The Eclipse Foundation, an open source foundations, along ETAS, Microsoft, ZF, and others, today announced the formation of the Software-Defined Vehicle (SDV) Working Group, a new formal initiative focused specifically on automotive innovation. Using a “code first” approach, the working group’s goal is to build one of the industry’s first software stacks and associated tooling for the core functionality of a new class of automobile. These open source solutions will, in turn, be made available to any organization that wishes to leverage them for their own vehicle development. Multiple projects have already been proposed and work on these elements has already begun.
For the automotive industry, the move to open source software is a radical departure from conventional methods. However, as cars increasingly transform into “computers on wheels,” the criticality of software, and standardization, continues to increase. The Eclipse Foundation believes that software-defined vehicles will enable vehicle manufacturers, as well as automotive suppliers to put software at the very center of vehicle development. Doing so enables an order of magnitude increase in the speed of innovation, speed of production, and the ability to scale production of software-centric vehicles.
“Just as OSS has enabled rapid innovation and scale in other industries like manufacturing and healthcare, so too will the automotive industry benefit from leveraging the open source model,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. “The industry leaders that have come together for this initial launch of the working group speaks volumes about the demand for this initiative. With the Eclipse Foundation’s deep history within the automotive community, there is no other organization better equipped to lead this transformative shift.”
To achieve this significant change in the design process, the SDV working group will build the foundation of an open ecosystem for deploying, configuring, and monitoring vehicle software in a secure and safe way. Vehicle manufacturers and suppliers may then use this foundation to focus on differentiating customer features, like mobility services and end-user experience improvements. The ultimate goal is that industry players will benefit by being able to focus on innovation, while saving time and cost on the non-differentiating elements, like real-time operating systems, specific parts of the middleware layers or communication protocols.
To support this transformation to software-defined vehicles, major players from the broader technology industry, as well as the automotive industry are now collaboratively developing an open source in-vehicle application runtime stack, cloud-based vehicle operations, as well as highly integrated development toolchains. The open source software-defined vehicle initiative aims to deliver usable open source code for in-vehicle software across vehicle models, product lines, brands, organizations, and time.
The Eclipse Foundation has decades of experience managing the governance of complex technology initiatives and multi-vendor organizations, making it the ideal organization to help manage such an endeavor. Its commitment to transparency, vendor-neutrality, and a shared voice will ensure that all participants have the opportunity to shape the future of the working group.