Issue: Jan 2012


Autosar Phase III expands into non-automotive areas



by Lenny Case

AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) is extending its standard into non-automotive areas, including rail, agriculture and forestry machinery, construction machinery, compressors, pumps or power generators, and marine and military transportation vessels. 

The adoption of derived applications is ruled out in the fields of aviation, aerospace, nuclear power, chemical and biological reactors and in the petrochemical and military sectors and more generally for ultra hazardous applications, according to spokesperson Frank Kirschke-Biller.  He succeeds Alain Gilberg in accordance with the AUTOSAR Development Partnership’s nine-month tenure policy. Kirschke-Biller is supported by deputy spokesperson, Steffen Lupp, vice president Automotive Software in the Bosch corporate department for Automotive System Integration. Lupp succeeds Kenji Nishikawa, department general manager, Automotive Software Engineering Division of Toyota Motor Corporation. 

Kirschke-Biller is an electrical engineer with many years of experience in electrical architecture, networks, software development and integration. He also has a master’s degree from the University of Duisburg, Germany. He headed up the sensor technology and mechatronic systems division at imech GmbH in Moers, Germany for seven years before joining Ford in 2000. He is currently the manager of Electrical Integration, with the focus on electrical architecture, networks, diagnostics and software development at Ford. 

“I’m both excited and honored to take over the role of AUTOSAR spokesperson in this very challenging period. I commend Alain Gilberg for his successful assignment during his tenure. In Phase III (2010-2012), AUTOSAR introduced a release 3.2, which addresses the strong market need to enable Partial Networking. AUTOSAR is the first standard which supports this technology. Maintenance of existing releases (e.g. release 4.0) and the introduction of backward compatibility management were also achieved,” says Kirschke-Biller. 

Automotive Industries asked Kirschke-Biller to describe some of the immediate challenges facing the AUTOSAR partnership. 

Kirschke-Biller: We are facing increasing use of AUTOSAR technology in the industry and a growing interest in the emerging markets. For AUTOSAR, it is always important to protect the integrity and efficiency of the standard by focusing on backward compatibility and global acceptance. The fact that there are two main release streams, 3.x and 4.0 within AUTOSAR, their increasing usage in series projects requires a strict control of the backward compatibility. For this purpose, Phase III (2010-2012) introduces process enhancements to impede incompatible developments in the standard. 

AI: You are taking over during the last leg of Phase III of the AUTOSAR partnership, what are some of the critical issues facing you at this period? 

Kirschke-Biller: AUTOSAR is a mature and accepted standard, so there are no real critical issues. Our priority for the next few months will be preparing for post Phase III - for the time period after 2012, and supporting the long-term success of AUTOSAR. 

AI: Tell us what the implications of extending the AUTOSAR standard to non-automotive areas will be. 

Kirschke-Biller: By extending the scope of applications, we enable our members to reuse or adapt their AUTOSAR available  products outside of the automotive industry. This extension will open new markets for AUTOSAR products and attract new members to join the development partnership. 

AI: Tell us about the progress made in the interoperability of software modules that have been achieved recently. 

Kirschke-Biller: The creation of the AUTOSAR conformance test specification has helped to improve the quality of each of the Basic Software (BSW) module specifications as well as the quality of the overall standard. However, we have found that conformance testing does not fit the market needs perfectly. AUTOSAR has decided to create a leaner, more efficient way of testing, which we have called Acceptance Testing. This will enable the OEMs’ and integrators’ acceptance of a supplier’s BSW platform at bus and application level. 

The growing number of AUTOSAR implementations in the market and the positive feedback from the users prove that the AUTOSAR approach with standardized BSW functionality and an enhanced methodology eases software integration significantly. 

AI: Tell us a little about Release 4.1 and what some of the features of are likely to be. 

Kirschke-Biller: A crucial target for AUTOSAR is finding a sensible balance between innovation, stability and backwards compatibility for all further developments. For this reason, the development partnership decided to enhance Release 4.0 in a continuous and compatible way instead of publishing Release 4.1, which was originally scheduled for the end of 2012. The revised AUTOSAR roadmap now plans two revisions of Release 4.0 for 2012. 

We will introduce new content with a clear focus on backward compatibility. This will further strengthen the stability of AUTOSAR and stabilize the overall AUTOSAR ecosystem. The revisions 3 and 4 are required to further optimize release 4.0 and make it applicable without OEM specific extensions. Selected backward compatible concepts will be introduced in Release 4.0.4 by the end of 2012. 

AI: Where do you see the 4th Open Conference being held in 2012? 

Kirschke-Biller: The 3rd Open Conference was held in Frankfurt, Germany in May 2011 and was a real success with nearly 300 participants. It offered an impressive demonstration of how AUTOSAR is developing as a global standard. The development partnership plans to organize two open conferences in 2012. The first conference will be held in Europe and the second one in the context of the FISITA congress in Beijing. 

AI: Tell us about AUTOSAR’s strategy in expanding its global reach. 

Kirschke-Biller: Today, over 80% of all cars sold worldwide are manufactured by members of AUTOSAR, and the development partnership expects a rapid market penetration. 

Several OEMs have initiated the development of high volume vehicle platforms which apply AUTOSAR in most of their Engine Control Units (ECUs).
A focus will also be on the markets in India and China which show a high interest in AUTOSAR as the international automotive software standard. Exchanges on technical collaborations with the Chinese Automotive Electronics Standardization Committee (AESC) and Indian organizations are currently ongoing. With the support of a core partner, local AUTOSAR representatives have been established in India and China. The ongoing close cooperation with JasPar is well established, and plans to continue AUTOSAR after 2012 are already in motion.



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