AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) is an open and standardized automotive software architecture. It is jointly developed by automobile manufacturers, suppliers and tool developers in 2003. This was an important milestone in the development of modern automotive technology. AUTOSAR is the basis for the development of the new modules in the automotive systems and represents the newest worldwide automotive trend. The goal is the development of a reference architecture for ECU (Electronic Control Unit)software that can manage the growing complexity of ECUs in modern vehicles.
AUTOSAR includes software architecture, methodology and templates, conformance testing, and application interfaces.
Why is AUTOSAR introduced?
The ever-increasing E/E (Electric/Electronic) complexity of automotive systems was a major motivation which led to the development of the standard. For example, a modern car may have more than 100 ECUs (Electronic Control Units). Each of them contains thousands of functions which must often be rewritten/updated from scratch when the hardware layer is changed. It will become very complex to change the whole function and implement it in a required way.
During the last decades, a large number of mechanical components have been replaced by mechatronic components which have involved electronics and software to control the mechanical hardware. The increasing amount of software, networks, and dependencies has made the automotive systems increasingly complex.
There were some more major issues as well-
- Managing the growing complexity of automotive E/E systems.
- Flexibility for product modification, upgrade and update.
- Scalability of solutions within and across product lines.
- Quality and reliability of E/E system
Hence, in such situations, automotive giants were expected to cooperate together in order to make application software independent from hardware to avoid these dependencies of S/W and H/W on each other.
In order to solve these rising issues and to accomplish the Automobile industry goal, AUTOSAR was introduced by a group of OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers in 2003 in partnership. It was introduced with some basic functions to make software independent in terms of reusability and scalability. Hence, AUTOSAR has become an industry-wide standard core solution for the whole automobile industry.
Motto of AUTOSAR is a simple one –
“Cooperate on standards, compete on implementation”
Overview of AUTOSAR
AUTOSAR software is more transferable. This means, this software is designed in such a way that it can be easily shared between different vehicle systems, which are independent of the system’s underlying hardware. AUTOSAR improved this domain by standardizing component interaction. Till date, most of the component software is developed according to the underlying hardware. AUTOSAR has reduced this constraint by implementing a standardized interface between application software and its hardware. It has introduced a hardware independent component software.
AUTOSAR has made the software more scalable. This is important if we are creating systems that have the potential to change and grow. AUTOSAR improved scalability by standardizing port interfaces.
We can summarize the AUTOSAR goals as below-
· Standardization of basic software functionality of automotive ECUs
· Scalability to different vehicle and platform variants
· Transferability of embedded software
· Support of different functional domains
· Definition of an open AUTOSAR architecture
· Collaboration between various embedded partners
· Development of highly dependable systems
· Support of applicable automotive international standards and state-of- the-art technologies
AUTOSAR consists of software architecture, methodology and templates, conformance testing, and application interfaces. It builds on both model-based and component-based techniques. The first release of AUTOSAR was launched in 2006 and the latest release, 4.0, in January 2010. AUTOSAR has also introduced a reference architecture for ECU (Electronic Control Unit) software, which can overcome the growing complexity of software in modern vehicles and make it an easier one to implement in terms of its architecture as well as its use.
We can roughly divide AUTOSAR into three major layers
-the basic software
-the runtime environment and
-the application layer
Stay with us for more details of AUTOSAR and its insights in the next blog.