AUTOSAR & JASPAR: Standardization of onboard software

Summary of major standardization efforts and future activities



 With the automobile electronic systems growing more sophisticated as well as complex, there emerged a common recognition in the automotive industry that the cost and reliability requirements would never be met as long as automakers and electronic component manufacturers developed software separately. As a result, industry-wide efforts toward standardization began initially among automakers and electronic component manufacturers in Europe.

This report particularly focuses on major standardization efforts in the world regarding onboard software. Reported in some detail in particular are the efforts at AUTOSAR that began in 2003 in Europe, and efforts toward application of standards to mass production vehicles by JASPAR that was organized in Japan in 2004 as a standardization body of onboard software.

 JASPAR works with AUTOSAR and other organizations in proposing initiatives for global standardization activities, and their results are reflected in global standards. JASPAR was engaged in the embodiment activity toward the application of ISO road vehicles functional safety standard (ISO26262) in Japan and developed a number of design tools accordingly. This will continue on to the standardization activity of onboard application of Ethernet and other information-related technologies.

 Finally, the report gives a general remark suggesting the necessity to properly respond to the expanded range of standardization activities and to the qualitative change of the standardized technologies.

Background of onboard software standardization activities

Background of onboard software standardization activities

 It is said that more than a hundred electronic devices are used in certain vehicles today. The source codes for automotive software occupied only several thousand digits in the 1980s. The number exceeded one million about ten years ago and it is said that the number has topped several tens of millions of digits today.

 There emerged a common notion in the automotive industry that developing software from scratch for every new car is not practical in terms of development cost and quality degradation. This inspired an onset of standardization activity with onboard software focusing on the reuse and diversion of software that has been developed already.

 The area of standardization activity has been expanding and the efforts are spreading globally. It was verified that the higher efficiency of development and the product quality and improvement can be achieved by a new style of development, in which  standardized software was combined with software from original in-house development. This style of development is being applied to mass production vehicles today.



Major standardization efforts in the world and at AUTOSAR

Activity bodies

Name   Objective of establishment, areas of activity
Controls Informa-
AUTOSAR To develop software standards that increases the reusability of existing software as a technology. The standards contribute to developing complex and innovative onboard electronic systems efficiently and with high quality.
To develop communication standards for onboard high-speed networks for drive control systems. To establish high-speed networks (10Mbps) which is ten-fold faster and higher reliability than CAN-based onboard networks.
OPEN Alliance To develop standards to apply Ethernet technology of proven performance in personal computers to onboard systems. Network construction without using the costly shielded wire.
CE4A To develop standards for interface between mobile and onboard electronic devices.
* Mobile devices: Working as a member of VDA (German automobile manufacturers association) under eight themes including cell phones, portable music players, navigation systems, etc.
CCC To develop standards for onboard connection of smart phones (MirrorLink).
GENIVI To increase efficiency of developing In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) technology (cost reduction, shorter lead time). To develop an open platform based on Linux operating system used in household information appliances.
JASPAR To increase efficiency of development and reliability of increasingly sophisticated and complex onboard electronic control systems through standardization and common use of software and networks.
(Note) AUTOSAR:  AUTomotive Open System Architecture
OPEN:  One-Pair Ether-Net
CE4A:  Consumer Electronics for Automotive
CCC:  Car Connectivity Consortium
IVI:  Onboard equipment that provides information and entertainment such as navigation systems, DVD players, Internet connections, etc.
JASPAR:  Japan Automotive Software Platform and Architecture
Control:  Engine, brake and steering control; door operation, window operation, etc.
Information:  Meters, navigation, audio, mobile devices, etc.
Communication:  Onboard multiplex data communication systems

 Onboard software is roughly classified under three fields of "controls", "information" and "onboard communications", and standardization efforts are being made in all three fields. The very first attempt was the standardization of "communication softwares" to establish communications between "control softwares" such as engine control/brake control devices and a number of "onboard electronic control devices." These standardization attempts have evolved to "information" softwares such as meters and navigation systems, and "communications" softwares to connect such onboard information devices.

 Standardization activity is taking place chiefly in Europe and many of the chief activists, other than JASPAR (discussed later), are European enterprises. (GENIVI has an U.S. origin and JASPAR is a Japanese organization.)

 AUTOSAR and JASPAR are working without restricting themselves to specific fields of interest. For example, the outcome of FlexRay consortium has been reflected in AUTOSAR standards. JASPAR has technological exchange with all standardization bodies introduced in the table below.


Participation by major automobile manufacturers (as of May 2013)

Toyota Honda Nissan GM Ford BMW Daimler VW PSA Renault Fiat Volvo Hyundai
FlexRay Consortium
OPEN Alliance

◎: Participating members ○: Information beneficiary members

 BMW is participating in all activities other than JASPAR which is a Japan-based organization. European automakers are quite active compared to others. In Asia, Hyundai, a Korean automaker, is positive about standardization.

 The activity at AUTOSAR is outlined below in terms of its spread and impact on the industry, and also from the standpoint of helping general understanding about the activity at JASPAR which is introduced in the latter part of this report.


AUTOSAR in summary

Name  AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System Architecture)
Established  2003
Objectives  To develop software standards that increases the reusability of existing software as a technology to efficiently implement complex and innovative onboard electronic systems of high quality.
Motto  "Cooperate on standards, compete on implementation"
Activities  Working to determine a software structure that will increase expandability, portability and reusability of software, and develop standardized interface software and platforms for implementing software structure in the Electric Control Unit (ECU) (explained in more details below).
 Has published sets of specifications in Release 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 4.0 and 4.1 that are already adopted in production vehicles.
Effect  The developed application software can be diverted to increase efficiency of development. For example, brake control software for vehicle-A may be diverted to a newly-developed vehicle-B after changing some controlling constants. The development lead time can be reduced drastically compared to when whole new software is developed from scratch for vehicle-B.
 The ECU hardware and application software can be updated independently.
Implementation in production vehicles  Implementing automakers (including plans) (taken from 5th AUTOSAR Open Conference documents)
* VW, BMW, Daimler, PSA, Ford, GM, Toyota
 Predicts that AUTOSAR software will be implemented in approximately 300 million ECUs in 2016 (taken from the same source)
Members  Core Partners: 9, Premium Partners: 34, Associate Partners: 72
 Automobile manufacturers
   Core Partners (7): BMW, Daimler, Ford, GM, PSA, Toyota, VW
   Premium Partners (6): Fiat, Volvo, Honda, Mazda, Hyundai, Great Wall Motor
   Associate Partners (5): Mitsubishi, Nissan, FAW, SAIC, TATA

 AUTOSAR was established in 2003 chiefly by German automakers and electric component manufacturers including BMW, Daimler, and Bosch. Since then, a large number of automakers and component manufacturers have joined and AUTOSAR activity is being carried out by more than a hundred members today. As listed above, Chinese and Korean companies have become new members.

 AUTOSAR is operating under the motto of "Cooperate on standards, compete on implementation" in developing software used in onboard control devices (ECUs). Development of mass production vehicles with AUTOSAR software has already started. According to the presentation material at the 5th AUTOSAR Open Conference held in November 2012 in Beijing, AUTOSAR software was adopted in about 30 million ECUs on mass production vehicles in 2012. The number is expected to increase to 300 million in 2016, accounting for about one fourth of all onboard ECUs.


Software configuration

Software configuration

Component name Function Characteristics, effect
Application layer
  Application software To implement functions for users. Competitive area for automakers (Unique software)
Interface To absorb differences among application software developers. To make it easier to combine application softwares developed by different developers. (Note 1)
Runtime environment To manage data exchange between softwares in the application layer, and data communication between the application layer and the platform softwares. To make it possible to develop the application layer without worrying about the ECU hardware construction.
To make it easier to divert application software that has already been developed.
Services Operating systems, memory management, communication management, etc. To make it possible to improve performance of ECU hardware in competitive area without changing the application software. (Note 2)
Hardware abstraction To absorb differences among ECU hardwares
(Notes) 1: For example, engine control software, developed by electronic component manufacturer-A for a specific vehicle, may be combined with transmission control software, developed by another electronic component manufacturer-B for another vehicle. This makes it possible to control the engine and the transmission of a newly-developed vehicle.
2: A change being made to a microcontroller or ECU component to increase the computational speed or save power generally affects the data structure used for processing in the ECU hardware. The affected data structure can be changed to a standard data structure used in application software.

 Software configuration generally has three parts (the colored parts in the above figure are common to all AUTOSAR software).

 The configuration is intended to increase the efficiency of development and reliability of onboard software since software that has already been developed can be diverted, and ECU hardware may be changed without making modifications to application software.


Future activity plans

 AUTOSAR has decided to carry on its activities from 2013 onwards with new goals focusing on the following points:
    * Ensure smooth transition for all future vehicle development needs (e.g., energy management functions)
    * Maintain compatibility with earlier versions

 "Enhanced collaboration with the Asian region" is one of the main trends in recent activities at AUTOSAR as shown below. AUTOSAR participated in an event held in China in 2013 and will participate in an upcoming collaborative event in India. AUTOSAR presentation is scheduled for August this year in collaboration with JASPAR, which will be introduced in more detail in the latter part of this report.

Schedule Place Description
March 2013 Shanghai, China  AUTOSAR keynote at Electronica China (an international exposition of electronic components)
April 2013 Detroit, U.S.  AUTOSAR panel discussion at SAE conference
August 2013 Tokyo, Japan  AUTOSAR presentation at JASPAR conference (details to be decided)
September 2013 Pune, India  AUTOSAR Day scheduled
November 2013 Munich, Germany  6th AUTOSAR Open Conference scheduled



JASPAR activities

JASPAR in summary

Name  JASPAR (Japan Automotive Software Platform and Architecture)
Established  September 2004
Objectives To pursue development efficiency and high reliability by standardization, common use of electronic control system software, and onboard networks that keep growing more sophisticated and complex.
Vision, mission  Defined in June 2009
  Vision To identify common challenges in automotive electronics, solve them by standardization activities and promote the following for the auto industry as a whole:
* Creation of grounds for fair competition
* development productivity and technical evolution
Mission Activity theme Based on its previous achievements, JASPAR will engage in standardization of automotive electronics technologies through prompt consolidation of opinions and decision-making among member companies that seek a new area of cooperation.
Targeted position  JASPAR aims to become an organization that leads the auto industry by announcing new visions and technologies of Japanese origin and promoting their global application.
Expected effects  Collective representation of Japanese companies to standardization bodies overseas. Contribution to the development of global standards.
(125 companies
as of May 1, 2013)
Board members (5) Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Honda R&D Co., Denso Corp., Toyota Tsusho Electronics Corp.
Regular members (69) Automakers (3): Suzuki, Isuzu, Mazda; electric component manufacturers (28), software and tool developers (25), semiconductor and electronic parts suppliers (10), trading companies, etc. (3)
Associate members (51) Automakers (5): Hyundai, UD Trucks, Mitsubishi Motors, Fuji Heavy Industries, Hino Motors; electric component manufacturers (9), software and tool developers (22), semiconductor and electronic parts suppliers (5), trading companies, etc. (10)
Working groups  Six WGs including Functional Safety WG and Multimedia Architecture WG

 The establishment of JASPAR was announced in September 2004 by Toyota and Nissan. Honda welcomed the announcement and became a member. Their standardization activity of onboard software under non-competitive (common platform) and competitive areas is continuing today in the form of collective representation of Japanese companies to international standardization activities and contribution to the development of global standards. Past achievements and future plans of JASPAR standardization activity are introduced below.

History of activity

Phase 1  2004 ~ March 2010
  Main theme  FlexRay communications protocol and AUTOSAR software standardization
Main results  Publication of 34 JASPAR technical standards
 Standard proposals to AUTOSAR/FlexRay
 Validity demonstration of JASPAR proposals by onboard evaluation tests
International cooperation and collaboration  Regular exchange of information with AUTOSAR
 Proposals to AUTOSAR/FlexRay (reflected in AUTOSAR standard R 4.1.1)
Phase 2  April 2010 ~ March 2013
Main theme  Road vehicle functional safety standardization (ISO26262)
Main results  Development of design tools (for public release) (Note)
   * Manuals   * Check lists   * Templates   * Guides
 Detail design of imaginary electric systems
 Results by consulting organs (exida, JARI/MIRA, SGS-TUV)
   * ISO26262 compatibility test   * Improvement of design tools

(Note) To be released on JASPAR website starting in June 2013. Some tools are published by Japanese Standards Association.

 The activities in the phase 1 at JASPAR concentrated on proposing Japanese views to AUTO/FlexRay in Europe regarding the application of standards to production vehicles. Japanese automakers, electric component manufacturers, software and tool developers, semiconductors, and electronic parts suppliers worked together to develop "technologies for the implementation of onboard devices" explained below, and the outputs were presented as a proposal to FlexRay Consortium and AUTOSAR (reflected in FlexRay standard V3.0.1 in October 2010).

 Onboard devices were actually developed to verify the effectiveness of JASPAR proposal under the "automotive platform software development project" which is a research and development project conducted from 2007 to 2009 by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry from 2007 to 2009. (more details in next section) (the outputs were reflected in AUTOSAR standard R 4.1.1).

 The activities in phase 2 at JASPAR concentrated on the standardization of ISO road vehicle functional safety standard (ISO26262) for application to production vehicles with the goal of maintaining international competitive edge in terms of implementing capabilities. JASPAR developed various design tools followed by evaluation of their application to actual development. In the process, JASPAR collaborated actively with international consulting organs.


Automotive platform software development project by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

Project title  Automotive platform software development project
Period  2007 ~ 2009 (results announced in February 2010)
Participating companies  29 JASPAR member companies participated at the request of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry:
  Automakers: Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc.
  Electric component manufacturers: Denso, Hitachi, etc.
  Semiconductor manufacturers: NEC Electronics, Renesas, etc.
  Software developers: eSOL, Witz, etc.
  Tool developers: Cats, ADaC, etc.
Summary of activities  (1) Development of highly reliable platform software for controlling engines, brakes, etc. (based on AUTOSAR standards)
   * Onboard performance evaluation for obstacle avoidance, vehicle-to-vehicle distance control and steering control
 (2) Development of software design assist, verification and other development tools
 (3) Establishment of development processes using software development methods provided by Information-technology Promotion Agency (IPA)
Main outputs
 (1) Achieved to realize similar vehicle performance made by conventional software, using fewer computational resources than AUTOSAR.
   * 40% faster processing speed and 20% improvement in memory size compared to AUTOSAR software.
 (2) Established a "from design to verification" tool chain system based on Japan's unique "tuned development" technique.
 (3) Defined engineer's skills required for onboard software development.

(Note) Excerpts from the outputs of "Automotive platform software development project" by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and JASPAR (published in February 2010)

 This project had three onboard application teams; "Safety control: avoiding obstacles by using monitoring sensors," "ITS control: maintaining appropriate vehicle-to-vehicle distance within a set vehicle speed range," and "Steering control: steering without mechanical interference between front wheels and the steering wheel" (the team members are shown below). Special attention was directed throughout those activities to the visualization of project progress and maximum use of development tools and the targeted outputs were obtained as outlined above.


Team name
Safety control ITS control Steering control
Automakers Toyota Honda Nissan
Suppliers Denso Honda elesys Hitachi Automotive Systems
Nippon Seiki Calsonic Kansei
Software and tool developers Sunny Giken Eiwa System Management eSOL
Eiwa System Management Hitachi Information & Control Solutions
Future Technology Laboratories
Advanced Data Controls
Semiconductor manufacturers NEC Electronics Renesas Technology NEC Electronics
Fujitsu Microelectronics Renesas Technology

(Note) Corporate names are as of February 2010.


Characteristics of JASPAR activities

(1) Discussion on standardization focuses on "technology for the implementation of onboard devices." See (Note) below.
   * Standardization activities in Europe and the U.S. centered on "ideas and methodologies" and "technology for the implementation of onboard devices" was considered to belong to a competitive area.
* For instance, AUTOSAR's motto is "Cooperate on standards, compete on implementation."
* JASPAR's activities are based on the recognition that standardization of "implementation technology" is necessary to ensure development efficiency and high reliability.
* This notion started when many of the communications ICs based on CAN, one of the standards for onboard networks, had too many variations which led to a resolution among JASPAR members that "the lack of compatibility among ICs by different semiconductor suppliers must not happen again."
(2) Members are spreading from automakers and electric component manufacturers to other industries.
* Tasks are defined to ensure practical effect in each business of automakers, electric component manufacturers, software and tool developers, semiconductor, and electronic parts suppliers.
* Software and tool developers,semiconductor and parts suppliers are contributing to JASPAR standards that affect their respective industries.
(3) Members are interacting regularly with international standardization organizations and playing active roles in their activities.
* JASPAR maintains close exchange of information with AUTOSAR and proposing standards to it.

 Characteristics of activities at JASPAR are summarized above. JASPAR membership extends to all industries involved in the development of onboard control devices, and they are working to ensure the efficiency of development and reliability of onboard control devices for production vehicles.
"Technology for the implementation of onboard devices" includes the following technologies:

Technology to realize the same computational capacity of onboard CPU (computational speed, memory capacity, etc.) by using an original device without using standard specifications
(Note) Standard specifications tend to be lengthy for the sake of versatility and require overly high computational load for CPU. This often leads to costly onboard devices.
Prepare recommendable specifications to eliminate "difference in product specifications due to misinterpretation of standards" in product development based on standards.
Define methods to determine if "product specifications meet standard specifications" to prevent deviation from standard technologies.
Create "development tools" to support product specification development in accordance with standard specifications.

 Proposals of standards from JASPAR to AUTOSAR mentioned above include these "technology for the implementation of onboard devices."


Plans for future

(1) Multimedia Architecture WG: Mobile Device Interface WG and Next-Generation High-Speed LAN WG are in progress at present
   * Discussions started in 2008 about standardization in the non-competitive area of onboard information devices. Several definitions have been issued by two working groups below(in collaboration with Bluetooth SIG, CE4A, CCC, GENIVI alliance, etc.).
   1) Bluetooth Conformance WG (nearly completed)
   2) Mobile Device Interface WG
* Next-generation high-speed LAN WG was formed in 2012 to compile the requirements of the control system network as well as the information system network for the next-generation high-speed LAN, coordinating with international standardization promotion bodies (in collaboration with OPEN alliance, GENIVI alliance, etc.).
* Discussions have begun with the plan to extend activities to "Ethernet".
       (Note) Use of images from vehicle-mounted cameras for onboard application is attracting industrial attention nowadays.
(2) Information security: Discussions in progress to define targets
* Assuming the expanded possibility of information in vehicles being connected to external networks, information security is becoming an important issue.
* However, "information security" has several connotations and discussions are in progress at present to define targets of activity.
* Targets are to be defined in FY2013 and activities will start accordingly.

(Note) LAN (Local Area Network) is a type of network for data communications between plural control devices.

 The Multimedia Architecture WG began working during the phase 1 with chief focus on the standardization of mobile device interface. Smartphones and other "mobile devices" had been introduced and used in cars. The working group's immediate concern was to improve the situation where verification tests had to be conducted separately to make certain that all mobile devices could be used in new environments in vehicles being developed. For example, iPhone and Android systems require different onboard connection technologies, and separate verification tests are needed.

 One of the recent trends in the industry is to use an Ethernet network for collecting images from several vehicle-mounted cameras into a single onboard device and "Ethernet" is attracting industrial attention for constructing a next-generation high-speed LAN system. As a result, the working group is shifting priority to the standardization of the use of Ethernet. More specifically, the group is concerned with technical development to apply Ethernet technology of proven performance in the field of computer networking to onboard devices "regardless of differences in product specifications among automakers" by "ensuring durability and stability in in-vehicle environments" at low costs.

 "Hacking" and "viral attack" associated with computers are becoming threats to automotive industry as information in a vehicle is connected more commonly than ever to external networks. To cope with this recent concern, discussions have started at JASPAR to define goals of new standardization activity regarding information security. A new WG activity is expected to start in FY2013.



Expected development of standardization efforts in automotive industry

 Finally, standardization activities in automotive industry are summarized below.

Expected development of standardization activities
   1) Expanded area of activity  Onboard devices are constantly growing more sophisticated and diversified which inevitably adds the work load to develop them. This calls for higher efficiency of development and devices of higher reliability.
 (Note) Increased use of electronics such as electrification, Smart city compatibility, ITS, etc.
2) Acceptability to qualitative changes in standardized technology  "Standardized technology" is prone to change in the process of its use.
 * Due to change in use environment, extended correction by users, etc.
(Note) JASPAR activity was inspired by the fact that CAN, the de facto onboard LAN standard at that time, contained too many "non-standard" variations. It represented transformation in the process of use by many users.
JASPAR has introduced definitions to prevent such transformation arising in the process of use (onset of corrected specifications). Their effectiveness depends on their application in the future.
 This calls for firm attitudes on the part of the users not to modify or allow others to modify "standardized technology."
 * Since "standardization" has different meanings to different users (automakers, electric component manufacturers, software and tool developers, etc.), standards must be "protected from transformation" through a consensus among relevant industries working together in a workplace like JASPAR.


(Reference information) Difference in meaning of "standardization" by the standpoint
   1) Automakers  * Considered as a method to realize "differentiation of specification" and "cost reduction and high reliability" at the same time.
 * Expanding the application area of "standardized technology" to increase efficiency of development and ensure cost reduction and reliability through:
    * Reduction of investment in in-house development
    * Increased opportunity of outsourcing
* Build a two-storied structure: "development specification" scheme consisting of "standard specification" and "in-house specification" to gain a competitive edge.
* Since "standard specification" and "in-house specification" are implemented in a single control system, development tools and other support environments must be developed through coordination with the development tools for standard specification.
2) Electronic component manufacturers  * Preparing to meet increased demand for components based on standard specification.
 * Building own products (families) based on global standard specification to achieve the following:
    * Increased business opportunities with smaller investment
    * Reduction in extra investment for individual automakers
 * They also face the risk of losing business to competitive suppliers.
3) Software and tool developers  * Growing competition among competitive developers
 * Need for extra investment for differentiation in addition to meeting "standard development specification"
4) Semiconductor and electronic parts suppliers  * Growing competition among competitive suppliers
 * Need for extra investment for differentiation in addition to meeting "standard development specification"

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