So far in the series, we have explored the impact of AVs on key players within the ecosystem and how IT providers will be expected to support any possible changes. This section specifically aims to summarize the role of IT (product and service providers) in assuming new responsibilities. Competitive advantage will lie with those who prepare ahead of the curve and assume this role proactively.
Currently, the role of an IT service provider is limited to support IT applications within the plant, embedded programming, PLM software package implementation and support. Autonomous driving at “eyes-off” will be software driven and therefore IT service providers need to focus on developing and delivering modules that support autonomous driving. Their clients in the automotive space will now include public infrastructure services, government and local bodies, industry authorities besides OEMs, part suppliers, and dealers.
As environment monitoring and safety-critical behavior moves from the hands of the driver to the vehicle, technology needs to get smarter.
It will call for:
- Stronger capabilities in new technologies AI, ML, IoT, analytics, data visualization, edge,
- comprehensive testing, and validation platforms that mimic real cases
- Establishing and managing in-application interfaces with new entities such as DoT, local bodies, public infrastructure services
- Supporting the ecosystem with compliance data, establishing protocols, adherence to local and global regulations
- Deeper knowledge of the industry, client, and the end consumer.
At L5, where all functions of a vehicle are system-driven, the OEMs will rely heavily on its tier-one suppliers (strategic partners) who are involved in joint product design and development and play a key role in integrating systems instead of just providing major components. IT providers could very well be a part of this tier as more and more software drives automation in AVs.
So far, ISO 26262 has set the standard for functional safety at all levels of design and development especially seeking to eliminate electric/electronic system malfunctions. However, safety in autonomous vehicles involves more; software and system defects in complex algorithms with basis in deep learning AI to machine learning is difficult to sieve. The complexity lies not only in data volumes but also in the probabilistic, non-deterministic nature of the output. While ISO 26262 aims to cover functional safety in the event of failure, semi/fully AVs need to be certified as safe even in the absence of a fault. This essentially means moving from mitigating risk due to known failure to limiting risk in the absence of failure. Therefore, SOTIF (Safety of the Intended Functionality), which aims to reduce the unknown unsafe, will complement the existing standards.
Going forward, increased regulatory compliance on software that goes into AVs will be a norm.
The auto ecosystem will need to prepare for a future where it relies on an entire software-based ecosystem for compliance, quality, and safety. There will be a plethora of opportunities for an IT provider to grab but the one to race ahead will be the one that adapts fast and aligns best with the growing needs in the automotive industry.
In the next sections, we will discuss the probable emergence of local bodies such as departments of transportation (DoTs) in a key role as AVs become mainstream.
Bhoomi Patel is a presales & business development expert who works on positioning practical innovation to Automotive and Manufacturing clients. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Satishchandra Nayak is a Business Process expert who works on delivering practical Innovation to Automotive and Manufacturing customers of Capgemini. You can contact him at email@example.com.
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