Managing the complexities in the digital transformation of the automotive industry
Written By: Linda Di Gangi
5/26/2023 Read Time : 3 min

Managing software is becoming a significant challenge in the age of software-driven vehicles within the digital transformation of the automotive industry. To realize this, you must look at the proliferation of the software code. Back in 1969, when Apollo 11 flew Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins, and Buzz Aldrin to the moon, it did so assisted by just 143,000 lines of software code. Nowadays, a military drone contains 3.5 million lines of code, an Airbus aircraft 30 million, the Windows 10 operating system 50 million, and a Tesla includes 100 million lines of code. Even that figure dwarves into insignificance when compared to the next-generation cat that is predicted to feature 300 million lines of code.

In this PTC Talk, Andreas Pabinger of PTC discussed why the transition to software-defined innovation is the most critical success factor for automotive OEMs and how Codebeamer can manage this complexity. Codebeamer is an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) platform for modern product and software development. It offers unique digital workflows that help teams improve development collaboration, product line development efficiency, and regulatory compliance. In addition, its open platform extends application lifecycle management functionalities with product line configuration capabilities, providing unique configurability for complex processes.

Software is now the critical driver for automotive innovation and a crucial part of safety-critical systems. Managing that software complexity is becoming an increasing problem for automotive OEMs and tier 1, 2, and 3 suppliers. A widening gap between complexity and productivity levels drives performance and schedule challenges for automotive players. To overcome these challenges, software development organizations must manage the increase in complexity and increase efficiency.

The market is still developing, and when you look at it from a global point of view, it is doing so in a heterogeneous manner. ASUS has an impact on the design, the architecture, and the ecosystem, on multiple factors, and is quite significant and has a powerful relevance. Some challenges faced are software on wheels, too much custom development, lack of software specialists, and the software being immature compared to automotive. The most critical facet is standards or, more accurately, their absence. Several attempts and huge investments have been made to build a standard OS stack, but it is still quite diverse.

How can Codebeamer's development tool ecosystem integration help manage this complexity?

Software-driven innovation is essential for OEMs. The semiconductor players such as Intel, Infineon, and Nvidia have more profound strategic importance in the future, especially in connection with ASUS and autonomous driving. The architectures are changing, with software-defined vehicles moving from a federal architecture with multiple ECUs to central computing architectures linked to the Internet. It is very complex to manage such an ecosystem, and understanding and managing software complexity is vital and essential with the increasing importance of software.

Codebeamer can help manage the ecosystem with the integrations of third-party development tools, code integrations, custom integrations, and classical syncing. Application Lifecycle Management tools also need to be able to integrate brownfield tools and legacy tools, which need to be maintained during transition and migration periods. Ideally, this process features a high level of integration and automation, but that Is not always a given; investments are required to achieve that from a Codebeamer ALM perspective that is already available straight out of the box. The tool ecosystem is essential for productivity, managing complexity, and software productivity.

Software Requirements Management is a dynamic environment. It is imperative that, at its core, it helps you do the right thing based on the dynamics in the market, the challenge is doing it faster than ever before. These requirements require digitalization of digitalization, which means you need to achieve a higher level of automation because otherwise, it is too expensive, too labor intensive, and impossible to manage the complete digital thread and software in a production process. Soon, artificial intelligence will play a key role, and with some OEM players, it is already playing a significant role.

How can Codebeamer create business value?

The business value challenges automotive OEMs face can be summarised in five strands - time to market pressure, standards compliance, security compliance, software innovation management, and product line management.

The software innovation digital thread is similar to a spider in a web; it is a central cockpit, which allows you to manage the processes and the software innovation in terms of themes, but also to have the corresponding integration possibilities or third-party tools with corresponding KPI information for management, quality assurance, and all the DevOps capabilities integrated with the complementary tools. It is integral to master the challenges to achieve high quality at time-optimal costs. It's the objective of an ALM tool to support OEMs with their efforts, overcome some of the challenges, and help meet the business objectives.

Our experience with Codebeamer and working with many automotive OEMs and tier 1, 2, and 3 suppliers allows OEMS to deliver incremental value utilizing agile development tools.

In the world of software-defined vehicles, connectivity, safety, cyber security, and location are very important, along with product liability. A product that is put in service must provide the level of protection which can be expected by the public. This is not only legal requirements but also moral requirements, and Codebeamer helps you here. This cannot be achieved in isolation; OEMs are partnering because of the level of effort required. Variance management is also essential for software reuse and reduced platform costs because if you can work with variants, you can build one platform for multiple product lines, thereby reducing the total costs and facilitating innovation and a reduced time to market. BMW already uses Codebeamer as a requirements management tool for autonomous driving, but it is now rolled out across the entire enterprise. Volkswagen is another example that is following suit.

The key takeaways are that ASUS requires flexible adaptation, which means intelligent requirements management, to react to market changes and needs. Software-driven innovation is crucial, and high software complexity and development cost means OEMs need partnering. Agility is essential for staying relevant, and we are convinced that Codebeamer will support OEMs in creating value to remain successful, innovative, and guiding accepted products in the market.

Tags: Codebeamer Automotive Engineering Collaboration
About the Author Linda Di Gangi

Linda Di Gangi is a Program Marketing Manager in PTC’s Field Marketing organization. She is responsible for the marketing strategy for European Emerging Markets and India. She first started with PTC's Corporate marketing in 2006 and managed global events including PTC flagship event, LiveWorx. Prior, she worked for an agency and oversaw PR for B2B companies in new technologies. In a spare time, Linda enjoys working out and hiking with family and friends. You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.