Experts Say!Interviews

Future-proofed vehicle: Artur Seidel

Artur Seidel
Vice President-Automotive Software
Elektrobit Automotive

We have seen automotive players acquiring more software arms in their business.

Software is becoming an increasingly critical part of vehicle development as the industry moves towards a world of fully autonomous driving. As a result, we are seeing automotive OEMs investing more of their time and resources in software and software development.

For example, there are more than 100 million lines of code in a car – that’s more than a 737 jet! And, the complexity of software will continue to evolve with every new model. Automotive OEMs need to master the complexity, by changing the way they develop features and vehicles.

EB Automotive is involved with every crucial step of the car’s technology development – from initial software architecture, development and integration to the managing and testing of applications. We are an extension of  the automotive OEM’s team. For example, for Mercedes, we have created the so-called “software factory”, where we manage and test all driver assistance features for its entire carline, worldwide. For Ford, we are the global software integrator, combining, testing all the software components. We also help Ford localize AppLink in all the regions they are present.

Do you think the entry of likes of Apple & Google will disrupt the connected car value chain?

Google and Apple complement the technology innovation we are seeing in the automotive industry today, especially with regards to infotainment. That being said, the Human Machine Interface (HMI) which enables a more enjoyable technology experience for the driver and passenger will likely remain a huge di?erentiator with Google and Apple complementing but not replacing the HMI. HMI development requires expertise from companies like EB Automotive and the industry must work together to satisfy and meet the demands of the automotive OEM and consumer.

How best can car makers future-proof their connected car services to stay competitive with the pace of CE industry?

The best way that automotive OEMs can future-proof their connected car services is by  providing safe and secure over-the-air (OTA) updates and a solid HMI that can be updated over time as well. We believe that the ability to safely deliver wireless updates will impact every part of the car– from infotainment to powertrain – and is especially critical now as automakers integrate advanced driver-assist and self-driving capabilities in their vehicles.

Having a solid HMI, as mentioned previously, is absolutely critical in providing a good experience and interaction with the vehicle, similar to how consumers interact with CE devices.

Can you share your thoughts about OTA updates for vehicles?

OTA software updates will be commonplace in new cars over the next few years, and delivering those updates securely is most important. Our software products, including EB GUIDE, are ready today for secure OTA updates. In addition, our navigation product EB street director is capable of being updated over the air with new map and POI information to help the driver stay up-to-date with the latest information. Regarding OTA updates, carmakers also need to consider the amount of data they are sending to the car, the time when they are performing the update (is it peak time? Will it a?ect the driver in terms of cost? ) and the security behind the update. Every week we hear about hacking and various industries being vulnerable to cyber-attacks. For that, the OTA needs to be extremely well thought through and carmakers need to work with companies that understand the entire automotive infrastructure, not just one part, like networking, or connectivity.

Who do you think will have the ownership of connected car data? OEMs, 3rd parties or consumers?

The integrity of connected car data is an important asset. We think that automotive OEMs will have ultimately ownership of the data because they need to access it in order to provide further services to their customers like updates or after sales. On the other hand, the drivers need to maintain their privacy and their own content.

The legislatures have raised potential concerns around remote hacking of vehicles (consider the famous Ed Markey’s report). Do you think that OEMs have not done their part on securing the vehicle?

Automotive cybersecurity is something all automotive OEMs (and suppliers) are very concerned about and working hard to implement solutions. Automotive OEMs and their suppliers are already using modern security practices from the mobile and IT world. Threat modelling and analysis, encryption with the latest algorithms, digital certificates, secure communication protocols like Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and other approaches are becoming standard practice today. Additionally, most automotive OEMs are working on improving their ability to deliver software updates to the car (such as OTA) to improve the ability to respond to critical issues.

There are common standards for Functional Safety, such as IEC 61508 (in- tended to be a basic functional safety standard for a variety of applications) and its adaptation for the automotive industry: ISO 26262.

Elektrobit achieved its Functional Safety certification by the assessment agency exida Certification SA for the EB tresos Safety OS. Elektrobit security solutions are based on AUTOSAR and HIS ( php?lang=english ) and o?er support for cryptographic hardware such as Secure Hardware Extension (SHE) and Hard- ware Security Module (HSM).

We believe than an open and standards-based approach to security implementations (e.g. peer reviews outside of individual OEMs) will prevail over the more secretive and closed implementations that we have seen in the past. In general, techniques for securing our systems and software go well beyond just the automotive industry. There is already collaboration happening among carmakers around safety and security, but we also have to look outside our industry at the successful technologies and solutions used else where that can be applied to automotive.

What is the role of after market in telematics value chain?

The aftermarket ecosystem will still be very important especially as we see Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto gaining traction. In some regions, like South America and Asia for example, carmakers are developing vehicles that don’t have high-end telematics systems, making the aftermarket ecosystems very important.

How sustainable do you feel are the new telematics & connectivity-based business models like car-sharing, smart mobility?

I think they’re very sustainable. Many carmakers including Ford, GM, Daimler and Audi are exploring these new business models and are invested in expanding their o?erings – especially in urban areas. There is a great opportunity for the mobile apps ecosystem to deliver unique applications to the auto industry around parking and safety,  in  addition to other areas. Everything is becoming more and more connected and the car- makers are smart to invest in such business models.

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