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AI interview with Pascal Gula, chief executive officer of pulse-AR

The company pulse-AR was formed in September 2009 to propagate the AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture (AUTOSAR) standard. AUTOSAR is an open, standardized automotive software architecture that aims to create one common standard for software development in the automotive industry.

“We have been thinking for many years that the AUTOSAR de facto standard is a wonderful mean to bring synergies between the automotive players. It enables new business model for cooperation by speaking the same language, thing that wasn’t possible before and lead to useless time and money costs. Moreover, from a pure technical point of view, AUTOSAR introduces new concepts in software design that will modernize deeply the embedded software development approach like it was the case in the aeronautic industry with the ARINC653 standard,” says Pascal Gula, CEO of pulse-AR.

The company was formed to support customers in their adoption of AUTOSAR by bringing them a high degree of expertise. It has a tie up with several companies like ArcCore or RealTime-at-Work (RTaW). It also is in ongoing discussion to lead to a strategic partnership with CEA List. CEA is a French government-funded technological research organization, a prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world; and LIST within CEA is the Lab of applied research on software-intensive technologies, and is a key software systems and technology research center working on several areas including embedded systems.

Pulse-AR plans to fulfill its mission of propagating AUTOSAR by offering services such as consultancy, developing tools and software, and training on both AUTOSAR and ISO 26262. Future products include a system design tool focused on variant handling and safety with R4.0, based on Artop / Eclipse Framework. The first release is planned for the second quarter of 2010.

The consulting services pulse-AR offers include helping customers build an AUTOSAR compliant process, defining a migration path from non-AUTOSAR to AUTOSAR process, bringing solutions to specific AUTOSAR implementation issues. Its engineering services will include providing tool engineering to complete an existing tool-chain thanks to the Artop / Eclipse Framework and providing software engineering to develop software on customers’ specifications.

Concerning its locations, pulse-AR started in Paris region while quickly targeting the German and Chinese market with planned representation offices in Berlin and Beijing.

Automotive Industries spoke to Pascal Gula, chief executive officer of pulse-AR.

AI: Why was it important to start a company solely aimed at propagating the AUTOSAR standard?
PG: AUTOSAR really represents for us an incredible opportunity to move a step forward to reach excellence in quality, reusability, flexibility and safety for complex embedded software development. It will ease the development of distributed functions like Hybrid vehicles, and open new perspective in terms of business models between the automotive players.
Of course, our expertise enables us to offer traditional system/software development services, with a model-based software engineering approach.

AI: Please tell us why you plan to open offices in Berlin and China later this year. Will you be opening offices at any other locations?
PG: Considering my background and my contacts, it was obvious to start our activity in France, and especially in Paris region, where all potential customers are gathered. Moreover, we decided to quickly expand to other territories with representation offices. Germany (Berlin Office) represents one of the biggest markets for embedded software development especially in the automotive industry with the most prestigious and significant OEMs (like BMW, Daimler, Audi and VW) or Tier1 (Bosch, Continental and ZF). In China (with Beijing Office), where the economic growth has still a steady pace, the government is especially helping local OEMs and suppliers to reach an international competitiveness, and therefore, AUTOSAR has been a clear choice to be able to reach successfully this goal.

AI: Tell us more about the first product you plan to launch in the second quarter of this year.
PG: Our first planned product will be a system design tool for AUTOSAR compliant systems. It will be divided in a core part, with standard functionalities like diagram editor, development editor, and more; and some additional specific modules dedicated specifically to Variant Handling on the one hand and Safety on the other hand. Both concepts are available since R4.0 and are of importance for both OEMs (to offer flexibility in vehicle’s platform development) and Tier1s (to be able to meet different OEMs specific requirements). Moreover, we will have a flexible business model which follows the evolution of the market. Eventually, we plan to build a global solution with a bundle composed of Papyrus from the CEA (a UML modeler including real-time profile like SysML, MARTE or EAST-ADL2) and the solution of ArcCore (product suites for BSW configuration and integration) and our tool.

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