eeNews Europe: What trends do you see in the automotive industry and particularly with Autonomous Vehicles and how will they influence the market for automotive software?
Dirk Giesen: Due to the ongoing climate debate, a massive transformation of individual mobility towards alternative drives is currently taking place. The automotive industry had to decide to enter the field of electromobility at very short notice. However, electric vehicles can only be operated sensibly if they are connected and integrated into a system so that relevant data such as the position of the vehicle or the location of charging stations can be accessed via software. This requires a digital infrastructure.
Also, cars will soon be able to drive autonomously in certain situations. This will lead to another massive change. The first signs are already visible: the shift from owning a vehicle to "having access", i.e. through leasing via pooling or sharing, to "Mobility as a Service" concepts. Imagine what happens when you no longer need a car, because you always have access to a car when you request it via an app in the morning and you only have to pay for it when you use it.
Both trends are leading to a sharp increase in software in modern cars. McKinsey expects that the market for automotive software will more than double in the next 10 years and the market for verification and validation tools will even triple. Software development will thus become the biggest cost driver and possibly even the biggest brake on the development of new vehicles.
eeNews Europe: With software becoming the crucial part of the value-chain, does this change the Quality Assurance and Quality Control procedures?
Giesen: All higher functions in vehicles require software at component level. In order to ensure the correctness and functional safety of critical components, they have already been subjected to intensive analyses and audits. In modern cars, however, the software becomes part of the "primary process" of driving and the digital ecosystem becomes the elementary basis for the product's function and capabilities.