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Accelerating Development of Software Defined Vehicles with Virtual ECUs
The automotive industry is going through a revolution. To adapt to new customer demands such as convenience, safety, autonomy, and electrification, the automotive industry is moving to software-driven vehicles. These require new, more powerful electrical/electronic (E/E) architectures and significantly increase the vehicle software content. They also force the industry to move from lengthy development cycles and complex maintenance schedules to a more agile development approach allowing for continuous over-the-air (OTA) updates over the vehicle lifespans.
This white paper addresses one of the key changes: the move from software development and validation using physical electronic control units (ECUs) and benches to digital twins using simulation of ECUs, called virtual ECUs (vECUs). vECUs bring important benefits such as front- loading of the validation effort, greater testing scalability, and better ecosystem collaboration. This paper includes a comprehensive definition of the various vECU types, their abstraction levels, and their applicability during software development and validation.