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Ten Years of AUTOSAR – Establishing a Worldwide Standard for E/E Systems

Software development for automotive applications has been becoming more and more important over the last few decades. 90% of all innovations are now driven by electronics and software, and these two complexes currently account for up to 40% of a vehicle’s development costs. The AUTOSAR development partnership was formed in 2003 to establish an open industry standard for automotive software architecture. Now, ten years later, AUTOSAR is mastering the growing complexity of automotive electric/electronic (E/E) architecture and has become the standard for automotive software.

From Phase I to just AUTOSAR
The partnership between the Core Partners was formally signed off in 2003. Today, the BMW Group, Bosch, Continental, Daimler AG, Ford, General Motors, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Toyota and the Volkswagen Group are the Core Partners of AUTOSAR. In addition, more than 160 partners play an important role in the success of the partnership. In Phase I (2003 to 2006), AUTOSAR issued a complete set of specifications for architecture, methodology and templates. Three Releases were planned for AUTOSAR Phase II (2007 to 2009), providing for the continuous improvement of specifications and the introduction of new concepts. In addition, the experience collected during validation at the end of Phase I was incorporated, as was other more general feedback. Phase III (2010 to 2012) delivered the advanced Release 4.0.3, which consists of 176 documents. Another major result of Phase III was the publication of Release 3.2, which is backwards compatible to Release 3.1. Concept development for AUTOSAR Phase III centered on Release 4.1, which was published in early 2013. Nowadays, the partnership is constantly evaluating and developing new concepts for enhancing the standard. Due to the continuing success in the market and the increasing penetration, the partnership decided not to use the word ‘Phase’ anymore – it’s just AUTOSAR now.
Technology drivers such as functional safety, Ethernet-TCP/IP communication, multi-core, security and new diagnostics regulations as well as support for specific regional market needs will continue to be the focal point of development for the next few years. The next minor Release 4.2 is planned for October 2014 and will incorporate new concepts already required by AUTOSAR partners.

“Several OEMs have started the development of high-volume vehicle platforms which use AUTOSAR for most of their ECUs,” said Kenji Nishikawa, AUTOSAR Spokesperson. “The development partnership strengthened in the last ten years, when it grew into a development community and collaboration platform for more than 100 manufacturers and suppliers worldwide. AUTOSAR will continue on a permanent basis, with the focus on ensuring the stabilization of current releases as well as backwards compatibility and the continuous incorporation of functional enhancements.”

Commentaries of the AUTOSAR Core Partners:

Elmar Frickenstein, Executive Vice President Electrics/ Electronics and Driver Environment, BMW Group
“Current and future generations of vehicles benefit extensively from industry-wide standards, with AUTOSAR being the most remarkable and successful one. Back in 2008, the BMW 7 Series marked the global debut of ECUs with AUTOSAR in series production and is from there on massively used in all BMW product lines. Due to its completeness and maturity Release 4 is the major breakthrough of the AUTOSAR standard on the global market. The next BMW 7 Series to be launched will fully rely on Release 4 as genuine standard with taking full advantage of AUTOSAR including the landmark of introducing Ethernet as a data backbone in vehicles. BMW strongly supports AUTOSAR’s forward standardization derived from clear market needs to remain the standard for managing the growing E/E complexity.”

Dr.-Ing. Dirk Hoheisel, Member of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH
“AUTOSAR impressively demonstrates the advantages of effective market-oriented standardization, namely shorter development times and a focus on innovation combined with maximum software quality. We are now rolling AUTOSAR out in all markets and integrating all relevant vehicle domains, which gives it the potential to become the worldwide standard for software architecture and exchange.”

Helmut Matschi, Member of the Executive Board at Continental AG
“In terms of development, AUTOSAR is one of the most important mainstays for an ever-greater variety of functions in current and future vehicle models. The efficiency of the AUTOSAR standard has been proven in over 100 series production projects at Continental in all electronic domains and for different vehicle manufacturers. The differentiation between vehicle models and the vehicle manufacturers takes place in the human-machine interface.”

Harald Kröger, Head of Electrics/Electronics & E-Drive, Development Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler AG
“In state-of-the-art vehicles, the complexity of the electronic architecture/ electronics, and the ECU software is rapidly increasing, so that the use of proprietary solutions is out of date. Uniform and open standards are needed – that’s the reason why we at Mercedes-Benz focus on AUTOSAR. Therefore, starting with our new S-Class we implemented AUTOSAR in large scale, we’re talking about 70 ECUs. As of now, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the only standard platform using AUTOSAR, but in future Mercedes-Benz model series AUTOSAR will be used as well. We rely not only on AUTOSAR in the software architecture, but also in tooling and exchange of data.”

Terry Haggerty, Global Chief Functional Engineer, Underbody Electronics, EESE, Ford
“We appreciate the growing usage of AUTOSAR in our ECU projects and within the automotive industry. The standard enables us to re-use software, to achieve faster time to market for new features, and to integrate software functions from multiple suppliers into a single ECU.”

Kent Helfrich, Executive Director, Global Functional Leader Electrical Systems, General Motors
“AUTOSAR provides us with an architecture and methodology that supports the development of our global automotive software product lines. AUTOSAR provides a common vocabulary to ease software integration with our supply partners. The entire ecosystem of automotive electronics benefits from industry standards, such as AUTOSAR. Using standards allows us to focus effort on developing new features/functions that provide significant value our customers. AUTOSAR’s expert contributors, numbering in the hundreds, bring a wealth of experience from multiple industries. AUTOSAR is a world class standard because of this diversity and sharing of best practices/ lessons learned.”

Jean Francois Salessy, Head of Electric and Electronic Systems, PSA Peugeot Citroën
“AUTOSAR is extensively used at PSA Peugeot Citroën, both in Powertrain and Body domain. All engine management systems and body controllers run on AUTOSAR ECUs. Due to the early roll out of AUTOSAR in series project PSA Peugeot Citroën has to support several releases, but targets the Release 4.x which is currently being introduced. The Group sees two main benefits in using AUTOSAR: the improvement of development costs and quality relying on standard products available on the market, extensive software reuse, and software sharing with different suppliers.”

Shigeru Kuroyanagi, General Manager Vehicle Control Systems Infrastructure Development Div., Toyota Motor Corporation
“AUTOSAR is accepted as a worldwide de facto standard for automotive basic software specification. Toyota is fully committed to AUTOSAR and will adapt our existing basic software to AUTOSAR standards. Our first ECU with AUTOSAR based software is already on the market as of 2013. Due to the vehicle lifecycle and the existing proprietary ECU’s, transition to AUTOSAR based ECU will be done step by step and may take several years.”

Dr. Volkmar Tanneberger, Head of Division Electrics/ Electronics Development, Volkswagen Group
“Volkswagen as one of the leading OEMs worldwide recommends the use of AUTOSAR Release 3.2 where a benefit for supplier and OEM is given.
An open market strategy with pre-qualified AUTOSAR Basic Software implementations from different suppliers allows economic solutions by competition and specialization. Today, a lot of customers functions are developed using Model-Based Design and AUTOSAR and there is a rapidly increasing number of AUTOSAR ECUs in the Volkswagen Group.”

AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) is a worldwide development partnership of car manufacturers, suppliers and other companies from the electronics, semiconductor and software industry. Since 2003 they have been working on the development and introduction of an open, standardized software architecture for the automotive industry. 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. AUTOSAR also improves cost efficiency without compromising quality. The “core partners” of AUTOSAR are the BMW Group, Bosch, Continental, Daimler AG, Ford, General Motors, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Toyota and the Volkswagen Group. In addition to these companies, more than 160 members play an important role in the success of the partnership. Companies which join the AUTOSAR Development Partnership can use the specifications free of charge.

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