Mikko Hurskainen, Technologist at Link Motion, in conversation with Telematics Wire, talks about software defined car and issues related to connected cars.
TW: Technology is an enabler for startups trying to find space in predominantly a T1 space. Comment.
MH: That is true. There are so many disruptions happening in automotive industry right now, and that opens endless possibilities for creating new solutions to both old and new problems.
TW: Traditional hardware component manufacturers and Tier1 are now looking at software. Can you please share your views on this?
Mikko: We are advocating concept we call Software Defined Car. Software is passing hardware in complexity and investment in automotive arena. It allows to solve old problems in more efficient way and creating new features and applications. At same time complexity is moving elsewhere. Software used to be simple, but necessary part of complex ECU. Now software is the key for ECU differentiation.
TW: Automotive cyber security is a critical issue and there is an issue of who owns up the responsibility- OEMs, Tier1 or end user? Can the software developers also be made accountable for this?
Mikko: Security is as strong as weakest part of it. In my opinion risk based security assessment models, such as SAE J3061, provide best framework for building state-of-the-art security solutions for vehicles. It also considers linkage between cybersecurity and functional safety, those two topics are connected closely. Security is not something that can be added on by any party in the supply chain, but it needs to be considered from day zero. OEM has final responsibility of the cybersecurity, but everyone needs to play part in this. Software developers need to be educated and should be accountable for their part of the security solution. Genivi is doing a good job on educating developers to be better suited for tackling security challenges.
TW: Would you like to comment on efforts Automotive Grade Linux has been making?
Mikko: Enabling Linux based familiar development tools will make automotive software development faster, more cost-efficient and more secure. Open Source based development model is proven to provide high quality software for all kinds of applications. Automotive Grade Linux is the only organization that is looking to disrupt the software development environment for entire car. It started from IVI and eCockpit solutions, and it is now moving towards more critical applications such as telematics and ADAS.
TW: Link Motion and Qt had developed connected car computer. Would you like to tell us more about connected car computer- Carputer and how do you see it making a place for itself?
Mikko: Link Motion is building the most secure vehicle computer. The security has been the key target from the beginning and the solution is built to tackle cybersecurity issues in many levels. The security is becoming a key issue as more and more are integrated more deeply with connected services. Link Motion is working with world leading security experts to take cybersecurity further. Link Motion is also one of the first companies to drive ECU consolidation, that will bring cost benefits to the OEMs.
TW: What are your views about the connected vehicle? In general what accordingly to you are the hurdles in its early adoption?
Mikko: There are already variety of connected vehicle applications available. Innovation what could be done has been already happening and I think it will continue to accelerate. OEM applications have already gained wide popularity.
However, the security solutions for connected vehicles are falling behind. Vehicles have been always designed to not be connected and adding necessary security solutions into existing systems is difficult and slow. There has been already some car hacking cases in the media. Cybersecurity in vehicles is closely connected to safety of a vehicle. In that area, there has not luckily been yet any major incidents.
TW: How do you see opportunities in emerging economies like India?
Mikko: Transportation business models are diverging in different economies. Emerging economies like India will adopt their own models how to organise transportation, what comes to for example vehicle ownership. This is yet another disruption that is happening in the market requiring incumbents to adapt and opens new opportunities to new entrants. The usage model of the vehicle is also significantly different, example of that is media consumption habits.
TW: India has a pool of software engineers. Do you think in days to come they will increasingly find a role in the automotive ecosystem?
Mikko: Certainly. Software work in automotive ecosystem is increasing and thus there will be more opportunities to find a role in the ecosystem. Changing development tools will make entry lower and expose a big number of experienced developers to new market. Connectivity and new services require more software engineers to take broader responsibilities ranging from cloud services to embedded systems. Growing automotive industry in India will facilitate a need for more automotive software engineers, that will enable development of automotive software globally. Last but not least, customisation of solutions for larger amount of markets will require software engineers to create missing pieces and customise existing solutions.