ZF rolls automotive middleware layer

December 16, 2020 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
ZF rolls automotive middleware layer
The car of the future is "software defined". But it is by no means a "smartphone on wheels", as some say - the multitude of sensors and domain computers make it much more complex. By offering an "automotive middleware", the technology company ZF hopes to make the work of vehicle developers easier and speed up the development process.

In a preview at CES 2021, ZF presented its new middleware. This open software platform fulfils the function of an intermediary between the operating system of a vehicle computer and its software applications. Key functions of the middleware are the abstraction of the computer hardware from software applications and the communication between these applications.

With the ZF middleware, ZF underlines its claim to be one of the world's leading system suppliers for the software-defined car of the future. Automotive OEMs are expected to benefit from accelerated development processes and significantly reduced complexity in the integration of hardware and software. Throughout the vehicle's lifetime, functions can be updated or additionally offered on demand.

As a comprehensive software platform, ZF middleware will be available in production vehicles from 2024. Its development is closely linked to the development of application software for technology fields such as automated driving, integrated safety, vehicle motion control and electromobility.

Functioning as link layer between the software applications and the hardware components of a vehicle, only the middleware needs to be connected to the operating system. According to ZF, this approach minimises the number of interfaces, ensures fast communication with all parts of the system and can help to significantly reduce the complexity of system integration for the vehicle manufacturer.

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