Today, the auto industry applies standards in many areas that are not subject to competition. These standards come into being in a whole host of ways ranging from casual collaborations through European-based associations (e.g. ASAM) to large standardization organizations (e.g. ISO, SAE).
Using standards results in a large number of advantages, notably considerably shorter development and engineering times as well as much lower costs per unit.
Softing Automotive is an active member of associations and organizations that define market standards.
The use of standards in non-competition-relevant areas offers numerous advantages across the entire vehicle life cycle, for example:
Data descriptions are always standardized when a large number of applications use the same information and several people in several companies exchange information. Similarly, if the information is to be further processed in different ways, it makes sense to apply standards in a structured form. This is the case, for example, when data from specification systems is used for runtime systems and for documentation purposes.
Standardized programming interfaces are defined with two specific aims in mind: first of all consistent runtime responses of test and diagnostic systems regardless of use and secondly the consistent integration of VCIs (Vehicle Communication Interfaces) in test systems regardless of OEM and test system manufacturer.
Protocols have always been standardized whenever different test systems (e.g. in brand and independent repair shops) are to access vehicles or different ECUs have to be integrated into subsystems – requirements that are in fact always demanded nowadays!
In addition to access to the vehicle via the diagnostic connector (CAN or K-Line), defined by the legislator, other bus systems have also established themselves as standards in the vehicle. These always focus on special requirements, ranging from inexpensive implementation (e.g. LIN) through high bandwidth (Ethernet) to possible use in security-relevant distributed closed-loop control (FlexRay).
The use of standards in areas not relevant to competition offers numerous benefits across the entire vehicle life cycle. One of the main advantages of standardizing vehicle diagnostics is much shorter engineering times, in particular through the development of a central diagnostics database (standard: ODX ISO 22901-1, Open Diagnostic Data Exchange). The possibility of reusing data once created in engineering, manufacturing and service, combined with the availability of tools from different manufacturers which are all based on the same data format and have standardized interfaces, greatly simplifies the existing and very often heterogeneous world. It provides an opportunity to set up diagnostic tools on a modular basis throughout the company, which in turn facilitates a high level of recyclability of the individual components in different business sectors. For example, thanks to suitable interfaces, the diagnostics hardware (VCI, Vehicle Communication Interface) is largely interchangeable and can be obtained from different manufacturers for specific applications: e.g. high performance interfaces for manufacturing and low-cost interfaces for after-sales. The overlying diagnostic runtime system can also be purchased from different manufacturers according to performance, standard compliance, flexibility and cost requirements. Standardization therefore makes it possible to reduce unit costs considerably.
To achieve overarching interoperability and secure our customers’ investments, we at Softing Automotive systematically rely on recognized, international standards. As an active member of the major standardization committees in the field of automotive electronics, such as ASAM, SAE and ISO, we help shape the future of technology. Our customers therefore benefit directly from the effects of standardization.