Continental’s expansion into automotive software development introduces the virtual ECU Creator (vECU Creator), which enables developers from manufacturers, suppliers, and external entities to configure and operate cloud-based virtual electronic control units (vECUs) in various development environments. This ground-breaking tool makes it easier to write code for yet-to-be-released microcontroller and CPU technology. vECUs, which are integrated into the Continental Automotive Edge (CAEdge) platform on Amazon Web Services (AWS), enable quicker creation and testing of software-defined vehicle (SDV) applications, increasing efficiency and agility.
Continental Automotive’s CTO, Gilles Mabire, emphasises the necessity of hardware-software synergy for superior vehicles. The concurrent development of vECU Creator enables application augmentation in SDVs, improving safety and driver enjoyment.
Traditional hardware-in-the-loop development lags in scalability at a time when rapid vehicle launches and software changes are the norm. This is addressed by the virtual ECU Creator, which allows digital feature simulation and compatibility validation, lowering pre-launch risks and costs.
Continental’s expertise in designing and constructing complex automotive systems at scale, combined with Elektrobit’s accessible automotive foundational software and middleware, represents a significant step forward in the evolution of the automobile industry’s system development.
The virtual ECU Creator allows automotive software developers to separate hardware and software decisions, replicate digital properties, and roll out programmes methodically within the CAEdge framework. Users can smoothly configure their vECUs by selecting from a menu of virtualized hardware and software options, with the selected chipset and middleware immediately establishing a vECU and allowing for instant code start.
Elektrobit’s Classic and Adaptive AUTOSAR product lines are completely integrated into the virtual ECU Creator, enabling a painstakingly automated approach to software integration, component upgrades, and unique build testing and validation – all independent of the actual hardware. Scalability of vECUs for validation and verification is astonishingly simple and on-demand, resulting in significant time savings in test runs and a perceptible reduction in total time-to-market trajectory.
Continental and AWS’s robust alliance, which began in 2021, is still going strong. AWS is the primary cloud provider for vECU Creator, while also supporting the Continental Automotive Edge framework (CAEdge), a complexly modular mixture of hardware and software devised by Continental to facilitate automotive interaction with the cloud. This framework includes a virtual workbench brimming with possibilities, allowing automakers to design, furnish, and maintain software-intensive system functions with ease. This device enables drivers to seamlessly incorporate desired functionalities through timely software updates throughout the service life of their vehicle.
Wendy Bauer, General Manager of Automotive and Manufacturing at AWS, articulates, “The inclusion of Continental’s vECU Creator within the AWS ambit will revolutionize the automotive design paradigm, which, for a considerable period, has grappled with the predicament of crafting vehicle software without the physical hardware in existence. Expanding our collaboration with Continental through the virtual ECUs and vECU Creator offerings directly confronts this significant industry challenge, ushering in a democratized development process between automakers and their suppliers. The equilibrium established by vECU in the cloud realm empowers automakers to expedite their development processes and enhance testing efficiency at an earlier stage of the cycle.”