Systems Tomorrow: Software & Automotive – Part 4

Automotive software is changing the nature of E/E architectural development

The disruption experienced by the automotive industry is well documented, and industry participants are busy working out the best ways in which they can create value, innovate, and position themselves at the forefront of the industry. For OEMs, a major focus is the development of brand new E/E and software architectures, designed to scale and support advanced features and functionalities. At the same time, suppliers are hoping to establish themselves as experts on delivering complex vehicle features, such as self-driving. Throughout the industry, the result is a growing emphasis on E/E systems and software demanding new product development methods that blur the old boundaries between all vehicle domains.

Listen to the new episode of Automotive E/E Systems Revolution below:

Systems Tomorrow: Software & Automotive

Season 1, Ep. 4

Welcome to Automotive E/E Systems Revolution – a brand new series of podcasts from the Integrated Electrical Systems Group of Siemens Digital Industries Software.

The disruption experienced by the automotive industry is well documented, and industry participants are busy working out the best ways in which they can create value, innovate, and position themselves at the forefront of the industry. For OEMs, a major focus is the development of brand new E/E and software architectures, designed to scale and support advanced features and functionalities. At the same time, suppliers are hoping to establish themselves as experts on delivering complex vehicle features, such as self-driving. Throughout the industry, the result is a growing emphasis on E/E systems and software demanding new product development methods that blur the old boundaries between all vehicle domains.

Over the last three episodes, we’ve examined all the major trends affecting automotive E/E systems development. Today, we pivot that discussion to begin talking about what the future is going to look like, how E/E architectures and vehicles are going to evolve, what new challenges will the vehicles of tomorrow introduce, and how will companies transform to meet these new challenges.

Joining me once again are Doug Burcicki – the Global Director of the Automotive & Transportation Heavy Equipment Industries, within Integrated Electrical Systems, part of the Siemens Digital Industries Software – and Dan Scott, the Marketing Director within Integrated Electrical Systems

Tune in, to learn more about the future landscape of the automotive industry.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How the employee landscape changes. (01:00)
  • What organizations focus on post-COVID. (05:50)
  • The role played by corporate culture in the adoption of tools. (08:26)
  • The expectations of the younger generation around the workplace environment. (10:27)
  • The future of E/E systems. (14:01)
  • The different business models OEMs can approach. (17:23)
  • How the new trends in the automotive industry affect the E/E architecture and the development of E/E systems. (23:56)
  • The reasons why virtual simulation validation is a rapidly growing area. (29:43)
  • Why dealerships will be obsolete in the future. (32:51)

 Let’s connect!

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Transcript

[00:00:10] Conor Peick: So first off, to start off today, we wanted to focus a little more on what the future is going to hold for automotive and vehicle development. So the first question and the very broad question is, why do companies need to develop vehicles of the future?

[00:00:25] Doug Burcicki: Obviously, there’s a lot there that they need. First and foremost, you need a skilled workforce, you need people, subject matter experts in certain areas, people that understand the full context of the design, and you know, what you’re trying to achieve, it starts with a high level of vehicle requirements, obviously. But those have to be pulled together by people at the end of the day, those people have to use tools, they have to follow a process. And in my opinion, you hear about it as a buzzword these days: digital twin, digital thread, digital product, digital representation. The fact is that you need people. If you’re going to be a successful organization going forward you need to leverage a common data set, and that’s the backbone of a digital twin if that’s what you want to refer to it as, but a common data set from the beginning of your process through the end of your process, a common data set that’s used by all the individuals that touch that information throughout the development lifecycle. I think that’s probably the biggest challenge for the companies these days, because as we’ve talked about, we have partitioned silos and each of those silos within an organization have their own process and tools that they use, and those may not necessarily be compatible with each other. And that results in loss of data or data validity and it adds time and error because people have to reenter, recreate data. So I think that’s one area that all companies have to focus on moving forward if they’re going to be successful based on the complexity and the size of the data sets that they have to manage.

[00:01:57] Dan Scott: Yeah, one thing you just said at the start, Doug, I think is interesting is about that, the thing where, obviously, we need a skilled workforce, need engineers who kind of have the relevant skills at the relevant time. And I think one of the things that’s interesting about that is just the pace of change of things, which everyone can see, it has been accelerating, as well as just this shift that we’ve talked about in previous episodes about, you know, shift from more traditional mechanical skills to maybe some more software and electronics and those sorts of things. But I guess one of the things this goes in parallel with that, it’s just the pace of change, and so I guess one of the things I was just thinking about is we do need skilled engineers, one of the things they’re going to need in tools, for example, is kind of easy to use tools. So, if engineers are going to be potentially shifting disciplines a bit more, or even just moving into slightly adjacent things from where they were originally trained, I think something around that kind of usability of the tools, the easiness, to sort of pick up, being able to embed some of that process knowledge or some of that company IP, or what have you, and the tools. I guess, going back to, you know, some of the things you touched on at the end there around the kind of data. All of that feels quite important to me in terms of, you know, tools are just something which augment and which helps the engineers be creative and be innovative and do those and play a supporting role in that. But I think they kind of really have a leverage effect, I think, in terms of the innovation and the stuff that engineers can create. So, yeah, that was just one thought that sparked when you were talking about the skilled engineers bit as well.

[00:03:34] Doug Burcicki: I think you’re right. I mean, we see it today, we talked again, in a prior podcast we talked about many of the OEMs are going through organizational changes, because they’re putting a greater emphasis on software. So, that’s resultant of this shift, where more and more of the content and vehicle differentiation is being driven by software. So, that’s not a skill set, they traditionally retained in high numbers, we know that they’ve been historically mechanical or electromechanical based organizations or engineering skills that we’re delivering the majority of the vehicle content, and that’s changing. And we also know that the workforce is aging and you’re seeing a shift, a transition, and people with 20-30 years or more experience are retiring. And there’s not necessarily a structured way of retaining that knowledgebase. And these companies don’t want to go out and hire someone who’s just as skilled in an area that they need less expertise in; they want to focus on the areas that they’re weakest on. So they want to retain that knowledge. They want to retain the ability to design these mechanical or electromechanical parts or implement these systems without having to hire experts. And a way to do that is retaining the knowledge that you have in tools if you can so that you can then automate that process. And in some cases, not even have to backfill that spot necessarily, you can use tools to process data Instead of people to reenter data for no value add activities. And like you said, let them focus on innovation, how to optimize and improve whatever facet of the design that they’re working on. I think that’s going to become even more critical given where we are post-COVID because we know the financial impact and repercussions are far from over. And we’ve already seen OEMs and suppliers, tier one and tier two, in some cases go bankrupt already. And in other cases, you know, layoff significant parts of their workforce. And what they’ve done in many cases is they’ve laid off their more expensive aspects of their workforce, or areas that they feel are going to be more obsolete in the future. And they’re going to retire with younger, less experienced engineers in areas where they are not as strong right now, like software, for example, or validation and simulation areas where they’re focused on trying to reduce their development life cycles, as well as reduce their expenditure and reliance on the number of resources that they need to realize these designs.

[00:06:04] Dan Scott: Yeah, no wonder if you kind of see engineers shifting then in that kind of way, and needing to have this kind of continual learning mentality, I guess. I guess, for companies like ours that provide those tools. One of the key things, I suppose will be kind of learning support, whether that’s like online courses, or whether it’s on-demand training, or face to face training, those sorts of things; a way for companies like ours to support engineers and companies to get up to pace quickly, or to quickly learn new aspects of tools or processes, those sorts of things. I guess I’m just thinking it’s kind of like a more holistic offering, you kind of need to have then, isn’t it? It’s not just, “Here’s some software, go enjoy.” But it’s kind of a big picture to really help them to equip engineers to do what they need to do.

[00:06:54] Doug Burcicki: To that point, no implementation is the same. We have the same software that we provide to hundreds of customers around the world, and they all use it differently. And some of them need guidance or help in figuring out the best way to use it based on what their process is, or is not constrained by. So, yeah, you’re right, that’s a very real aspect to the environment and the market today. And it’s probably even more evident as a result of us all working remotely from home for the most part over the last six months, and for the foreseeable future, as well. So having people be able to quickly learn and adapt to new tools and processes from the comfort of their home would have been nice to have just a year ago, but now it’s becoming essential for effective implementation of these tools and processes.

[00:07:44] Conor Peick: Kind of leading on from this discussion, I wanted to ask you guys, the role that you think company culture or corporate culture can play in the adoption of tools and learning essentially.

[00:07:56] Doug Burcicki: I think it’s probably one of the single largest factors and whether or not you’re successful, or how long it takes you to achieve success once you go through any process transformation. Certain companies are very adept at changing and pivoting and refining their approach based on what’s going on around them, what’s working and what’s not. And others have, you know, a longer history, they don’t see a need to change: if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. They’re less incentivized because things have worked for years. But they’re not maybe as reactive to what’s going on around them right now. So I think that that, in short, is one of the single biggest challenges to overcome. But again, it goes hand in hand with the scope of your project. I mean, it’s easy to implement projects and process improvement, and a particular engineering team or a portion of an engineering team. It’s when you’re across the full enterprise, right? It’s when you start talking about affecting a process that impacts a guy who’s responsible for the architecture definition, as well as the guy who’s responsible for the networking requirements that come as an output of that definition. And then the resultant software structure that’s resulting from the ECU partitioning and feature allocation. So, they’re all intertwined but we’re not necessarily making decisions with all of those groups involved at the same time based on what’s best for the enterprise.

[00:09:29] Dan Scott: The culture is an interesting one, as well, linking back to what we were just talking about with regards to the engineers. I mean, I guess, particularly for things like recruitment and retention of employees as well. And keeping those skills in the business, getting the right skills into the business. The culture has such a massive impact on that in terms of, I guess, generation’s stereotypical younger people. Younger generations coming through have different expectations of what work should look like and I guess the environment of work as well. And it’s a lot less about presenteeism, being physically in the office and you showing your face clocking in, clocking out and doing your hours, and a lot more about flexibility. A lot more about being able to express themselves and be creative, and I’m thinking particularly around engineering and those sorts of skill sets. But I think the broader company vision and company focus, I think, has a big impact on people’s decisions, I think increasingly well as well. Whereas I think, maybe historically, people were much — not much may be less worried about that. It was less of a consideration. I think that’s changing quite a bit. And I think we have companies nowadays, that’s culture has a big part in that. Well, just in terms of their adaptability: can they adapt to change? I think that’s such a massive thing. It’s like that innovator’s dilemma that Clayton Christensen talks about, where the incumbents get so fixed on keeping their cash cow going that they’re unable to break out of that and try something new and take risks and dare to fail, those sorts of things. So I think it’s a continual challenge for companies. Because culture is all about the people, isn’t it? And the priority is that the company is set. So, I think it’s a massive deal.

[00:11:24] Conor Peick: It’s like we talked about last time with the example of Tesla coming along, and kind of eating the lunch of the big, traditional OEMs in regards to electric vehicles, where they maybe hadn’t recognized the appetite for such a product. And this smaller company that didn’t have such a long tradition was able to come along and demonstrate quite a large appetite for it. And of course, they needed a compelling product to make that work but I certainly think there’s an aspect of the larger companies being a little stuck in their ways, perhaps.

[00:12:01] Dan Scott: Yeah, we’re all certainly being perceived that way, I guess. I’ve worked for a variety of different companies from startups to tier ones, to big OEMs, to what have you, and consultancy firms. And what I found interesting, moving from company to company, or working within those different things, is looking at them from the outside, I think, it’s easy to think that it’s a stereotype: big OEM, traditional OEMs are quite stuck in their ways. There’s aspects of some companies that absolutely like that. But balanced in amongst that you have pockets of creative and forward-looking people and trying to make change happen. So, I think, it’s quite an interesting time because big OEMs know they have to change, they know that the traditional business models, traditional products, they’re not going to be the future. And so it’s like, “Well, what now? When do we change? We’ve got these products that are making us money. At what point do we make that shift?” And this, you know, for them, unlike startups, or differently to startups, there’s a big risk factor for them in terms of when they press go on that. So I think that’s a big challenge and a hard one for them to manage.

[00:13:10] Conor Peick: Yeah, that’s a really great perspective actually, and thank you for bringing that up. I hadn’t considered the difference between perception and reality, of course, which can frequently be quite large. But maybe next we can move along to the future of EE systems and where we see those progressing based on what’s going on today.

[00:13:32] Doug Burcicki: I wanted to back up and say that, back to the cultural aspect in some of the legacy companies, you know, maybe struggling with this a bit more. At the end of the day, those companies, in my opinion, it’s going to come from the top down, you have structures and organizations that have existed for decades in many cases. And like I said, things have been done a certain way, their specifications and process documentation that has been followed for years. And people are very averse to changing those things because they’ve proven reliable and repeatable. But they’re not sufficient to keep up with the pace of the modern technologies and the development cycles, the cycle of consumer electronics that are driving content in the vehicles. And we talk a lot about automotive and transportation but the same discussion can be held in other industries, like heavy equipment and agricultural equipment as well. I mean, there’s a tremendous amount of autonomous technologies being applied to those fields as well. And they’re going through the same struggles that the traditional automotive companies are, but they’re handling things in a little different fashion. But at the end of the day, it’s being driven from the top down where it’s happening, because the people who are doing the day to day jobs don’t want to change. They don’t want to do things differently, in most cases. I’m not going to say across the board, as Dan just said, there’s always pockets of people pushing for improvement in process, enhancement and just bettering what it is that they do and how they deliver it. And they’ll never stop. But for an organization to change across the board or to pursue things from a different perspective, it has to come from the top down. You know, it’s why you see there’s leaders out there that are trying to transform their organizations and being successful to different or various levels of degrees. But then you can clearly see other organizations that are not, you know, maybe that’s their strategy, maybe their strategy is to not be a tech or an innovation leader, but to eventually turn into a contract manufacturer, if you would, or maybe focus on system integration. I mean, there’s different business models out there that can be successful. Part of my observation is it’s not just a lack of willingness, some of these companies are reinventing themselves in ways that may not be aligned with being tech powerhouses, or staying at the forefront of technology. And that’s just part of the evolution.

[00:15:55] Dan Scott: Yeah, that’s interesting, Doug, and it reminds me of something I was thinking about recently. I’d be interested in your thoughts on this, actually, as well, which is, you know how we’re kind of going through this, this kind of revert colonization or most of the supply chain where, take, for example, somebody like Tesla, an automotive company historically would not have been designing its own ICs, or getting down into the real depths of the electronics; they’d be managing suppliers who did that for them. And one thing I was wondering about is, that’s obviously is a trend, generally, that’s kind of happening and bringing a lot more of embedded software in-house where traditionally that would have been specked out to suppliers to provide. So, one thing I was wondering was, do you think that’s kind of like a long term trend that verticalization will continue, or one thing I was wondering was, is this actually just like a natural cycle of manufacturers, as they’re kind of developing new technology, whether it was automated transmissions or engine controls, or whatever it was in the day; they do a lot of that work in-house, so they then understand in detail what’s required and what that means before they’re then comfortable to pass that out to a supplier to then be able to manage them and kind of understand what they’re delivering and kind of drive them to do quality cost and all of those sorts of things. So, I’m just wondering what your thoughts are, I guess, on that? Do you think we’re just at the start of a cycle of that and in five years time, or seven, or how many years time it is, it’d be back to tier ones doing a lot of their core autonomous electrification technology? Or do you think it’s less of a wider trend of actually having more verticalized organizations or OEMs?

[00:17:34] Doug Burcicki: Well, first, it’s a good question. I think you’re going to see a combination of everything really. There are OEMs, historically, that as you say, for content that has a significant impact on their cost structure or vehicle performance. If they didn’t do that in-house, they initially did it in-house, so they understood it inside and out and could maximize the purchase if they outsourced it. This, I think, is a little different in the sense that, first off, the embedded software piece or the application software piece, as you said, is becoming a much greater aspect of the cost structure of the vehicle. Some estimates have it as high as 30% to 40%, currently, with projections of that being half of the development cost of an automobile by 2030. So, that reason alone is a motivator for an OEM to bring it in-house. There’s no OEM in the world who wants to outsource half of their product development. But the other aspect is more about IP and differentiation. Everyone can have an autopilot type of function, but they’re all doing it differently. There’s different technologies. There’s different strategies in regard to your sensor arrays. There’s different approaches through the distribution of your ECUs and how you perform your sensor fusion. Every OEM, like it or not, has a different approach unless they’re buying a pre-validated subsystem from a system integrator, someone like a Waymo, or an Uber, that’s what they’re aspiring to be as a subsystem provider of autonomous functionality. So, you could do it either way: you could procure it externally if you don’t have the capability and don’t want to invest in it and internally. But you’re buying something that someone else has. So there’s no differentiation, but it’s cheaper cost potentially. So, some OEMs may look at that as their business model. Others, obviously, Tesla took a much different approach. And they went so far as to say that the silicon is part of the foundation of their IP and their vehicle performance. And it’s the basis of their vehicle architecture, and how they approach their entire autonomous architecture. So, they took a different approach, didn’t want to spec it and outsource it. And I think that that’s the first step in what’s been referred to as the decoupling of software and hardware. So we’ve talked about development cycles and the challenges of the OEMs, well, part of that is developing the hardware and the software in parallel because hardware clearly takes much longer than the software cycle that it supports the software that’s running on it. And that software is what’s in large part providing the feature. So, that’s a challenge for the OEM. But now you take that to the next step where they have to source that business to a supplier. And what they’re trying to do is get to the point where they can develop a hardware platform and commoditize it, have it supplied by two, three, or four suppliers who they leverage against each other. And they own all the software, any IP that differentiates the feature, the vehicle itself, the brand. And that way, no one cares about the hardware, much like phones have become, to a lesser extent because there’s still design and the aspect that you hold that in your hand. But from a consumer perspective, when you’re driving a car, you don’t care what tier-one supplier provided any module on that vehicle, all you care about is the functionality and the feature that’s running on it. So I see that as two different strategies that are both currently being engaged right now or deployed.

[00:21:00] Dan Scott: Yeah, that makes sense. And it reminded me when you said that part about phone providers, that’s an interesting analogy in terms of like the Apple approach to things where they own the whole ecosystem, the software, the hardware, the distribution channel, everything there’s kind of about it, versus, say, an Android system, or even in laptops like PC, kind of Windows world where it’s like, “We’ll focus on the software.” And then traditionally, the hardware, it will work on a number of different types of hardware, but that’s not our specialty. Yeah, I think that’s interesting to think about it in that kind of way. And you’re I guess each organization is going to have to take a good, long, hard look at itself and work out where can it add the most value, what kind of key area that they can differentiate where they can carve a niche out and make some profit.

[00:21:51] Doug Burcicki: Again, we mentioned it in the last podcast, but I think I referred to it as a specialization, but I think you’re gonna see, so you have a lot of tier-one companies out there right now that focus on hardware and software, and they provide fully validated module was based on a set of requirements from an OEM and it’s essentially a black box, the OEM doesn’t necessarily care about the hardware and the software stacks in the box, they just want to make sure it meets the requirements. And now you’re getting to a point where the OEMs are specking more of that software, and in some cases, writing it on their own, and they’re only specking the hardware. And that’s not a good value proposition for a tier-one supplier to be in, it’s just providing hardware because then you’re just a commodity supplier. So they’re trying to figure out how to provide more value to the OEMs, based on their various business models, maybe they want to move upstream and do more system architecture definition for the OEM or with the OEM or maybe they focus on certain features or functionality. Like, they focus on being the best software provider for algorithms associated with charge coupling systems or battery management systems, whatever the case is, you focus on a certain area that’s in demand, or there’s a need for them and try to be the best in it. So again, there’s multiple strategies in play. And I’ve seen evidence of all of them really. It’s just a matter of time to see which ones pan out the best.

[00:23:18] Conor Peick: How do these trends that we’ve been discussing, how do they affect the EE architecture and the development of EE systems?

[00:23:25] Doug Burcicki: There’s a lot of things we talked about. As far as EE architecture, it’s evident that if you’re not already actively developing a new architecture for your vehicles, you will be, very shortly, and you’re probably behind the curve if you haven’t started yet. Essentially, there’s a race and whether you’re focused on EVs, AVs, both, or just being competitive in the marketplace at scale, you’re going through an architecture transformation. And you’re probably going to be going through another one in another five years or so, as we migrate from these distributed architectures of today to a more zonal architecture, and then, potentially even centralized architectures. But if you think about it, in EV, for example, lends itself to a zonal architecture, because each wheel is its own motor and you can easily replicate and provide redundancy, for certain features and functionality. It’s a natural evolution based on opportunities that are presented through the technology such as EV power trains that allow for this type of innovation, essentially to occur that you couldn’t do with an internal combustion engine architected vehicle just because of the performance design and packaging parameters. So, the whole way the vehicles are being approached is changing. Essentially, there’s not a standard template for developing a vehicle anymore. If you look at some of the concepts that have come out in the last couple of years. I mean, you see everything from a box on wheels to some of the sexiest performance cars I’ve seen designed in decades. So, I talked about it the other day, there’s people that buy cars for features and content, and there’s people that buy cars for design and styling and performance. And what I really like about the EVEs is it’s a blend of both, I mean, you really can have the state of the art feature and functionality. And those cars are just fun to drive. And the packaging freedom that designers have is second to none. So there’s clearly a huge emphasis on E architecture, redevelopment, and if you get it wrong, it can be detrimental to your business. If you get it right, you can be highly profitable because of it. So, everyone is aware of it, all the OEMs are aware of it and are focused on it. They’re all trying to blur those boundaries as we’ve talked about. It’s essential for them to realize a holistic design. I think that we’ve talked a lot about complexity and the sheer amount of options and design configurations that have to be taken into account. The companies that embrace that, and make that a competitive advantage, will succeed because they can differentiate themselves. Most companies struggle with complexity. So, I think that’s a big thing going forward. I think also, we talked about the cultural aspect, it really boils down to being willing and able to pivot and change and evolve based on the environment around you, whether it’s regulatory, market-driven from the consumer behavior, or technologies that are entering your space that allow you to go in different directions. So, I think those are all things that are either impacting the OEMs in their architectures or things that they’re doing or taking into consideration as they address them.

[00:26:43] Dan Scott: Yeah, one of the things I was thinking about, Doug, just off something you were saying just before about kind of decoupling of hardware and software was, I guess, the necessity; therefore, all the likelihood of this of increase of things like standards like autos are where you’re kind of consciously trying to decouple those and create an interface where you can write your software in a way that it can be reused across multiple platforms, or ECUs, or what have you. And I wonder whether we’ll see an increase in adoption of standards like that, in order to in specific areas, increase reusability, manage that complexity, which is, I think you know you’re saying is, exploding really. But then the other thing I was thinking about was around this, again, we’ve touched on before, is this virtual validation and verification side of things, where you’re going to be able to verify and validate software ahead of having the physical hardware available, because at the moment, generally, the case is that you take that software, and you do some maybe model in the loop or software in the loop stuff. But it’s against relatively unrepresentative executing software, against models or what have you. But you really have to wait until you get hardware properly available, which can be quite a long way down the development cycle. And in order to kind of ramp up and accelerate that development cycle, one of the things I think we’ll see more of is the virtualization of those ECUs, being able to replicate them to quite a detailed level, the actual microprocessor you’re kind of going to be flashing this, this software on to, at a sufficient level, to give you just a much higher level of robustness when you first get into some hardware, and you’re putting software into it. So, you have already higher confidence levels. And I think one of the things we’re going to be looking at is a real acceleration of those technologies. And that happens across multiple areas, whether you’re looking, doing more finite element analysis, or more fluid simulation, or whatever it is. But again, that’s something that has to increase. And I know, there’s been, you know, we’ve all heard the quotes from Toyota of how many millions, billions of miles, you’re going to need to drive in order to properly validate a vehicle. So inevitably, that’s going to drive that. But even outside of autonomous, I think there’s still a shift towards that as well.

[00:29:04] Doug Burcicki: You’re spot on. I think that virtual simulation validation is a rapidly growing area. I’ve seen in several studies where it’s been identified by Executive Engineering Leadership as an area of high investment and high prioritization. And it’s multiple reasons. I mean, there’s clearly the timing, the improvement in your development activities. There’s the ability to root out those bad design issues or potential failures early on in any development process. And as any engineer knows that earlier you find those issues, the less costly they are to fix as opposed to later in the program. One of the other things though is just the overall speed to market and cost in the sense that right now the traditional vehicle development cycle has you go through multiple mule or prototype build phases, each of which has to lean vehicle-specific deliverables. These are pre-production builds; they’re not ready to be sold out there but they’re essentially production vehicles as intended to be built production vehicles and these costs millions of dollars for any OEM to go through those phases. And if you could eliminate any aspect of those, or ideally one entire cycle of those development phases, you’re saving yourselves tens of millions of dollars potentially, as well as months of development and tooling and dollar validation associated with it. I’m not saying by any means you skip any aspect of your process but if you can enter into a phase of development with a higher level of design confidence based on simulated or virtualized design data that you started with, you’re going to be better off. Yeah, I agree with you, Dan. And it leads right back into the digital threat; you can’t do the virtual validation and simulation unless you’re leveraging the exact same design data that’s reflected in a real-world application or use-case. So, it’s a perfect example of why you need a digital thread to be successful. And then, even shorter-term, low-hanging fruit is just pure data continuity. If you look at a development lifecycle, there’s a series of requirements that every OEM starts with vehicle design with, they could be legacy requirements from a prior vehicle. They could be government requirements. They could be requirements coming in from a partner if they’re involved in a JV or a co-development, whatever the case is, I need to homologate those and generate their preferred architecture as a result of this combination of requirements. And then that feeds downstream. Internally, they hand off that data to development teams to start developing the network, their software architectures, and structures. They hand off electrical connectivity data to a supply base to develop a set of wire harnesses. Various suppliers involved throughout that whole process, when they’re done, that data has to come back to the OEM so it can be assimilated into service documentation. So dealerships and field technicians can service these vehicles over their life in the field. And again, if you have to re-enter or recreate that data, no service technicians are going to be able to stay on top of the status of any vehicle he’s looking at. Now, if you think about the future landscape, less and less, you’re going to have car companies that have a series or network of dealerships spread around the country or the world to take care of your vehicle. More and more, you’re going to see companies move to a Rivian or a Tesla type of model, or they don’t have a dealership. And if you have a problem or an issue with your vehicle, a technician comes to your house and pulls up in your driveway. But you got to keep in mind what we talked about with over-the-air updates, you could have had dozens of software updates since you purchased that vehicle. You may have added features and functionality since you purchased that vehicle, how does that technician know the level of software and feature content that you have unless he’s able to access the digital content that is contained by your vehicle specific to the VIN, so the digital thread story that enables that simulation and validation, that’s like the middle of the process, that digital thread has to start earlier and it should extend all the way through the life cycle of the vehicle.

[00:33:15] Dan Scott: Yeah, and I think that ties back again, doesn’t it? Into this of virtual verification of — even in the design process of kind of closing the loop on stuff where you’ve got vehicles out in service, which now just running around in real-world usage conditions, where you’re able to get actual vehicle data from them. So, not just, you know, nowadays, someone plugs in a locker or a diagnostic tool and can download some data but we got these telematics systems where you can get real-time data from vehicles, you can actually use that for performance analysis of the fleet where you can use it for understanding how your motor is operating and look at optimizing software back at the OEM to push out a new update over-the-air, as well as to feed into your next vehicle program where you’ve got actual real-world data of how people are driving nowadays and how people are using the vehicles. So, I think that side of things as well as being able to push that data back from actual vehicles back into the development process, which we’ve not really had in a usable form ever before, I think. Well, we should have quite a big impact on that team.

Doug Burcicki - Global Director Automotive & Transportation - Integrated Electrical Systems

Doug Burcicki – Global Director Automotive & Transportation – Integrated Electrical Systems

Doug Burcicki is the Automotive Market Director for the IES team at Siemens. Prior to, Doug was Director, Advanced Business Development at Yazaki, a globally focused role in which he was responsible for identification of Product and Technology trends resultant from Market, Regulatory and Economic indicators. He established a global process for prioritization of R&D projects, resources and investment as opposed to disparate regional strategies and built the business case to enable and support new portfolio development. Prior to this Doug was Vice President for the Yazaki General Motors BU responsible for global P&L, sales strategy and overall customer relationship driving significant success at the account. Doug holds a Masters in Automotive Engineering (Mechanical focus) from Lawrence Technological University, MAE and Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Wayne State University, BSEE.

Dan Scott - Marketing Director - Integrated Electrical Systems Division

Dan Scott – Marketing Director – Integrated Electrical Systems Division

Dan Scott is the Marketing Director for Integrated Electrical Systems at Siemens Digital Industries Software. He is responsible for Capital, Siemens’ E/E systems development portfolio.  This encompasses E/E architecture, electrical systems, communication networks and AUTOSAR embedded software products. He has experience working for OEM’s, suppliers and consultancies in the auto and aero industries, including at Ricardo, Frost EV Systems, Tata Motors and Rolls-Royce. He has published several academic & industry papers on vehicle electrification and system optimisation.

Conor Peick - Thought Leadership Writer

Conor Peick – Thought Leadership Writer

Conor works as a writer covering Automotive and Transportation topics for Siemens Digital Industries Software. In this role, he has helped produce a variety of materials including blogs, articles and whitepapers on automotive topics ranging from wire harness design and manufacturing to embedded software development and overall industry trends.

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