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Automotive Industries spoke to Jürgen Mössinger, spokesperson, AUTOSAR

For the AUTomotive Open System Architecture or AUTOSAR consortium, 2008 is proving to be a year of major developments. Vehicles with the first AUTOSAR elements are expected to hit the market in 2008. In February, an updated set of AUTOSAR specifications, Release 3.0, was launched – these documents serve as the basis for the series development of software elements.
Apart from these developments, AUTOSAR saw a series of administrative changes. In January, Dr Jürgen Mössinger, vice president, automotive systems integration at Bosch, assumed the position of spokesperson from Lennart Lundh, director of strategies & concepts, Electrical & Electronic Systems Engineering at Volvo. “I’m looking forward to this challenge. The most important task for 2008 is to promote the further use of AUTOSAR. The existing specifications must be implemented worldwide for the development of future cars,” said Mössinger.
The position of deputy spokesperson passed from Ulrich Virnich, director, Electronic System Architecture, at former Siemens VDO Automotive, to Dr Peter Heitkämper, engineering group manager GME Software and Controls at Opel.
In 2003, the Automotive Open System ArchitectureAUTOSAR partnership was formed by BMW, Bosch, Continental, DaimlerChrylser, Volkswagen and later Siemens VDO to establish an open standard for automotive E/E architecture which would serve as a basic infrastructure for the management of functions within both future applications and standard software modules. Today, the AUTOSAR partnership has expanded to include a large number of OEM manufacturers and Tier I automotive suppliers – the membership list includes Ford, Toyota, Peugeot Citroen and General Motors.
AUTOSAR’s objectives are to implement and standardize basic system functions as an industry-wide standard core solution that offers scalability to different vehicle and platform variants. Plus the standard should allow for transferability of functions throughout the network and integrate functional modules from multiple suppliers. Other objectives include consideration of availability and safety requirements, redundancy activation, maintainability throughout the whole product life cycle, increased use of commercial off the shelf hardware and software updates and upgrades over a vehicle’s lifetime.
The AUTOSAR scope includes all vehicle domains and with the advent of innovative vehicle applications, contemporary automotive E/E architecture has reached a level of complexity which requires a technological breakthrough in order to manage it satisfactorily and fulfill the heightened passenger and legal requirements. This need is particularly acute for high-end, luxury vehicle manufacturers and their leading Tier 1 suppliers who are faced with often conflicting requirements fromclients.
“The AUTOSAR software platform makes it possible to write generic application software without considering the microcontroller it will run on. By achieving this, AUTOSAR will bring a quantum step forwards in the way automotive electronics are developed. AUTOSAR will enable the complete vehicle industry to re-use software not only between car platforms at one vehicle manufacturer but also between different vehicle manufacturers,” explains Peter Jakobsson with NEC Electronics Europe in an article on the NEC website.
By simplifying the exchange and update options for software and hardware
with the AUTOSAR approach, it forms the basis for reliably controlling the
growing complexity of the electrical and electronic systems in motor
vehicles. However, according to industry experts, one of the biggest challenges facing the AUTOSAR consortium is in how to standardize software for automobiles without losing the system’s ability to be flexible and adaptive.
Automotive Industries spoke to Jürgen Mössinger, spokesperson, AUTOSAR.
AI: How close to launch are vehicles using the AUTOSAR platform?
The AUTOSAR standard is already available for automotive product development. So car manufacturers are already considering the specifications for the next generation of their cars. We will see a number of cars with AUTOSAR-compliant software in the next few years, with the first one appearing in 2008.
AI: Can you tell us a little about who will be launching these vehicles and when?
Communication of brand-specific facts is up to the companies themselves. As spokesperson of the development partnership, I cannot give any brand-specific statements. This information will be released by the respective companies.
AI: What are some of the biggest challenges facing the AUTOSAR consortium?
When AUTOSAR started in 2003, not many people believed that it would be possible to standardize the software architecture, methodology, basic software, and application interfaces. The development of a worldwide standard for the automotive industry is a huge task. In order to achieve the standardization a global partnership was required. This was one of the biggest challenges.
AI: How successful has AUTOSAR been in overcoming these challenges?
In the meantime, more than 120 companies worldwide have joined the AUTOSAR partnership. All major carmakers, Tier 1, software and silicon vendors and service providers are members of AUTOSAR. This is a great success and gives AUTOSAR the power to develop a global standard. After 5 years of development the latest release marks a mature and stable standard. AUTOSAR is already a real success story; many carmakers plan to apply it in their products in the near future.
AI: How do you perceive your role in the AUTOSAR consortium and what are some of the issues you hope to deal with during your tenure?
The spokesperson represents AUTOSAR to the public. Promotion of AUTOSAR is one of my important tasks for 2008. The existing specifications must be implemented globally in the development of future cars. Therefore, I present the goals, achievements, and technology of AUTOSAR at a number of congresses, especially in the US and in Japan.

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