Autosar software group targets industry applications

November 02, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The Autosar development group plans to introduce their standard software architecture into-non-automotive application fields such as rail transport, agricultural and construction machines, power generation and marine technology.

The Autosar Core partners - carmakers BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Toyota and Volkswagen as well as automotive tier ones Bosch and Continental - have signed a supplementary agreement to the Autosar contract that allows them to transfer Autosar components to these application fields. The reason for targeting new application fields and industries is the broad success for the software standard in the automotive industry. The standard aims at reducing complexity by providing an embracing software functional description for almost all embedded controllers within cars. In addition, the standard aims at lowering development costs and speed development cycles by fostering software reuse. Through its core partners, premium members and associate members, the Autosar group represents 81 percent of the world's car production.

However, there will be restrictions in deploying the standard: According to the contract extension, new applications must be derivatives of existing and commercially available automotive applications. Certain application fields and industries such as aerospace, nuclear energy, chemical and biological reactors, petrochemical industry, military technology and, in general, high-risk applications are no-go areas for the automotive software engineers - despite the fact that Autosar already has a certain focus on safety (and demonstrably helped to improve automotive safety).

"The most frequent requests from our members for expanding the automotive application spectrum proof that the Autosar standard has successfully been established in the industry," said Autosar spokesperson Frank Kirschke-Biller of Ford Motor Company. "The new agreement enables our members to reuse Autosar-based software products beyond the automotive industry," he added.