll-out of AUTOSAR. 

AI: Why was the venue (Frankfurt) chosen?

Gilberg: After the 1st Open Conference in the USA and the 2nd Open Conference in Asia, Europe has been chosen as the venue this time as several Core Partners of AUTOSAR have headquarters in Germany.

AI: Tell us about how many participants/speakers you expect.

Gilberg: We are proud of the substantial feedback in the US and Japan where the first two AUTOSAR Open Conferences attracted a large audience. In Tokyo, more than 160 participants followed the speeches. As the conference has gained a high reputation among the target groups, we expect even more participants in Frankfurt where several of our members are located. To offer a broad thematic spectrum, the one day 
conference hosts as many speakers as possible within this rather short timeframe.

AI: What are some of the innovations planned in Release 4.1 and how will these prove a challenge?

Gilberg: Currently, we are still finalizing the conceptual work of Release 4.1.
Several new technical concepts are jointly worked out to be incorporated in Release 4.1, scheduled for the end of 2012. It is our challenge to find a wise balance with regard to innovation, stability and backwards compatibility in any further development.



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