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AUTOSAR Enabling to Innovation

Q&A Session AUTOSAR Open Conferences

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Q 1. What is AUTOSAR?
AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) is a worldwide development cooperation of car manufacturers, suppliers and other companies from the electronics, semiconductor and software industry. Since 2003 they have been working on the development and introduction of an open, standardized software architecture for the automotive industry.

Q 2. What are the reasons for developing AUTOSAR?
In the near future, today's hardware and component-driven development process will be more and more replaced by a requirement and function-driven process. Future engineering does not aim at optimizing single components but optimizing on system level. This requires an open architecture as well as scalable and exchangeable software modules. Since these issues can hardly be handled by individual companies and constitute an industry-wide challenge, leading OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers have jointly decided to establish an open standard for automotive E/E architecture, leading to the AUTOSAR development cooperation. Basic idea is the re-use of software components so that the rising complexity can also be handled in the future.

Q 3. What is the goal of AUTOSAR?
The primary goal of the AUTOSAR development cooperation is the standardization of basic system functions and functional interfaces, the ability to integrate, exchange and transfer functions within a car network and to substantially improve software updates and upgrades over the vehicle lifetime. Having this goal in mind, AUTOSAR pushes the paradigm shift from an ECU based to a function based system design attempt in automotive software development and enables the management of the growing E/E complexity with respect to technology and economics.

Q 4. What is the target scope of AUTOSAR and what are possible applications?
The AUTOSAR scope includes all vehicle domains. AUTOSAR focuses on body, power train and chassis domains first. All vehicle control applications are addressed, particularly with respect to distributed functions (e.g. via busses). Since AUTOSAR phase II (2007-2009) application interfaces for the domains Occupants and Pedestrian Safety and HMI are also considered.

Q 5. How does the AUTOSAR development cooperation work?
The AUTOSAR development cooperation is an alliance of OEM manufacturers, Tier 1 automotive suppliers, automotive electronics, semiconductor and software companies working together to develop and establish a de-facto open industry standard for automotive E/E architecture. This de-facto standard will serve as a basic infrastructure for the management of functions within both, future applications and standard software modules. The AUTOSAR development cooperation is managed by its Core Partners who built up a distributed, virtual organization with decision processes based on unanimity. Some 500 people are currently contributing to the development of the standard, representing a full time equivalent of about 100 staff. This places high demands on effective and efficient project and resource management, accurate reporting, quality assurance and transparent communication. Automotive OEMs and suppliers which are interested in AUTOSAR can apply for a Premium or Associate Partnership. The Development Partnership is especially suitable for specific contributions to the technological development of AUTOSAR specifications. For details on partnership levels, please see the website of the AUTOSAR development cooperation.

Q 6. When do I have to become an AUTOSAR partner?
If you want to commercially use AUTOSAR technology in automotive applications, you have to sign an AUTOSAR Partner's Agreement. After signing, you have the right to use the AUTOSAR technology royalty-free for automotive applications. Associate Partners get early information and access to released AUTOSAR specifications. In addition, Premium and Development Partners contribute to working groups and get access to current information and specifications under development for upcoming releases.

Q 7. What is the procedure to become a partner of the AUTOSAR development cooperation?
There are several forms of partnership. In order to become a contributing partner (Premium Partner, Development Partner) you have to fill in a registration form and provide a positioning paper. The process to become an Associate Partner is even simpler.

Q 8. What is the partnership fee for AUTOSAR?
The annual contribution for Associate Partners and Premium Partners is low. What we expect from Premium and Development Partners, however, is that they play an active part within the working groups.

Q 9. AUTOSAR and Intellectual Property Rights, who is the owner?
All Intellectual Property Rights issues are covered in the AUTOSAR contracts. If you want to exploit AUTOSAR, you need to be AUTOSAR partner.

Q 10. Do I have to pay royalties for using AUTOSAR applications?
AUTOSAR is targeting a broad implementation in the automotive market and no royalties will have to be paid for automotive applications by Partners of AUTOSAR.

Q 11. In which applications am I allowed to use the AUTOSAR standard?
You can use the AUTOSAR standard for automotive applications. Automotive application means applications related to engine powered, land-based, non-railed vehicles, such vehicles intended for primary transportation purposes.

Q 12. Where can I obtain additional information about AUTOSAR?
Send an email to or visit the official AUTOSAR web site at

Q 13. When are the specific start of production dates of specific companies?
AUTOSAR does not communicate the specific start of production dates of its Partners. The first cars with AUTOSAR technology inside were launched in the market in 2008. This emphasizes clearly that the standard is well accepted and that AUTOSAR products have already become reality.

Q 14. What is the benefit of AUTOSAR for manufacturers, suppliers, tool developers?

General benefits:
  • Increased re-use of software
  • Increased design flexibility
  • Clear design rules for integration
  • Reduction of costs for software development and service in the long term
  • OEM overlapping reuse of non-competitive software modules
  • Focus on protected, innovative and competitive functions
Specific benefits for OEMs:
  • Functions of competitive nature can be developed separately
  • Later sharing of innovations is accessible
  • Standardized conformance process
Specific benefits for suppliers:
  • Reduction of version proliferation
  • Development sharing among suppliers
  • Increase of efficiency in functional development
  • New business models
  • Preparation for upcoming increase in software volume
Specific benefits for tool developers:
  • Common interfaces with development processes
  • Seamless, manageable, task optimized (time dependent) tool landscape
Specific benefits for new market entrants:
  • Transparent and defined interfaces enable new business models
  • Clear contractual task allocation and outsourcing of software-implementation
  • accessible
Q 15. What is the benefit of AUTOSAR for the car driver?
AUTOSAR is the basis for additional new functions and increases the speed of their introduction. AUTOSAR enables the development of systems with increased complexity at reasonable costs with high quality, e.g. new driver assistance systems and safety systems.

Q 16. How will AUTOSAR improve quality?
The standardization will result in a higher degree of re-use of components. This will basically increase the maturity and thus also the quality of these components. Furthermore, AUTOSAR will ease both, the ECU and the system integration, which means typical pitfalls during integration are avoided.

Q 17. How will AUTOSAR help to reduce costs? Where can economies of scale be realized?
The standardization will result in a higher degree of re-use of components. That means development costs can be put on a wider basis. Another cost reducing factor results from the exchangeability between supplier's solutions. This surely leads to more competition.

Q 18. How much money has already been spent in AUTOSAR?
The major expense is the internal manpower at the Core Partners, Premium Partners and Development Partners. In 2007, this was about 100 full time equivalents working in the overall project, i.e. actively contributing in working groups etc. In addition, costs for administration, validation and creation of conformance test specifications have to be covered.

Q 19. Which kind of business models does AUTOSAR plan or propose?
AUTOSAR is focusing on technology and does not plan or propose any kind of business models. This question will find various answers in the market.

Q 20. What is AUTOSAR's relationship to other standardization bodies?
AUTOSAR will comply with all relevant standards. The AUTOSAR development cooperation standardizes software technologies for automotive use. Therefore AUTOSAR is in contact with other standardization bodies. If there are existing solutions available, they are integrated, referenced or adopted when this is adequate.

Q 21. A number of automotive software suppliers formed AESAS (Association of European Suppliers of Automotive Software). Will this association be in competition to AUTOSAR in the future?
AUTOSAR is a development cooperation creating specifications for automotive electronic systems. AUTOSAR provides to its Partners these specifications for commercial exploitation. There is no conflict at all in implementing AUTOSAR specifications on an inter-company level.

Q 22. How is the relationship between AUTOSAR and JasPar?
Many members of JasPar are partners of AUTOSAR and vice versa. These companies form the link and transfer the spirit of the co-operation. JasPar is concentrating on exploitation of AUTOSAR and FlexRay Standards. JasPar revues, validates and implements AUTOSAR specifications. Within JasPar, a working group has been established that acts as a bridge function towards AUTOSAR. JasPar members that are not partners in AUTOSAR have access to the published AUTOSAR specifications only.

Q 23. Why is AUTOSAR only delivering the standard specifications but not an implementation of the basic software?
AUTOSAR has the working principle 'Cooperate on standards, compete on implementation'. As the delivery of implementations - in particular implementations of basic software - must be enabled and supported worldwide, the best quality and service is expected in free competition on implementation level.

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