How can collaborative organizations accelerate development of a common platform for the software-defined vehicle?

We asked some of our members to provide their perspectives on how collaborative organizations can accelerate the development of a common platform for the software-defined vehicle and this is what they shared:

Girish Shirasat, Senior Director, Arm

Matt Jones, Director of Global Technology Strategy, Ford Motor Company

Daniel Krippner, Connected Mobility Solutions, Robert Bosch GmbH

It is now evident that the ability to deliver differentiated functionalities enabled by software is going to decide the front-runners in the software-defined vehicle era. The complex automotive supply chain that feeds into building a software-defined vehicle can accelerate its development by enabling a rich ecosystem of standards based non-differentiated system components for OEMs to build their systems from while the OEM can focus their resources in delivering value added features. This is where collaboration between new and already established automotive consortia like COVESA, SOAFEE , Eclipse SDV, etc. that are addressing the standardizations of different aspects of the automotive system needs to happen. With focused objectives, this collaboration will deliver vital boost in accelerating the software-defined vehicles.

Automotive and future mobility is built upon amazing customer experiences. For many years, OEMs and their ecosystems have been focused on adding the most value to the customer. I’ve said many times that “no one ever bought a car for the operating system”, the operating system being one example of part of the platform for a software defined vehicle. While it’s a true statement, it doesn’t mean that the platform is not important – it’s just not the differentiator compared to the customer experiences.

Defining the value of a common platform for software defined vehicles is far easier than creating it. It seems so simple for companies to come together, and iterate on common developments.

The quest for software-defined vehicles is facing multiple challenges, among them:

Alignment – What are these future software stacks, what do we need from them?

Technology Ownership – Overcoming IP (“code”) as the foundation of business models.

Open Technology Ideation – Transcend a culture of only doing things “150%”, stringently designed up front.

Overcoming these challenges can further SDV development, by first enabling collaboration and then accelerating it.

As automotive software is venturing into IT realms, we need interaction with a range of very different players. Doing this in myriad closed networks is very hard to scale, as skilled resources are at a premium. To overcome this, organizations need to identify and validate business models that go beyond technology ownership, allowing them to enter into true collaboration. This can drive towards an ideation culture where things are done first, and then challenged and improved subsequently, together. This accelerates the emergence of shared SDV technology ecosystems.

Brian Carlson, Global Marketing Director, Automotive Processing, NXP Semiconductors

Brandy Goolsby, Director, Product and Solutions Marketing, Wind River Systems

Industry collaboration is critical when seamless interaction of complex technology is needed. I participated in the mobile industry collaboration that helped spark the smartphone revolution where companies together defined standard ways to interface hardware and software to streamline and reduce the cost of R&D efforts. The industry could then focus on real differentiation and not have to waste time and money supporting multiple proprietary approaches. It accelerated development and created value by leveraging complementary capabilities from an ecosystem. SDV has quickly become a very rich and complex topic of technical discussions in the automotive industry. Collaborative organizations like COVESA can play a key role to help accelerate SDV development and proliferation by providing a practical, consistent and fair structure for industry engagement. Ease of engagement and access to relevant information, along with clearly-defined objectives and milestones for this collaboration will be key to SDV success!

The emergence and consumer push of connected and digital experiences is driving a new standard of customer delivery and product creation. Effectively moving the automotive industry from software-enabled to software-defined to deliver on new customer desired outcomes, while maintaining the highest levels of security and safety, will be critical. A recent study published by Forbes Intelligent Systems Research cited that 51% of automotive companies are still in the experimentation stages, and 16% are currently thriving and growing their intelligent systems approaches. The industry can’t go at delivering this new set of dynamic capabilities alone. Collaboration, the ability to connect knowledge, talent, technology and experiences across the collective automotive ecosystem is a must to realize a common platform approach to the software defined vehicle.

If you are interested in contributing to the COVESA roundtable or have topic suggestions, please email

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