Delivering the "Smarts" to the Smart Car

Written by: Electric Bee
3 min read
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In a recent Linkedin post, I shared my impressions from the Embedded World show in Germany and its focus on Intelligent and Connected Cars .
Success in the auto industry today is no longer determined by only the horsepower of an engine, or how many cup holders it has. Buyers ask different questions: How many miles to the gallon? Does it have an eco-friendly mode? Is it electric? Does it have Bluetooth? Can I stream Internet radio? How does the GPS work with traffic conditions? Are the headlights LED? In other words, technology, and specifically software is driving buying habits.
In the 1970’s, the most advanced car had 100 lines of software (code). It grew to 50,000 lines of code in 1980s. In 2012, most hybrid cars have over 100 million lines of code (MLOC) surpassing the 8 MLOC found in today’s commercial passenger airplanes and the 24 MLOC found in the latest advanced jet fighters. It is estimated that in 2014, new cars will have close to 300 MLOC. Today's luxury German car has over 50 computers and a few hundreds of digital sensors and actuators driven by software.
This focus on embedded software in today's smart cars changes the landscape for product development, validation, testing and manufacturing for the automotive industry.
Given that a malfunctioning car can be lethal , car manufacturers must implement an extremely rigorous integration testings to ensure that all of the computers in the car can not only work independently and reliably, but also they must communicate correctly to each other to perform extremely complex set of tasks. The current Audi A6 makes about 2000 decision per second to assist the driver!

To get to the Embedded World trade show, I flew into Munich and had reserved an Audi A4 from Europcar car rental at the airport. I was ecstatic when they surprised me with a brand new Audi Allroad and couldn't wait to take it out on the Autobahn!! :)
Iinvite you to read more about my trip and thoughts on today's connected cars, and the future of smart cars. (as well as check out some more pics of the cool car I got to enjoy :))
Read the full post on Linkedin »

And there's more:
The market for intelligent connected cars will reportedly be $50B by 2020. For the largest part these cars will be differentiated by the embedded software applications that run in the vehicle, as well as backend services that run in the cloud.
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