Automakers Need to Improve Software Architecture and Integration

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

#Automotive SPICE    #Team Integration

More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and many organizations, including automakers, will continue a work from home environment for at least the first half of 2021. Despite the challenges these situations present, there are numerous requirements, standards and state of the art practices that OEMs and suppliers must ensure their teams meet.

While the auto industry is familiar with working in geographically dispersed teams, the “new normal” has increased the need for well-executed product architecture and integration. Ideally, architects help to logically design how a product will achieve the customer and stakeholder requirements and, therein, the various team’s roles in achieving that coordinated outcome. Without clear and well-communicated role, interfaces and resulting integration for the product and teams, the project fails. Unfortunately, Kugler Maag Cie, an international consulting company, has seen a decline in system and software integration, which again typically stems from how they systematically approach their architecture work and communication.

“We’re seeing a need to improve both systems and software architecture or these companies will struggle to meet their commitments,” said Peter Abowd, CEO of Kugler Maag Cie North America Inc. “We help teams improve architecture, improve the usability of team integration and, therein, become more efficient regardless of being distributed. As we see growth in EVs and autonomous vehicle programs, the number of lines of code included in vehicles is growing exponentially and so are the associated challenges in avoiding overwhelming project complexity. OEMs and suppliers are hiring thousands of new employees for these new programs. Proper support and training will help ensure these issues are avoided, guaranteeing on-time, profitable delivery.”

In 2019, Kugler Maag Cie conducted Automotive SPICE Assessments on three continents and observed that 78 and 82 percent of teams assessed for Automotive SPICE were unable to show systematic methods for accomplishing software integration and system integration respectively. In 2020, the numbers got worse with 82 and 88 percent of teams struggling respectively. Such degradation in ways of working will increase engineering costs unless product architecture issues are addressed.

Kugler Maag helps automotive suppliers and OEMs manage the complex challenges associated with the emergence of new technologies in the industry – like autonomous driving, enhanced safety features and the cybersecurity therein. As a trusted resource, they introduce efficient and effective consulting, training and compliance programs while maximizing innovation and profitability.

 

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