Embedded software development complexities in today’s connected automobile – yeah, we got a fix for that

By Scott Salzwedel

Deploying safe and secure automotive-grade embedded software is an inherently complex process.

Now think of the connected automobile, the smart car, with all the advanced technologies required for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), automated driving systems (ADS) and of course, autonomous driving.

To address these challenges, the automotive industry has been swamped with an ever-expanding number of specialized tools from different vendors which somehow must all work together. The good news is the model-driven development (MDD) methodology has evolved over the years and is now an effective means for embedded software development.

With rising complexities, threats and setbacks persist

Unfortunately, a common problem among teams that utilize the MDD approach is many of the tests are not reusable across the various “Model-In-the-Loop” (MIL), “Software-In-the-Loop” (SIL) and  “Hardware-In-the-Loop” (HIL) testbenches. (Incidentally, when all of these testing environments are used together, it is often referred to as “XIL.”)  In order to be successful in terms of on-time, on-budget, and on-quality, it’s essential that teams be able to reuse verification and validation (V&V) testbenches across the entire XIL project.

No question, effective testing is one of the most challenging tasks undertaken when developing the electrical and electronic (E/E) subsystems within an advanced vehicle.

Download this Siemens automotive white paper now.

How to achieve consistent test reuse across the entire MDD workflow

This paper explores industry standards, tools, and techniques that effectively support the reuse of V&V suites throughout an entire software development project. An overriding tenet is to not treat the different XIL configurations as useful only during certain workflow phases, but rather, treat them as different levels of abstraction of the E/E system so they are useful throughout the systems engineering project. It’s a fascinating as well as comprehensive read that’s sure to answer some of your questions regarding the MIL->SIL->HIL workflow.

This paper also covers:

Factors that affect test reuse:

  • Levels of abstraction of the data and signals within the testbenches
  • Modeling and programming languages
  • Sequencing and control over the various specialized tools
  • Means to stimulate and trace the system under test (SUT)
  • Lack of standardization

Key standards supporting the MDD/XIL workflow:

  • Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI)

This paper puts forth a systematic and automated MDD/XIL workflow that allows software teams to develop their electronic control unit (ECU) V&V suites early during software modeling, and reuse them through to production ECU testing, and ultimately for automatic regression testing of future software updates.

In addition to being able to reuse these test suites across the entire workflow, teams are also able to easily locate problems in the early phases where fixes are least expensive to correct. There are just so many advantages to talk about, it’s best to download the paper.

I hope you’ll take a minute to download the paper, “Consistent test reuse across MIL->SIL->HIL in a model-driven development workflow” now.

Scott Salzwedel is a senior technical writer and corporate communications writer involved in the Siemens Aerospace & Defense Industry and Siemens Capital. Scott is also the writer/host of the Siemens podcast Talking Aerospace Today.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at