Continuous Integration as Mandatory Puzzle Piece for the Success of Autonomous Vehicles 2020-01-0087
The transition to autonomous driving technology is widely discussed topic today. In order to make autonomous vehicles work safely in the long run it will be a necessity to keep their software up to date at any time. The challenge is that software released with today’s traditional release methods for vehicle updates is not deployed fast enough. Newly discovered corner cases or glitches in the design could restrict the usage of entire fleets for long time.
This paper discusses the use of continuous integration methods implemented into the automotive system development in order to keep up with the pace needed to make the new technology a success, and accepted by the users. The development process has to contain smart branching strategies for fast turn around. It is mandatory to have a frozen and stable branch to release hotfixes in case of need, a validation branch with feature lock in order to stabilize, and a feature branch heavy development space that is supported by full system regression testing from the very beginning. The change content for validation per test execution has to be limited to minimum in order to support fast issue identification and root cause analysis.
A sophisticated end to end continuous integration and validation process applied on the highest system integration level can achieve turn around times measured in hours and not in weeks.