Browse Publications Technical Papers 2008-01-1449
2008-04-14

Software Product Lines in Automotive Systems Engineering 2008-01-1449

Product line approaches are well-known in many manufacturing industries, such as consumer electronics, medical systems and automotive [1]. In recent years, approaches with a similar background have rapidly emerged within Software Engineering, so called Software Product Line (SPL) approaches [2], [3].
As automotive manufacturers and suppliers design and implement complex applications, such as driver assistance [4], they strive for mechanisms that allow them to implement such functionality on integrated platforms. This offers the opportunity to build a variety of similar systems with a minimum of technical diversity and thus allows for strategic reuse of components. This has resulted in a growing interest in SPL approaches both in the software engineering and the automotive systems domain.
This paper discusses the increasing importance that SPL approaches could play within the context of Automotive Systems Engineering. To accomplish this, we first provide an overview of the major challenges faced by Automotive Systems Engineering [5]. We then present a selection of SPL approaches, which could provide solutions for the described challenges. To complement this we make the case for empirical evaluation as a basis for well-founded decisions and selection of techniques.
Finally, we present and in-depth discussion of how the approaches and techniques outlined can be used to address the identified challenges. The paper concludes with an overview of open research questions and expected benefits for the development of automotive systems.

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