Elektrobit offers tools to develop semi to fully-autonomous vehicles – Level 1-5 with regards to Automated Driving
Middleware is referred to the computer software that provides services to software applications beyond those available from the operating system. It is the connecting factor that brings together the software and the various hardware and applications that a network or system needs to offer as a final product or module. A company that has been offering such middleware solutions in the automotive industry is Elektrobit. Gregor Zink, CFO, Elektrobit Automotive GmbH, and Satish Sundaresan, Head, Elektrobit India, speak about the role played by middleware, development activities, as well as solutions for future mobility trends of autonomous driving.
Elektrobit caters to Connected Mobility; Automated Driving; Next-Generation User Experience; and Vehicle Infrastructure. The company provides solutions for cyber security and related risks, as well as threat assessment of Connected Mobility. With regards to Automated Driving, Elektrobit offers tools to develop semi to fully-autonomous vehicles – Level 1-5.
In the area of User Experience, Elektrobit offers technologies to develop a range of solutions that help the vehicle to interact with the driver and passengers seamlessly. These include multi-modal displays and the way they interact with the vehicle occupants. It also enables the integration of current assistant tools like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, for the purpose of plug-and-play of all these devices.
In the Vehicle Infrastructure space, Elektrobit, along with one other global company are the top providers of software stacks for AUTOSAR, which is predominantly used in Europe, noted Sundaresan. He added that Elektrobit will become the first company to provide software stacks for Adaptive AUTOSAR, which is the next generation vehicular infrastructure upgrade. Sundaresan explained that the solution provided for Adaptive AUTOSAR will be a server-oriented architecture, just as business is carried out in the Information Technology (IT) arena.
Elektrobit, through its parent company Continental acquired Israeli start-up Argus Cyber Security in late-2017 to provide solutions for attacks on connected cars, said Zink. He added that there is a need for a complete end-to-end security solution, which is not limited to the connected car alone. There is an increasing level of possibility for cyber-attacks due to the vehicle now being connected to the occupants’ mobile devices, or even to the cloud services of the OEM in the back end. This requires the software to offer the highest level of security that protects the entire value chain involved in the connected vehicle network, before being able to be hacked in any manner, noted Zink.
In the area of developing next-generation User Experience, Elektrobit offers a software product for its customers. The goal of this software product for an OEM is to enable the company to use it as a development tool for quick model-based framework to plug-and-play how a user interface should look like, explained Sundaresan. Meanwhile, this product could potentially be used by Tier Is to develop different user experiences for many different customers. Zink observed that in principle, the focus of Elektrobit is on the middleware area of products that covers software alone, and which is hardware agnostic.
Zink said Elektrobit carries out certain projects together with Continental, one of them being the area of Autonomous Driving. Continental develops sensors and cameras for autonomous driving, which need to be combined into a module with other software features, and this is where Elektrobit comes in to complete the solution and offer a package to customers, he added. Zink observe that while Continental benefits form the middleware tools and solutions provided by Elektrobit, the latter can leverage on Continental’s wide customer base that is present across various markets.
The most important safety and connectivity features offered in vehicles need middleware for them to be implemented into the system accurately. Such software also provides traceability of the vehicle, which could provide information on the reasons for failure of certain systems, which can then be corrected or used to prove vulnerability.
TEXT: Naveen Arul