Modular methods facilitate software development for autonomous driving

May 25, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Modular methods facilitate software development for autonomous driving
The Paluno Software Engineering Institute at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) has developed a methodological toolkit for the development of software systems that connect and cooperate independently with partners. These embedded systems are planned to serve as a basis for many future applications. Examples can be found mainly in the area of autonomous driving; however, the technology should also be able to be used for smart factories.

The method kit is the result of the joint project CrESt (Collaborative Embedded Systems). The building blocks should help to develop collaborative systems efficiently. This is difficult in comparison to classical embedded systems, because it involves system networks that are still to be formed and whose environment cannot be fully anticipated.

One application example is platooning. Here, several vehicles (usually trucks) join together electronically on the motorway to form a convoy in which only the front man steers. The advantages are expected to be significant fuel savings and a relief for the drivers. However, it should be noted at the development stage that vehicle environments are always changing, not all have the same goal, and sensors and signal transmissions can be inaccurate. The art is to deal with the uncertain conditions correctly and to understand the interrelationships between systems and the environment.

In order to reduce the complexity of development, it has therefore proven to be best to use models for embedded systems. This includes, for example, the SPES approach (Software Platform Embedded Systems), which is already used by some companies. In the CrESt project, researchers have further developed the SPES methodology for collaborative embedded systems. The goal was to use the building blocks to solve specific challenges (e.g. uncertain context, adaptability) in different domains such as automotive, industrial production, power generation or robotics.

CrESt was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research with about 15 million Euros. Project partners were, besides the UDE, Bosch, Siemens, FEV, Bertrandt, Fraunhofer and other leading German universities in this field. Due to the corona pandemic, the closing event, originally planned for May, will probably not take place until autumn.

More information: https://paluno.uni-due.de/en/

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