The Eclipse Foundation, one of the world’s largest open source organisations, together with several industry leaders, has announced the formation of the Software-Defined Vehicle Working Group with a specific focus on automotive innovation. Following a “code first approach”, the goal of the working group is to develop one of the industry’s first software stacks, along with associated development tools, for the core functions of a new class of vehicles. Companies can use these open-source solutions for their own vehicle development.
For the automotive industry, the switch to open-source software represents a radical departure from conventional methods. However, against the background of the increasing importance of software and standardisation, many market observers expect the open-source approach to become more firmly established, especially in the area of vehicle middleware. The Eclipse Foundation assumes that software-defined vehicles will enable vehicle manufacturers and suppliers to place software at the centre of vehicle development in the future. In this way, the speed of innovation, the speed of production and the ability to scale production of software-centric vehicles can be increased many times over.
- The new generation of “software-defined vehicles”
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“Just as OSS has enabled rapid innovation and scale in other industries – such as manufacturing and healthcare – the automotive industry also benefits from leveraging the open source model,” said Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation. “What speaks to the demand for this new initiative is that industry leaders have come together to launch this working group. With its rich history in the automotive industry, there is no other organisation better suited to drive this change than the Eclipse Foundation.”
To enable significant change in development processes, the SDV Working Group will lay the foundation for an open ecosystem in which automotive software can be deployed, configured and monitored safely and securely. Vehicle manufacturers and suppliers can then use this as a basis to focus on differentiating customer features and improving the user experience. Ultimately, industry leaders should benefit from being able to focus entirely on innovation while saving the time and cost of developing non-differentiating elements in-house, such as real-time operating systems or communication protocols.
To support this shift towards software-defined vehicles, key players from the technology scene and the automotive industry are working together to develop an open-source runtime stack for vehicle applications, cloud-based vehicle workflows and highly integrated development toolchains. The open source initiative for software-defined vehicles aims to provide usable open source code for in-vehicle software for all vehicle models, product lines, brands and organisations in the long term.
With decades of experience in managing complex technology initiatives and multi-vendor organisations, the Eclipse Foundation is the ideal organisation to support the implementation of such an endeavour. Its commitment to transparency, vendor neutrality, and a common language will enable all members to shape the future of the working group together.