image-blog-vcs-software-in-cars
January 19, 2020

How to Develop Software For Cars Faster (And Drive Innovation in the Automotive Industry)

Version Control

The automotive industry is changing fast. Innovation is the name of the game. And software in cars is required by everyone — OEMs, tier 1 suppliers, tier 2 suppliers — to stay competitive.

And the pressure is on.

Here’s what your software development team needs to know to stay ahead of the curve.

What Is Software in Cars?

Software in cars — it's everywhere today. Nearly every component in a car has lines of code in it. And it's only going to increase as cars become autonomous. 

Software in Cars Is Moving Towards Autonomous

The future of technology in the automotive industry lies in autonomous vehicles, aka self-driving cars. Companies are working towards high (Level 4) and full (Level 5) automation. In fact, there’s been over $90 billion invested in autonomous driving companies since 2017.

Going fully autonomous won’t happen overnight. The automotive industry is going through a fundamental change — from mechanical to software.

Of course, software is already in everything in cars. This includes advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and the beginnings of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology. It also includes more common functions, such as braking, entertainment, and navigation systems. As autonomous vehicle technology matures, these systems will evolve.

Experts expect the number of chips to triple. And they predict that autonomous vehicles will have over 1 billion lines of code (compared to 100 million in the average vehicle today).

3 Key Challenges to Innovation in the Automotive Industry

Perforce recently surveyed over 400 professionals working in the automotive industry. They answered questions around software development trends and challenges in 2019.

Most are working on connected and autonomous components. And regardless of what type of system they’re working on, all automotive embedded systems developers face the same challenges.

These challenges include:

  • Increasing team productivity — across hardware and software teams.
  • Ensuring safety — especially across the supply chain.
  • Strengthening security — while leveraging connectivity.

[Report] 2019 State of Automotive Software Development Survey Results

Using the right development tools can help your team innovate faster. For example, Helix Core version control software improves team productivity and helps maintain safety and security.

How Helix Core Enables Greater Automotive Industry Innovation

Helix Core helps teams innovate, even as they grow to thousands of users and millions of files. That’s why embedded development teams trust Helix Core.

Here’s how Helix Core will help your team innovate in the automotive industry — and stay ahead of the competition.

Transition From Manufacturing to Software

Software drives innovation in the automotive industry. But many teams are struggling to transition from a manufacturing mindset to a software mindset.

Outdated toolsets add to the struggle. This includes source code management tools like IBM Rational ClearCase. If you’re using ClearCase, now’s the time to modernize — and migrate from ClearCase to Helix Core.

Helix Core enables you to adopt DevOps processes so you can:

Collaborate Across Hardware/Software Teams

Software teams need to collaborate with hardware teams to build a car. This includes sharing designs (e.g., CAD files), code, and binary files.

Most teams have large files and large numbers of files coming from many locations. These can be difficult to manage. And this often leads to long wait times as team members push and pull code (and other assets).

[White Paper: Shift Ahead: How to Solve the Big Hardware/Software Challenges in Automotive]

Helix Core enables these teams to:

  • Share files across globally distributed teams. It’s as easy as if they were sitting next to each other.
  • Reuse code and ensure that it works (especially on the hardware).
  • Manage binary files and other assets efficiently, no matter where the data comes in from.

Track Changes for Auditability and Traceability

ISO 26262 compliance is a requirement for most automotive software development teams. And using the right software development tools helps you maintain and prove compliance.

Helix Core stores code securely and maintains a complete revision history. This helps you create the audit logs you need to address the compliance process.

That’s why Scania chose Helix Core.

Ensure Secure Access to Code and IP

Avoiding cybersecurity risks is critical in the automotive industry. One attack could take down a codebase — and compromise a vehicle. And cyberattacks are common.

A hacker recently held hundreds of Git repositories for ransom after stealing GitHub credentials. And last year, a data breach exposed sensitive documents from over 100 automakers, including top OEMs.

It’s critical for automotive software development teams to avoid similar attacks. That’s why it’s important to ensure secure access to codebases and protect IP.

Helix Core makes it easy to do this with granular access controls. Your developers can do their best work. And you’ll eliminate the risk of someone downloading the code for an entire autonomous vehicle onto their laptop. 

Develop Better Software in Cars — Faster

The pressure is on to develop better software in cars, faster.

To truly innovate in the automotive industry, you’ll need the right software development tools at your side. Our white paper — Shift Ahead: How to Solve the Big Hardware/Software Challenges in Automotive — reveals how tools like Helix Core help teams shift ahead.

Shift Ahead