AUTOSAR provides a standard interface between hardware and software, making it much simpler to write programs that can run on different types of hardware. That can shorten design time for electronic systems suppliers and make it easier for OEMs to migrate from one supplier to another.
“Our vision is to use AUTOSAR to specify algorithms that let us formally describe the communication between different controllers,” said Lev Vitkin, Staff Software Engineer at Delphi Corp.
The growth for this standard coincides with an expected uptake of autocoding. Automated code generation has been proven as a way to shorten development time for control software, setting the stage for expanded use. It is expected to rise to nearly 60% of the programming for automotive ECUs in five years, up from about a quarter today, according to Arthur D. Little GmbH.
That is already happening. Magneti Marelli Holding S.p.A. is migrating all the code from its engine control unit to AUTOSAR and then implementing the machine-written programs on the same ECU. More than a hundred AUTOSAR software components were revised.
The company used SystemDesk tools from dSpace to establish the new architecture and generate the code. The key goal was to make it simpler to migrate to other controllers as technology advances.
“With the AUTOSAR extensions, programmers can make compliant software so it’s easy to integrate software components onto their ECUs,” said Dirk Fleischer, SystemDesk and TargetLink Product Manager at dSpace Inc.
Fleischer noted that European automakers are a bit more aggressive than U.S. OEMs in their usage of both AUTOSAR and autocoding.
Though there are some risks in early adoption, there are also benefits. If AUTOSAR sees widespread adoption as expected, these early adopters will have experience that will help refine their programs and over time could hold an edge in the market, Fleischer said.