Vitesco (as former part of Continental) as well as Vector are long-standing members of the Autosar development partnership and, with their cooperation in the area of the Vitesco Technologies master controller, want to expand the well-known industry standard with a flexibility concept in order to simplify the application possibilities of Autosar Classic in central control units as well.
“Vehicle electrification results in very extensive and complex software systems. In order to make them reliably executable, a great deal of overall system competence is required for software and hardware. Both are strengths of Vitesco Technologies,” explains Andreas Wolf, CEO Vitesco Technologies. The partnership with Vector Informatik, which is characterised as “strategic”, is intended to bring these overall solutions to market more quickly.
Large software systems define the drive
The background to the cooperation is the growing importance of software for the car. This is increasingly becoming the determining factor in demanding automotive projects. This is mainly due to electrification and the centralisation of increasingly computationally intensive functions with a simultaneous increase in complexity. Large systems with more variants are increasingly running in a high-performance computer. The master controller from Vitesco Technologies is also based on this approach.
While the software in previous systems with the individual functional areas in the drive, the coordination of all vehicle movements and in energy management is distributed over several control units with complex networking, this is combined in a central control unit in the development of the master controller. This creates more complex and larger software systems. In order to make these new systems reliably executable without gaps, a qualified overall system competence for hardware and software is required. Vitesco Technologies has many years of experience in both. Before its spin-off from Continental, the company was already a founding member of the Autosar development partnership and also headed various working groups as Continental Powertrain. With Vector’s software expertise in Autosar Classic, Vitesco hopes to be able to focus more on software function development as well as system integration.
“In an electrified vehicle, a great many software and function modules must coexist smoothly in one ECU. It must also be possible to add and update individual function blocks without affecting all the others or even having to regenerate the entire system,” explains Gerd Winkler, Head of Development Electronics and Software Architecture at Vitesco. This is exactly what the software flexibility concept, which has been part of the industry platform since Autosar release 20/11, is designed to do. As part of the ongoing strategic partnership between Vitesco and Vector, a near-series central vehicle control system consisting of software and hardware is already being developed for a major German vehicle manufacturer.
As a new software technology, Vitesco Technologies has meanwhile developed a framework for virtualising apps (vAPP). This makes it easier to exchange software modules as apps in central control units within a lean Autosar-Classic architecture, as was previously only possible with significantly more sophisticated and computationally intensive solutions with the Autosar-Adaptiv standard.