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Car Software: Rethinking Software Architecture and provisions of Over-The-Air software updates solution

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Cyber Secure India

For a long time now, the engine of a car was the epicentre of innovations and R & D. The advent of the digital era today has made manufactures concentrate on digital technology and its amalgamation into the core engineering of automobiles. Software, advanced sensors, IoT, Power management, Electrification, Navigation, Connectivity, Robotics, Unmanned Driving, etc, has become the new mobility solutions.

Dashboards of modern cars almost resemble those in airplane cockpits. And the amount of software installed is in no way inferior to that of airplanes either. Often, they even surpass those in airplanes. The ease of driving has been the main emphasis. The maturity on this Digital front among Cars is what is being evolved even today. The loading of these Software Solutions and its seamless integration is what is being addressed by researchers. The reduction of moving parts and its digital controllers has been explored using ubiquitous technologies. Over-The-Air (OTA) updates which have long been common practice for smartphones for updating the core software is also being tried out in the industry.

Tomorrow’s cars will shift to a platform of new brand differentiators. These may see innovations in: infotainment innovations, autonomous-driving capabilities, and intelligent safety features based on Fail-Operational. Software will move further down the digital stack to integrate with hardware in the form of smart sensors. Stacks will become horizontally integrated and gain new layers and moving from development in silos to architecture that are Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) based on generalized computing platforms.

The Challenges to Car Software Implementation

  • Proprietorship
  • Standardisations
  • Safety
  • Updating
  • Cross integration
  • Risk of Over-The-Air (OTA) Software updates
  • Car hacking and its associated risks can include remote access

Review of best practices in the development of safe automotive software

Currently the emphasis in software development is around faster delivery and increased functionality. To achieve this, it is important that sound engineering practices around the software development lifecycle are followed. Furthermore, developers, manufacturers and patrons should adhere to the following for a better and robust implementation of Software Technology into the mechanical components of a Car:

  • Functional safety must be proactive
  • Processes must be controlled, measured, and repeatable
  • Defects should be prevented through the implementation of standards
  • Testing must be effective and deterministic
  • Testing should be done for complex memory problems
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