End-to-end digitalization of self-driving vehicles offers numerous benefits in line with ESG and industry trends, but safety and cybersecurity remain concerns

We all know about software-defined networking, but auto makers are now developing software defined vehicles (SDV).

The term describes a vehicle whose features and functions are mostly software-controlled, which means that its functionality can be continually upgraded for better safety and operability, without involving mechanical parts.

In its development of software defined vehicles, automobile manufacturer Volkswagen Group is working on a unified software platform called CARIAD that consists of three parts: an operating system, an ‘automotive cloud’ platform, and an end-to-end electronic architecture.

For the safety aspects of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving (AD) functions, the firm’s SDV operating system requires a secure foundation that specialist third-party software companies are best suited to providing.

The firm has since announced the adoption of a pre-certified, scalable microkernel Real Time Operating System (RTOS) microkernel components and associated  consulting services for system-level integration, performance optimization, and solution validation. The modules are part of a fully POSIX compliant, open standards-based operating system that developers of embedded software can use to build safety-critical systems certified to ISO 26262 ASIL D, the automotive industry’s highest functional safety standard.

CARIAD CEO Dirk Hilgenberg has noted: “Software plays the decisive role in the transformation from a pure car company to an integrated mobility group. By 2030, software—on the basis of automated driving—can become a major source of income in our industry,” alluding to the next-gen scalable systems platform slated to form the mechatronics backbone of the firm’s future products.

According to John Wall, Senior Vice President and Head, BlackBerry Technology Solutions: “With the industry coalescing around the pursuit of the software defined vehicle, we look forward to working closely with CARIAD to help enable the cutting-edge cars of the future.”

CARIAD is expected to be rolled out some time in the middle of the decade.