software development for the automotive industry

Software development is making huge waves across the automotive industry. It redefines the vehicular landscape and alters how users and drivers interact with vehicles. 

Whether controlling vehicular operations or shaping travel experiences, the software proves a boon for car owners and riders alike. 

A study conducted by Morgan Stanley outlines that 60% of software systems are utilized in autonomous vehicles. 

An increasing number of vehicles become electrified and autonomous which means that the global market size of automotive software is likely to reach $26 billion by 2030, thereby offering immense potential for businesses. 

global market size of automotive software

In this guide, you’ll learn everything about what exactly software development for the automotive industry means, why it is gaining such prominence, and the challenges associated with it. 

What is software development for the automotive industry?  

Automotive software development is about making cars, trucks, and vehicles smarter. It’s the process of designing, developing, and deploying advanced systems ranging from creating driverless software to driver assistance systems. 

As technologies like IoT and driverless car integration are on a steady rise, you’ll see that the demand for autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles will increase significantly.  

Developing software for the automotive industry not only changes the way you interact with cars but also revolutionizes the entire automotive landscape right from giving drivers top-notch navigation systems and guiding them to preventing accidents. 

The integration of sensors and other technologies in vehicles gives more confidence to drivers, and they are sure of their driving capabilities. 

On the consumer side, it makes the driving experience more enjoyable. 

It covers everything for you. Automotive companies can achieve their digital transformation goals by combining the use of data with vehicle operations. 

In a nutshell, automotive software refers to a cloud-based system that you can connect with the vehicle’s hardware using an internet connection. 

Why is software development crucial in the Automotive industry?  

Here are few reasons as to why software development is crucial in the Automotive industry-  

1. Improves fuel efficiency 

Excessive fuel consumption has become a burning issue for logistics and transportation service providers. An increased usage of fuel increases the fuel consumption costs which account for 30% of the total operating expenses. 

On top of that, high fuel usage raises environmental concerns which calls for more emissions. 

Software development when used in the automotive industry enhances fuel efficiency using an advanced engine management system that controls how the engine works. 

Modern vehicles these days rely on engine control units which use software algorithms to manage engine performance and improve fuel efficiency. 

These systems adjust various parameters especially when the vehicle is climbing a hill or highway cruising such as fuel injection timings and air fuel ignition ratio to ensure that the engine operates at the maximum efficiency. 

Thus, automotive software development makes vehicles more fuel efficient by preventing misuse of fuel based on the optimal consumption of the vehicle. 

It then shares fuel consumption insights with vehicle owners helping them to make better decisions about how they can enhance the performance of electric vehicles at lower operating costs. 

2. Increased focus on autonomous driving  

Software development is important in the automotive industry because of the advent of autonomous driving vehicles. 

Autonomous cars, aka driverless cars, can operate on their own with no manual intervention required.  

This gives space for passengers to focus their travel time on leisure activities, entertainment, or attending client meetings. 

Because these cars use advanced technologies (AI & ML), sensors, and control systems, they can- 

  • navigate seamlessly in case of high traffic congestion,  
  • control the vehicle speed,  
  • object detection,  
  • comply with traffic law,  
  • remember your route and More importantly,  
  • It provides a safer driving experience  

Not only do autonomous vehicles make the passengers more excited, but it does reduce road accidents to the maximum extent.  

It is predicted that driverless cars are more likely to reduce road accidents by 90% in 2040. Thus, the demand for connected cars has increased significantly.  

These technological advancements redefine the entire transportation landscape as the integration of sensors in vehicles analyzes the surroundings and makes decisions to control the vehicle direction. 

3. Advanced safety systems  

The safety & security of drivers and passengers are of prime importance in the automotive sector. 

If there were no software, then drivers are likely to make more errors when there’s no assistance for them.  

This results in more crashes and accidents, especially when they are driving in hazardous areas. 

With advanced driver assistance systems, modern vehicles can ensure the safety of end users and drivers which were lacking in old-age vehicles. 

Generally, vehicle accidents occur because of human errors. Advanced car systems come with unique capabilities such as lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, anti-lock brakes, traffic recognition etc. 

This reduces the number of car accidents, automates the driving experience and secures your vehicle against any threats.  

4. Provides more space for customization  

Who doesn’t love customization no matter what industry it is?  

In the automative sector, every user demands personalized experiences which was not previously possible. 

Software development in the automotive sector helps businesses to tailor user experiences through personalized dashboard displays, customizing navigation preferences, adjusting audio settings, entertainment systems and ambient lighting that matches owner’s needs.   

All this takes the whole driving experience to the next level. 

Key areas of Automotive software development  

Here are a few key areas where Automotive software development is used-  

1. Electric control system  

Electric control systems/software plays a significant role in the automotive industry as it streamlines vehicle operations ranging from engine operation to driver assistance features and airbag deployment.  

Thus, it enhances vehicle performance, efficiently manages fuel and provides a satisfying driving experience to users. 

2. Infotainment systems 

Another key area where Automotive software development is used is infotainment systems. Infotainment systems use touchscreen displays and audio/voice interfaces to deliver information and entertainment experiences to drivers and passengers. 

In-vehicle infotainment software is the heart of the automotive sector as it entertains passengers, plays music, provides navigation, and accesses information. 

These systems use virtual assistants and voice-activated commands so that users can communicate with ease using their voice commands. 

Our software developers at BigOhTech are ready to turn your automotive idea into a dream application. We have years of industry experience in creating user-friendly and bug-free infotainment systems that can be integrated with other vehicle systems. 

3. Advanced driver assistance system (ADAS)  

Advanced driver assistance systems are crucial for automotive vehicles as they ensure the safety of vehicles. It helps the drivers to operate their vehicles with ease and helps them prevent potential mishaps.  

The driver assistance system revolutionizes the automotive industry as it is integrated with sensors and cameras. Thus, it prevents accidents, mitigates risks and reduces injuries on the road. 

ADAS are considered safety systems that are used to assist drivers and improve drivers’ performance as they come with various features such as lane keeping, automatic emergency braking, cruise control etc.  

It uses advanced technologies such as sensors and cameras to perceive what’s going on in the surroundings and then inform the driver about it. 

Otherwise, as it gathers all the data, it will take automatic action and make decisions in real-time. 

4. Autonomous driving software 

Autonomous vehicles are making strides in the automotive industry.  

It uses a wealth of sensors, radars, cameras and powerful algorithms to analyze the environment, control vehicle movements, adjust to real-time traffic conditions and help drivers make data-driven decisions. 

You don’t need any human involvement while operating autonomous vehicles.  

A report from McKinsey states that by 2030, you will see that the demand for autonomous vehicles will be 12%. 

Thus, with autonomous driving systems, vehicles can move seamlessly on their own with zero human effort. 

5. Cybersecurity 

Creating automotive software is important but protecting it from cyber-attacks can’t be ignored at the same time. 

The automotive sector is becoming complex these days and various stakeholders are involved.  

Where there is seamless connectivity between your car and your phone, everything can be accessible by hackers using a few clicks. This results in leakage of customer data and may come up with worse outcomes. 

If there is a strong cybersecurity framework, user privacy will be secured, and vehicle safety is not compromised.   

In today’s world, every vehicle relies on certain types of technology, and safeguarding such connected systems or software becomes the prime responsibility of automotive software development companies. 

For protecting your automotive software against digital threats, investing in a dedicated development team is the need of HOUR. 

Challenges in Automotive software development  

Various challenges that are involved in developing software for automotive companies are as given below- 

1. Increasing complexity of automotive software 

Increasing complexity of automotive software

The automotive software industry is advancing at a rapid pace which means developers need to advance systems with basic sensors to complex controllers.  

Modern vehicles that ply on the road are based on tens and millions of lines of code.  

To power such systems, software developers need tools and technologies that enhance customer experience and make businesses more digitally capable. They need modern tools and software processes to create such automated systems. 

Building advanced systems requires the integration of more complex features and functionalities. Such complexities open room for bugs and blunders.  

Even if the automotive software becomes ready, you need to test and manage those interconnected components in real-life scenarios which sometimes become challenging jobs.  

Developing software for automotive systems requires developers to have expertise in building advanced systems such as autonomous driving software, infotainment systems, etc.   

Additionally, they need to update themselves with trends in automotive software development that are hitting the ground. 

2. Safety and security issues  

Cyberattacks have been there for a long time and have grown substantially since 2010. Thus, it creates a risk for passengers and developers.  

With so much interconnectivity between various systems and complex technologies added to cars, cybercriminals can take advantage of this.  

Connected cars and autonomous vehicles are exposed to various vulnerabilities and create security issues.  

If developers don’t implement stringent security measures, hackers can access drivers’ and passengers’ personal data, take remote control of cars, and cause accidents.  

Attackers, when they get access to the electric vehicle control system of a car, can disrupt the functioning of the vehicle and cause more accidents.  

As an automotive software development agency, we take care of everything from the design process to the production and maintenance of systems.  

On top of that, we adhere to cybersecurity regulations and guidelines so that digital products are difficult to hack. 

3. Regulatory compliance  

When building automotive software, companies need to adhere to various compliances. Complying with such regulatory frameworks is necessary to protect vehicle safety and secure the data of passengers.  

In the automotive industry, software developers should comply with safety and security standards.  

For Instance ISO standard 262262 is for the development of electronic systems and electric vehicles. 

It’s a functional safety standard which specifies the requirements of developing software so that it remains safe throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle.   

It also specifies guidelines that automotive companies should follow to reduce the risk of accidents. 

What are the Future Trends of custom software development for Automotive?  

Certain advancements are going on in the automotive industry where software takes the front stage by turning computers on wheels. 

The demand for automotive software is likely to grow by $660 billion by 2030.  

According to a Deloitte report, the past 20 years for car makers went well but the next 20 years will be ruled by automotive software that transforms the passenger’s experience.  

Thanks to advances in AI, Machine learning, and predictive analytics, developers can create complex software that automates the whole driving experience.   

The FUTURE of software development seems more promising way ahead.  

1. Electric vehicles and sustainable mobility solutions  

Electric vehicles are not the NOW only, it’s the FUTURE. There are countless discussions that happen every day about the role of software development in the automotive industry.  

Whether it’s about charging infrastructure or battery power, software has become an inseparable part of electric vehicles. 

Software development in the automotive sector unlocks various opportunities for electric automobiles. Electric driving has become possible because of advanced systems.  

Tesla, aka the king of automobiles, turned vehicles into smart devices. It provides over-the-air updates where car manufacturers can remotely update the software. Tesla creates sustainable mobility solutions that produce zero emissions in the environment.  

In the future, it’s expected that developers will work towards creating platforms that facilitate integration between mobile devices and conventional power grids.   

2. Voice recognition and Natural language processing  

Modern customers demand convenience so the software development company should design vehicles with voice-activated and NLP features.  

It transforms the way drivers interact with car interfaces. 

The things that are on the top of your head can now be controlled using voice instructions such as making phone calls, setting the car’s temperature, unlocking the doors and even altering the driving mode based on user preferences.  

It not only enhances the driver’s experience but also comforts the customer sitting inside.  

3. Cloud Integration  

Cloud technology takes the automotive development process to a whole new level. As there is an increasing demand for connected vehicles and solving complex computational tasks, there comes the need for cloud technology.  

Cloud technology is the HEART of the automotive industry whether it’s related to production, supply chain management, or customer service.  

There are various applications that Cloud computing provides in the automotive industry such as vehicle monitoring, releasing over-the-air updates (OTA), managing the infrastructure of electric vehicle charging stations, etc.  

Other than that, the cloud helps in optimizing the battery performance based on data generated by electric vehicles. 

Final Notes  

Cars and vehicles are no longer mere transportation machines but have become much smarter today. The automotive industry, when combined with software development, changes the way we think about and interact with vehicles. 

Software development in the automotive industry holds a very promising future. Without software, you wouldn’t be able to imagine creating smarter, safer, and more energy-efficient vehicles. 

However, automotive software systems are becoming increasingly complex as it requires gathering requirements, planning, development, testing, and deployment.  

It is expected that automotive companies can create glitch-free and high-quality software only if they adhere to regulatory compliances. 

To achieve this, you need to invest in an experienced automotive software development team that possesses years of expertise in building next-generation software for electric vehicles. 

At BigOhTech, our skilled automotive engineers will guide you at every stage of the development process and ensure that you get the best return on your investment.  

Having worked with multiple clients in the automotive niche, we have expertise in a variety of electric vehicle software such as vehicle control and safety systems, in-vehicle infotainment systems, energy management systems, and more. 

Want to develop a safe and secure automotive solution? 

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