The Stage is Set – Enabling Liquid Software in the Automotive Sector

Alexander Denk
Service Owner Binary Management

On one hand, the automotive sector is driving massive innovations related to embedded systems development, and on the other hand is one of the most conservative sectors in software development.

This is about to end.

With the waves of disruptive changes in the automotive industry, liquid software will be nothing less than a fundamental requirement.

Video transcript

Hello, and welcome to the JFrog SwampUP 2021. My name is Alexander Denk, I’m working for BMW on our product Codecraft. This is our development platform for easy use. I’m working as DevOps engineer and in this role, I’m the service owner for our JFrog products as well as the deputy service owner for GitHub. I have coding experience since nearly 20 years now, a Master’s degree in computer science and I’m working for BMW since 2018. This is not by accident, as you can see in the picture of me driving my first car nearly 30 years ago, so you can expect a pretty long passion for cars. But I have not only a passion for cars, I have also a passion for software. And today, I want to talk that the stage is set for enabling liquid software for cars.

 In this direction, BMW and JFrog share a common vision. And this vision is liquid software. And also, we have a big passion for frogs. A long time ago, cars looked like this. Pretty efficient, pretty simple, and pretty straightforward. Production looked like this. It was mainly about bending steel and getting the components into the car. Engineering looked like this. The work was done with pencil and paper. But the times have changed, we see a major difference. Then the major challenge was clearance.

 It was all about the gaps between the parts, the development cycles, they’ve been pretty chilled seven years and more. The direction, pretty clear. Always faster, always forward. Updates on a regular basis. Yes, but we face lifts, so you had to replace the hardware. Now, the situation looks pretty different. The major challenge, we have to be different.

 The gaps between the parts don’t matter anymore that much. Development cycles, always as soon as possible. Everything has to be synchronous. Hardware and software development must be decoupled. The direction is unclear. What’s good today can be pretty bad tomorrow. Updates, yes, still on regular basis but this time over the air, you don’t want to bring your car to the service for that. The change, well, USPs can become a requirement tomorrow. For that, well, not only costs get faster, also the whole world gets faster.

 You need to stay ahead, you need to deliver a good experience but what’s today a good experience can be standard tomorrow. You need to be aware not to be overtaken by your competitors for that. So you need to deliver pretty fast. Otherwise, it looks like this. It’s not up to date when it gets to your customer. For that you need to decoupling of all your parts.

 Software must be updated in delivery, not only all components at once, every component must be updatable in a single time. Massive automation is the key part of that. And this is mainly about CI and CD. So this already brings us to the end because you need to do it end to end. Well, for BMW, CI is Codecraft and other products, CD is already in the updates. In this direction, we have already achieved a lot.

 We have 20 models out in the field, and more than 1 million software updates done over the year. But this is only the beginning. You can expect pretty more in the direction of liquid software in the automotive industry.

 Thank you for your attention.

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