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In 2024, the automotive landscape is characterized by vehicles with numerous electronic control units (ECUs) and outdated coding practices.

Wipro Engineering Edge aims to reduce this complexity by centralizing software, embracing modern coding languages, and adopting a cloud-native approach for enhanced vehicle functionality.

Automotive Industries (AI) asked Thomas Mueller, VP and CTO, Wipro Engineering Edge, to share insights into how the Cloud Car ecosystem has influenced and transformed traditional vehicle design principles and functionalities.

Mueller: To understand the transformation, we first need to acknowledge the current state.

As of 2024, most production vehicles have over 300 to 400 endpoints, controlled by electronic control units (ECUs) connected via traditional copper wire harnesses.

These endpoints, which are responsible for various functions, communicate using industrial standard protocols like CAN.

Thomas Mueller, VP and CTO, Wipro Engineering Edge
Thomas Mueller, VP and CTO, Wipro Engineering Edge

Modern vehicles have over 100 million lines of code, primarily written in the outdated C language.

Our approach focuses on three key pillars:

Wipro Cloud Car: This allows the separation of hardware and software in a car, centralizing and rationalizing software into less than 50 ECUs by 2023, with the goal of reducing to less than 25 ECUs by 2027.

Code Transformation: We shift from 100% C & C++ coding to modern languages and a service-oriented architecture, improving efficiency, talent acquisition, and code safety.

Cloud Native Architecture: We host existing and new apps on a modern, cloud-native architecture, enabling software upgrades for at least 10 years and fostering continuous improvement.

By implementing these pillars, we’ve created a Cloud Car platform that not only extends the software life of vehicles but also enhances their functionality and value over time.

AI: How does this technology enable automakers to adopt more agile and responsive approaches in designing vehicles?

Mueller: The key lies in “API-ification”.

The Cloud Car starts with a 100% API-ification of the vehicle, wrapping every sensor and actuator with APIs.

This creates a developer ecosystem, allowing rapid prototyping of new functions without delving into embedded hardware intricacies.

Wipro Cloud Car allows the separation of hardware and software in a car.
Wipro Cloud Car allows the separation of hardware and software in a car.

API-ification facilitates the migration of legacy functions into a modern, composable, and reusable service architecture.

This shift, commonplace in enterprise apps since 2005, is now transforming the automotive industry.

AI: How will the Cloud Car ecosystem enhance the automotive experience for users through personalized features?

Mueller: Similar to Android’s smartphone success in smartphones, we aim to democratize the automotive experience.

Cloud Car enables unprecedented customization, allowing users to create custom wallpapers for in-car displays through generative artificial intelligence (AI).

This level of personalization extends beyond the traditional constraints of slow over-the-air updates, providing users with dynamic and safe digital experiences within defined boundaries.

Additionally, Cloud Cars feature “sandboxes” in their high-performance computers, enabling safe testing of software at fleet scale before live deployment.

AI: How does the technology facilitate the seamless integration of updatable features, and what impact does this have on the overall lifecycle and value proposition of vehicles?

Mueller: Updatable features contribute to the “evergreening” of cars, maintaining their value over time.

Cloud Car’s innovative approach ensures minimum hardware prerequisites for on-demand features, promoting commonality across trim lines and products.

This “tech commonality” revolutionizes the industry, making it feasible to create cars that improve continuously throughout their lifecycle.

 

AI: Looking into the future, how do you envision the role of smart vehicles in transportation with the advent of the Cloud Car ecosystem?

Mueller: By 2028, we anticipate that most new passenger cars should default to comfort features for automated driving up to SAE Levels 2 & 3.

The extra hardware cost will be outweighed by the continuous delivery of new software features that, aligning with the model seen in smartphones.

Wipro leverages its success in telecom by using cloud-native microservices standards.
Wipro leverages its success in telecom by using cloud-native microservices standards.

This approach not only enhances user experiences but also addresses challenges in the transition to zero tailpipe emissions.

AI: How is Wipro addressing the challenges and opportunities in implementing smart technologies within the automotive sector?

Mueller: The industry’s late response to technology, primarily triggered by events like the diesel gate scandal, has shifted the focus to propulsion and powertrain transformation, neglecting electronics and software.

Wipro’s collaboration model involves adopting a future-ready platform and concentrating internal R&D efforts on differentiating features.

This value chain, characterized by innovation, trust, and rapid scalability, is crucial in driving the industry towards sustainable mobility.

AI: How is Generative AI driving transformation in the automotive market?

Mueller: Our approach involves leveraging Generative AI in three key areas:

Cyclic AI Platform: Utilizing local AI in the car to process vast amounts of data and continuously train neural models, facilitating real-time decision-making.

Custom Trained Large Language Models: Democratizing coding for automotive features, enabling non-coders to realize ideas quickly and safely test new features in Cloud Car “Sandbox”.

GenAI for Design: Implementing 2D and 3D modalities for design, improving efficiency and automation across R&D value chains.

These applications promise significant improvements in R&D optimization and cost efficiency.

Members of the Wilpro team at an expo stand.

AI: Could you share specific applications or use cases demonstrating the potential of Generative AI in shaping the future of automotive technology?

Mueller:  The highest potential lies in R&D optimization, with up to 50% efficiency improvement, and supervised coding of innovative features using custom-trained LLMs.

Wipro Engineering Edge is actively training engineers in advanced Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) technologies, moving beyond the proof-of-concept stages to scale productive use in coding and R&D.

AI: Moving to collaboration and integration in the automotive ecosystem, how does the Cloud Car ecosystem foster collaboration among different stakeholders in the automotive industry?

Mueller: With over 35 years of experience, Wipro Engineering Edge has cultivated R&D partnerships with big tech leaders, silicon vendors, hyperscalers, and startups.

Our in-house R&D organization, Wipro Lab 45, collaborates with global academia to drive continuous innovation. Our extensive ecosystem of partnerships enables us to address complex challenges.

AI: In what ways is Wipro facilitating the integration of various technologies to create a cohesive and interconnected automotive ecosystem?

Mueller: Unlike the telecom industry with standardized interoperability, the automotive industry lacks sufficient standards.

Wipro leverages its success in telecom by using cloud-native microservices standards to deliver easy-to-integrate modular software components.

Our “Life Cycle Management” approach, inspired by cloud practices, enables continuous code changes across millions of cars, providing a more agile and efficient alternative to traditional firmware updates.

AI: As vehicles become more connected and data-driven, how does Wipro address growing concerns related to cybersecurity and privacy within the automotive sector?

Mueller: In Cloud Car, data is continuously masked to protect privacy, and the decision to retain certain data is left to clients and partners.

Local AI usage recommendations ensure personal information stays within the vehicle.

Wipro employs a zero-trust architecture, utilizing cryptographic mechanisms, and partners with over 50 cybersecurity experts to maintain security.

Cloud data will democratize the automotive experience.
Cloud data will democratize the automotive experience.

AI: Can you discuss the measures and strategies implemented to ensure the secure and responsible use of data in the Cloud Car ecosystem?

Mueller: As an engineering services provider, Wipro recommends continuous data masking, ensuring personal identifiers are stripped off before leaving the vehicle.

Design recommendations emphasize the use of local AI for certain data, such as recording a vehicle’s surroundings, and promote secure practices in line with GDPR compliance.

The collaborative efforts with cybersecurity experts and adherence to a zero-trust architecture contribute to the secure and responsible use of data.

General Motors, Magna, and Wipro Team Up to Develop Automotive Software Marketplace: ‘SDVerse’

General Motors (GM), global automotive supplier Magna, and Wipro have teamed up to develop a B2B sales platform for buying and selling automotive software.

The platform, called SDVerse, aims to revolutionize the automotive software sourcing and procurement process by providing a matchmaking platform for buyers and sellers of embedded automotive software.

GM, Magna, and Wipro collectively designed and developed SDVerse, which will be governed collaboratively by the founding members. Global strategy consultant Roland Berger has served as the project’s strategic advisor since the program’s inception.

Unlike the traditional captive software development approach, SDVerse focuses on connecting automotive software buyers and sellers through a transparent and efficient digital platform.

Sellers can list their software’s features and attributes, while buyers can easily search and explore the available software products through a comprehensive catalogue.

Sales and purchases can be connected directly through the platform.

SDVerse is currently in development and expected to feature hundreds of automotive software products, and participants from across the automotive value chain are invited to join.

Prashant Gulati has been named CEO of SDVerse effective March 5th, 2024.

Prashant has more than two decades of experience launching and leading automotive organizations and is a thought leader in software technology, maximizing the potential of emerging technologies, such as AI, in the automotive industry.

“The market for automotive software is expected to nearly double this decade, potentially outpacing the growth of software development talent pools” said Harmeet Chauhan, Global Head Wipro Engineering Edge.

“The current paradigm for software sourcing will likely not be able to overcome this growing gap without sacrificing both profitability and the auto industry’s aspirations for software defined vehicles. SDVerse addresses these pain points, offering a wide range of benefits across the industry,” he said.

“Automotive grade software development is rapidly transforming, and we all need to ask ourselves how we get customers really unique differentiating features faster.

“Part of that is identifying the common underlying code that can be shared in the name of higher quality and lower costs for our end customers,” said Dan Nicholson, Vice President, Strategic Technology Initiatives, General Motors.

SDVerse, aims to revolutionize the automotive software sourcing and procurement process by providing a matchmaking platform for buyers and sellers of embedded automotive software.
SDVerse, aims to provide a matchmaking platform for buyers and sellers of embedded automotive software.

“This first-ever software marketplace creates an independent, industry-driven one-stop-shop for embedded systems software, significantly expanding access to new innovations, helping to drive down cost, and allowing companies like GM to implement critical software more quickly.”

“Magna’s participation in SDVerse is driven by our ongoing commitment to foster collaboration and drive the automotive industry forward,” said Joerg Grotendorst, Senior Vice President, Corporate R&D at Magna.

By embracing this innovative platform, we aim to create a more interconnected ecosystem that encourages OEMs, suppliers, and specialty software developers to collaborate and co-create cutting-edge solutions. SDVerse represents a transformative opportunity to revolutionize software development, sales, and sourcing processes, ultimately accelerating the industry’s transition to the software-defined vehicle.”

Konstantin Shirokinskiy, Partner, Roland Berger added, “SDVerse offers a blueprint for OEMs and suppliers to address their embedded software needs more efficiently.

“It frees up scarce software engineering resources required to roll out new differentiated software features, reorganizes development timelines to more quickly develop better SW-enabled vehicles, and ensures software is valued properly. Companies can streamline their operations, becoming more focused, efficient and profitable.”

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