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Elektrobit Enabling Automotive OS of OEMs & Developing SDVs

Ensuring robust cybersecurity measures is essential to protect user safety and maintain trust in SDVs.

by Aishwarya Saxena

ElektrobitGlobal vendor of embedded and connected software products and services for the automotive industry, Elektrobit’s software powers over five billion devices in more than 600 million vehicles.

Speaking about the growing trend of Software Defined Vehicles (SDVs) with Aishwarya, Sai Sridhar Associate Director, Elektrobit India Pvt. Ltd., discusses about the company’s software and services and how they play a key role in our customers’ lines of EVs.

Software Defined Vehicles (SDVs) offer continuous upgradation in the vehicle by adding new features throughout its life cycle, in real time. Kindly tell us about the growing trend of SDV and its implications? 

Unlike traditional vehicles, where most of the vehicle’s functionality is hardware-dependent and static after manufacturing, SDVs emphasize the use of software to control and enhance various aspects of the vehicle’s performance, features, and safety. Advancements in software development, connectivity, and the need for rapid innovation in the automotive sector drive this trend. SDVs enable manufacturers to provide continuous updates and enhancements to vehicle functionality throughout its lifecycle improving user experience and satisfaction. This means that new features, improvements, and bug fixes can be delivered over-the-air (OTA) to vehicles after they’ve been sold. SDVs generate vast data related to driving patterns, performance, and maintenance needs. That means the manufacturers have more insights into user behaviour, road conditions, and system performance. This data can further be utilized to enhance driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving capabilities while at the same time improving system performances. Cybersecurity risks also increase as vehicles become more connected and reliant on software. Hackers could potentially exploit vulnerabilities in the software to gain unauthorized access to critical vehicle systems. Ensuring robust cybersecurity measures is essential to protect user safety and maintain trust in SDVs.

Elektrobit offers high-quality products and solutions for ADAS and automated driving. What makes your solutions different from others?  

The following software modules are embedded middleware products that function as the basis for Automated Driving and ADAS applications offered by many OEMs so it is not accurate to say that we offer ADAS and AD applications directly. The core competence of Elektrobit lies in enabling the Automotive OS of OEMs and thus developing the Software Defined Vehicle. The challenge of autonomous driving is the sheer amount of software required to make autonomous driving a reality. At the same time, the complexity of this software is high as it involves processing the input of many sensors (cameras, radars, and potentially lidars) and needs to control the vehicle in real-time. On top come requirements with respect to safety and security. Elektrobit is addressing these challenges by identifying reusable, general pieces of software that will be the same or very similar for in-car software applications including autonomous driving use cases: No matter what car brand or autonomous driving function.  This especially covers our software products for in car high performance computers: EB corbos adaptive core, EB corbos linux, and EB corbos hypervisor. In this way, we can provide high-quality, mature software that satisfies safety requirements and by that reduces complexity for our customers. At Elektrobit we observe that many of our customers are developing autonomous driving functions on their own. These customers can base their autonomous driving function development on our mature software products and can save cost and time. The development of the autonomous driving function is very individual per vehicle because of different sensors and actuators. Elektrobit therefore offers autonomous driving functions as an engineering service.

  • EB tresos AutoCore – leading implementation of Classic AUTOSAR-compliant basic software (BSW) for automotive ECUs
  • EB tresos AutoCore OS – an embedded, multi-core, real-time operating system that implements the AUTOSAR standard and all its scalability classes
  • EB tresos Safety – ECU software developed and integrated in accordance with the ISO 26262 standard and up to the highest Automotive Safety Integrity Level, ASIL D
  • EB tresos Safety OS – safe execution environment that combines the flexibility of AUTOSAR multi-core software architectures with powerful safety features for mixed ASIL applications
  • EB corbos AdaptiveCore – a software base for safe and secure high-performance controllers that is flexible, scalable, and adaptable to changing regulations in the automotive industry, providing a holistic software framework according to the industry’s new AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform.
  • EB corbos Linux – built on Ubuntu – open-source operating system optimized for high-performance computing

Connected vehicles have a high risk of security breach.  How is automotive software reinventing the industries safety? 

In the dynamic landscape of automotive software, security stands as a top priority for connected vehicles. Our approach to this challenge encompasses a range of strategies:

  1. Robust Development: We uphold secure software practices, thoroughly reviewing code, and conducting vulnerability assessments and penetration tests.
  2. Swift Updates: Our software-defined vehicles allow quick deployment of security patches and updates via over-the-air delivery, reducing potential vulnerabilities.
  3. Data Protection: Encryption and cryptography protocols ensure data remains secure during transmission and storage.
  4. Real-time Monitoring: Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS) actively monitor for irregularities, enabling rapid response to potential threats.
  5. Layered defence: We implement multi-layered security architectures to fortify against breaches, minimizing potential impact.
  6. Hardware-Security Fusion: Hardware modules and secure boot processes ensure only authorized software runs on startup.
  7. Privacy Focus: Sensitive data is safeguarded through anonymization and encryption, preserving user privacy.
  8. Industry Collaboration: Collaborating with peers and adhering to cybersecurity standards reinforces our unified approach to vehicle security.
  9. Regulatory Alignment: We engage with regulatory bodies, aligning our practices with industry standards to meet and exceed cybersecurity requirements.
  10. Ethical Engagement: Encouraging ethical hackers to uncover vulnerabilities allows us to pre-empt potential threats.
  11. AI Integration: Leveraging AI and machine learning, we identify anomalies in vehicle behaviour, swiftly responding to potential breaches.

Our commitment to secure automotive software development redefines safety standards, ensuring connected vehicles remain a trusted and resilient mode of transportation. The important work being done by Argus Cybersecurity, a subsidiary of Elektrobit, providing an Intrusion Detection and Prevention System as well as a Security Operation Center to detect cyber-attacks is part of the comprehensive jigsaw puzzle approach to addressing cyber security issues.

SDVs will likely boost exponential growth in demand for auto chips. What’s your opinion on this? Where do you see the future of automation software in the upcoming days? 

The increasing adoption of Software Defined Vehicles (SDVs) is indeed expected to drive a significant surge in the demand for automotive chips. As SDVs rely heavily on advanced software algorithms and electronic control systems, the need for powerful and efficient processing units will be vital to support their functionalities. This will encompass various types of chips, including processors, memory modules, sensors, and connectivity components. The future of automation software holds great promise in shaping the automotive industry. From advanced driver assistance to fully autonomous vehicles, connectivity, and cybersecurity, automation software will be at the heart of these innovations, creating safer, more efficient, and connected transportation solutions.

What are your goals on empowering electric vehicle domain? How is Elektrobit collaring itself in the EV industry?

Elektrobit’s software and services—both the non-differentiating and differentiating offerings—play a role in our customers’ lines of EVs. As an example, we announced this year that JLR selected Elektrobit as part of its initiative to drive standardization and predictability in the underlying software platform for its new EVA Continuum architecture, which will enable it to bring new vehicles quickly and efficiently to market. Using Elektrobit software and engineering services, JLR has been able to accelerate the production of EVs and other next-generation cars. Elektrobit software and solutions have enabled JLR to develop ECUs more easily, reducing both development time for innovative new features, and hidden costs, without compromising quality, safety, and security.

Any upcoming plans for expansion in the near future or any project the company is currently working on?  

Elektrobit CEO Maria Anhalt recently made the following observation: “ Sixty percent of the software in an automobile is non-differentiating. That means it is generic, irrespective of the brand. That’s a strong argument in favor of a standardized approach. Via the remaining forty percent, brand-specific special characteristics can be defined. We firmly believe in open-source software as a potential game changer.”

A strategic priority is to help all carmakers understand that software must be the starting point of their vision…and help them each to realize their respective visions. We successfully showcased the software-defined approach first in the Sony VISION-S concept vehicle and now with the AFEELA prototype. Close-knit collaboration and building a rich ecosystem are key success factors. This is an extremely novel approach for automotive. All three types of companies in this emerging automotive space—the traditional OEMs, technology companies, and industry newcomers—can all benefit from a user-centric, software-first approach.

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