Standardization Drives Quality and Efficiency in Vehicle Diagnostics – Interview with Professor Dr.-Ing. Goß

The mobility industry is changing faster than ever before. Electric and alternative drives as well as digitalization and automated driving are gaining in importance and require more powerful and intelligent vehicles. At the same time, the complexity of E/E systems is increasing and placing higher demands on in-vehicle communication. To meet these challenges, the automotive industry is relying on standardization to reduce costs and increase the reusability of data and components. In this interview, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Goß speaks about the challenges for the automotive industry in the transition to new bus systems, especially Ethernet. He assumes that copper will continue to be used in vehicles instead of fiber optics due to repair procedures and the need for specific knowledge. The increasing complexity of electronic systems in vehicles requires high-performance computing (HPC), but automakers' multi-supplier strategies make it difficult to consolidate software components on a few HPCs. Dr. Goß also cautions against integrating everything into HPCs to save weight and materials, as safety requirements and the need for a good balance between data rate, security and cost will also require some form of communication over CAN or LIN.

However, this change is not only affecting the passenger car sector, but also the truck or mobile machinery sector. In the field of agricultural technology, agricultural machines are already driving autonomously to some extent, explains Dr. Goß, which is why an exchange of experience as well as competencies with advancing industries is important and the scalability of HPCs to these areas would make sense. The automotive industry in particular will face new challenges with the use of HPCs in vehicles, for example in diagnostics. A new standard, SOVD (Service-Oriented Vehicle Diagnostics), will be necessary in the future. SOVD defines an interface that enables diagnostics on the vehicle and uses as many existing mechanisms and standards as possible to simplify the process. SOVD will enable remote troubleshooting via outsourced diagnostics in the vehicle. For this to happen, however, cooperation between developers of diagnostic testers and vehicle manufacturers must be significantly intensified. So SOVD is still a topic for the future for the time being.

In addition, standardization can act as an important driver in the future, especially in terms of quality. Dr. Goß sees potential for further standardization, particularly in the area of automated driving, to enable uniform and trustworthy type approval. In particular, the self-diagnosis of vehicles and the safety of the technology must be scrutinized. An important role will be played by the responsible parties, who will have to issue operating licenses and homologations, as well as insurance companies, whose motor vehicle liability insurance in its classic form will lose its significance. Appropriate measures are needed to ensure the authenticity of what a recorder records before and after a crash. Enormous quality improvements have also been achieved in communications technology and data processing in standardization committees in recent years. However, many OEMs and suppliers rely on their own technologies to establish a positive unique selling proposition. In this regard, Dr. Goß emphasizes that it is a bad solution to set one's own proprietary solutions as the "de facto standard", as this makes one dependent on one supplier. This is less problematic for end customers than for vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. Proprietary solutions should therefore only be used to supplement existing standards. Dr. Goß warns against overregulation and overstandardization, as this would damage the degree of freedom and creativity. However, he also emphasizes that degrees of freedom in standardization can enable differentiation and ultimately customer satisfaction.

One future standard, for example, would be in ePTI (electronic Periodic Technical Inspection), the "TÜV test for electronics in vehicles." But proprietary solutions unnecessarily restrict the free market economy, especially in connection with the sale of data, because a standard for ePTI test procedures could enable device-independent provision.

On the Extended Vehicle trend, where the car is permanently connected to an external backend via mobile communications, Dr. Goß addresses two ISO standards that are being advanced in implementation. Dr. Goß advises considering Extended Vehicle when planning new diagnostic technologies. Standards offer benefits such as increased quality, shorter development times and lower unit costs. Dr. Goß and Softing Automotive focus on standardization, while proprietary solutions are often used due to a lack of awareness of diagnostics. However, he says it is important for standards to be backward compatible to allow proprietary additions.

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