"Future automotive applications need incredibly more computing power"

December 12, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
These days, the Autosar (Automotive Open System Architecture) development partnership celebrates its tenth anniversary. Launched with the goal to reduce the complexity of the heterogeneous software landscape within cars, the initiative gained much support throughout the industry - today, practically every major OEM and tier one in Europe, Japan und the US is member in the Autosar group. Nevertheless, the initiative also attracted critics, mainly for its version policy which some members found a bit confusing. EE Times Europe asked Autosar deputy speaker Simon Fürst to reflect what has been achieved - and to look a little bit into the crystal ball.

Q: EE Times Europe : How far has Autosar reached maturity, what is the current status?

Simon Fürst : Today, the Autosar environment is standard for vehicles currently under development. In two to three years Autosar-equipped vehicles will hit the streets in large quantities. This was our first major goal, and we have reached it.

Q: EE Times Europe : Currently, release 4.1 is the most recent version. Will the releases 3.x - which are still in widespread use - now be phased out?

Fürst: The Autosar release life cycle policy always provides for two major releases that will be maintained concurrently. This has been agreed upon in 2012 by all Autosar Core Partners. Currently, these two releases are 3.2 and 4.1. The latter will be further developed, while 3.2 is being supported, and bug fixes are provided. According to this scheme, release 3.2 will be phased out as soon as the development for release 5.0 will start. But currently there are no plans to do so.

Simon Fürst, Autosar Deputy speaker and General Manager for Software Architecture and Platform Software at BMW: "Autosar provides an infrastructure that supports very many standards"

Q: EE Times Europe
: The feedback we receive from developers suggests that Autosar is a moving target - a rather confusing situation.

Fürst: This confusion has already been settled through our release life cycle policy. But Autosar is a software infrastructure, and infrastructures always have to take into account that the user requirements are subject to evolution. The same holds true for the hardware that runs the Autosar software. Both are developing continuously.

If you don't go forward you go backwards. In particular the hardware available to automotive electronics developers is evolving at rapid pace; today, multicore processors with very much higher computing power than ever before are available. In the future, the OEMs will integrate multiple controller functions onto one platform which is more