Updating cars quickly like smartphones

Updating cars quickly like smartphones

New Collaborative Research Centre for Software Methods at KIT - DFG Funds Top-Level Research in Karlsruhe with About 11 Million Euros

Modern cyber-physical systems (CPS), such as cars or production plants, are full of electronic and mechanical components controlled by software. It is like a puzzle whose pieces are constantly changing. However, since the overall system only works if all components interact perfectly, the challenge in designing such systems is to keep the respective system architectures consistent on an ongoing basis. A Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will develop new methods for this purpose. For four years, about 11 million euros will flow to KIT.

Vehicles, trains, airplanes, smart homes, or even production facilities - CPS combine electronic and mechanical elements with software. The development of these systems is highly complex because there are many interdependencies between the individual components. "If, for example, something changes in the wiring harness of a car, the diameter of the cable duct has to change as well," says Professor Ralf Reussner, spokesman of the CRC at KIT. For this, electrical engineers and mechanical engineers would have to coordinate their work. There is also a need for coordination when changes are made to the software. Today, this is done in industry during regular meetings between the disciplines. However, these processes are not only cumbersome, but also cumbersome and error-prone, Reussner explains. "The ideal would be to be able to apply updates to cars as quickly and without fuss as to a smartphone, or to be able to simply buy and download new functions."

New methods for faster development in industry

The CRC will now research software methods for structuring and organizing the work involved in developing CPS. The new design methods for CPS are to ensure faster development cycles in industry. For this purpose, about 20 new positions for top-level researchers will be created at KIT.

CRCs are long-term research institutions of universities in which researchers cooperate in an interdisciplinary research program. They are funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The funding period is four to twelve years. The CRC "Consistency in Sight-based Development of Cyber-Physical Systems" is the sixth one at KIT. The TU Munich, TU Dresden, University of Mannheim are also involved.

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