ZF and KPIT to build automotive middleware solution

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A new, mature, modular middleware solution for mobility – a system that serves as a ‘mediator’ between a vehicle computer’s operating system and its software applications – could be transformative in vehicle engineering, according to its developers ZF and KPIT.

The continual deepening of software complexity coupled with high-performance computing infrastructure in the mobility ecosystem has called for a robust and dependable middleware solution. Lack of such a solution can delay a program and escalate technology spending. The automotive middleware currently being built by ZF and KPIT addresses the lack of availability of an integrated middleware solution that enables mobility OEMs to manage this increase in software complexity while retaining full control of architecture.

KPIT will supply the software, relying on existing assets, tools, accelerators and other core infrastructure. The company will draw on its experience in architecture consulting and software integration, and its strengths in cloud-based connected services. Meanwhile, the two companies will leverage ZF’s understanding and specialist knowledge of vehicle systems. Other technology firms will be brought on board during the project, including semiconductor specialists, software companies, cloud services and startups.

“The next generation of vehicles that come into the market will feature electric drives, a high degree of automated functions as well as connectivity, and they will be software-defined. Using what we develop jointly with KPIT, we can offer our automotive customers even more comprehensive software solutions that fit seamlessly together with our system portfolio for the software-defined vehicle: high-performance computing, software, intelligent sensors and smart actuators,” commented Dr Dirk Walliser, SVP corporate R&D at ZF Group.

In January this year, ZF opened a global software center where it develops systems for future architectures. One of the main products is automotive middleware that is being engineered closely with application software for mobility domains such as automated driving, integrated safety, vehicle motion control and electric mobility. 

KPIT Technologies CEO Kishor Patil added, “We are very excited to cooperate with ZF in the development of an industry-leading middleware solution. OEMs want to explore open and scalable middleware solutions that can lay the foundation for the future generation of vehicles, and bring significant quality and productivity improvements. An appropriate middleware solution will help OEMs and our mobility customers make the transition to a solid, central computer architecture. Together, we bring software expertise, systems understanding, and knowledge of OEMs and mobility customer needs. This development cooperation for middleware solutions will add immense value to our global automotive and mobility customers, and significantly shorten development cycles.” 

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Rachel's career in journalism has seen her write for various titles at UKi Media & Events within automotive, tire and marine. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of transportation.

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