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Help Us Define the First True Initiative for Open Source Software-Defined Vehicles

Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 07:28 by Michael Plagge

We invite everyone with a vested interest in software-defined vehicles to join global industry leaders as they unite to develop an open source in-vehicle application runtime stack. Getting involved in this new software-defined vehicles initiative is a unique opportunity to have an equal voice alongside industry leaders such as Bosch, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Arm, Red Hat, EPAM Systems, ETAS, and others.

Next-Gen Vehicles Will Be Software-Driven

It’s the right time to create a vendor neutral working group and community focused on building open source solutions to support the transformation to software-defined vehicles. 

Today, we’re at the threshold of a major change in the way the automotive industry thinks about software. Many modern vehicles have already effectively become networks of embedded computers on wheels. By most estimates, there are at least 100 million lines of code in modern non-autonomous vehicles. But the software behind these systems is almost always highly integrated with a particular product. And the platforms used to develop in-vehicle software are highly fragmented across industry players. 

A Fragmented Industry Can’t Succeed

As the industry shifts to autonomous vehicle development, the number of lines of code could be five times what it is today. It simply won’t be feasible for every industry player to individually maintain and update that volume of in-vehicle software. The automotive industry can no longer afford to fragment developer attention with bespoke, industry- and vendor-specific toolchains and niche know-how.

You can compare the software-driven revolution that’s about to occur in the automotive industry with previous software revolutions. Consider the scalability in the desktop software market that became possible with the ability to run the same operating system on different hardware configurations, and for application developers when the highly disparate mobile device landscape consolidated around two major software ecosystems.

Open Collaboration Will Enable Much-Needed Scalability

In the automotive industry, the shift to software-defined vehicles is the next logical step. Controller area networks (CANs) changed electric interconnections in vehicles to electronic interconnections. Now, the software-defined vehicle will push function networks from electronics architectures into software stacks.

The ultimate goal of the software-defined vehicle initiative is to bring the scalability that’s become possible in other software-driven revolutions to these in-vehicle software stacks. Open source innovation, open communities, and the transparent, vendor neutral governance model at the Eclipse Foundation are key to achieving this goal and managing such an ambitious endeavor. 

With the widely proven policies and processes at the Eclipse Foundation, organizations across the automotive and IT industries can confidently collaborate on a level playing field to build open source solutions that scale in-vehicle software across vehicle models, product lines, brands, organizations, and time. 

Influence the New Era of Automotive Development

The overall automotive ecosystem — from deeply embedded in-vehicle software to consumer-facing backend services and all the layers and players in between — is huge and diverse. And the breadth and depth of in-vehicle software creates opportunities across a broad capability matrix — from deployment, configuration, and communication to monitoring, safety, and security. 

When you consider all of these potential areas to contribute, it’s easy to see there will be an abundance of opportunities and considerable room for ideas within the open source software-defined vehicle community at the Eclipse Foundation. 

To learn more about getting involved in the software-defined vehicle initiative at the Eclipse Foundation, visit our website or email us at membership@eclipse.org