Continental India's Prashanth Doreswamy on redefining the future of mobility with software

Automotive software is today a key component for consumer experience.

By Prashanth Doreswamy, Continental India calendar 08 May 2024 Views icon2205 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Continental India's Prashanth Doreswamy on redefining the future of mobility with software

Software is the 'oil' of the future as seen with the future of vehicles being software defined. Modern driver assistance systems will increasingly facilitate fully autonomous driving. Decoupling software from hardware enables swift and continuous development and implementation of new functions and software updates throughout the vehicle's lifetime. 

Today, a vehicle is an extension of the driver’s living space, and as vehicles become part of the Internet of Things (IoT) and transfer enormous quantities of data to and from the cloud, the software is what processes, manages, and distributes the data. In a few years, software is expected to become the biggest source of revenue for the industry. UBS reckons that global car software sales will earn around USD 1.9trn annually by 2030.

Mastering software becomes vital for carmakers with cars (travel) becoming the third living space after home and work. Today’s cars have 100 million lines of code and by 2030 it’s predicted that it could be 300 million lines of code and we will also have many more devices connected to the internet. Vehicles now have multiple electronic control units that control all aspects of safety, including autonomous braking, airbag deployment, navigation, connectivity, and remote diagnostics for vehicle maintenance.

Automotive software integral to consumer experience 

Automotive software is today a key component for consumer experience. A McKinsey 2023 report projects that by 2030, the global automotive software and electronics market will reach USD 468 billion. That is a 5.6 percent CAGR from 2019 to 2030. In the same period, the global automotive market for passenger cars and LCVs is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of just 1 percent – which is from 89 million units in 2019 to just 102 million units in 2030. By comparing these numbers, we can see a marked shift in the future of mobility – a shift driven by prohibitions on internal combustion engine vehicles, greater adoption of non-ownership models, and disruptive technologies. It is no surprise that automotive companies are currently looking to software and electronics to give them that much-needed edge to transform the industry.

Over-the-air updates give automakers fresh prospects to sell, and consumers can constantly update vehicles. At present, auto manufacturers sustain high costs of up to USD 40 billion to USD 50 billion a year globally on recalls, and 40 percent of them are software-related. Cost savings of software spending in 2030 due to the transition from incumbent to SDV approach is a whopping USD 16 billion!

The IoT market in India was valued at USD 1.3 billion in 2016 which reached USD 5.6 billion in 2020 - the market grew by over 330 percent in four years and is expected to grow to USD 10.2 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 12.9 percent. While the penetration of connected cars in the Indian passenger vehicle market was 35 percent in 2021, it went up to 46 percent in 2022 and is anticipated to soar to 63 percent this year. Given the pace at which the connected car market is growing, its valuation will be USD 32.5 billion by 2025.

Cyber security safety  

Increased connectivity always comes with the looming threat of safety and security with cyber-attacks. Safety and security are among the main pillars in achieving the SDV. India accounts for 13 percent of cyber-attacks in the Asia-Pacific region, making it one of the top-three most attacked countries.

With connected vehicles progressively entering the market and the outlook for the next decade, the importance of cybersecurity is on the upsurge. Customer expectations for connectivity and technological advantages provide a growing key challenge to secure the connection and internal vehicle communication against external intrusions like hacking. With time on the hackers’ side through the increasing computing power, the challenge is growing. Traffic management systems also play a vital role in ensuring safe and efficient road transport.

Software Defined Vehicles and safety   

Human error is responsible for majority of traffic accidents and automated vehicles can minimise this. With technologies continuing to evolve and becoming more ubiquitous on roads, there are more possibilities for safer transportation.  

Advanced sensors and algorithms can detect and respond to potential hazards more swiftly and effectively than human drivers. Connected vehicles also facilitate real-time communication between vehicles and infrastructure. This enhances awareness and coordination on roads. Connectivity also facilitates the exchange of critical information such as traffic conditions, weather updates, and road hazards - enabling drivers to make informed decisions and avoid potential dangers. By embracing and prioritising traffic safety in conjunction with these advanced technologies, we can strive towards a future with reduced accidents, injuries, and fatalities on the roadways, ultimately creating a safer and more efficient transportation system for all.

Powering ADAS Functionalities

ADAS already reduces accidents across all crash types. Multiple communication schemes (Short range and long range) of V2X (vehicle to everything) can enhance ADAS. Vehicles share their positions, speeds, accelerations, headings, path history, brake pedal status etc. with standardised data quality. Cooperative Awareness Message (CAM) addresses crash scenarios, especially in obscure scenarios. During the V2X introduction, many vehicles will not have V2X yet, and cannot be protected. Vulnerable road users (VRUs), who also do not transmit or receive V2X messages yet, are also not addressed. V2X can enhance ADAS, V2I, and V2V with Collective Perception Message (CPM). Vehicles share the positions, speeds, acceleration headings, and path history, of the detected objects / VRU. CPM addresses crash scenarios, especially in obscured scenarios to protect VRU and unconnected vehicles. CPM messages allow vehicles and intelligent infrastructure to share information about objects like VRUs and non-connected (non-V2X) vehicles. Vehicles and infrastructure use their own sensors, like camera or radar, to detect objects and information about these objects can be sent to other vehicles.

Continental's Intelligent Intersection merges sensors, fusion algorithms, and Dedicated Short-Range Communication for data transfer in real-time between vehicles and intersections. This real-world, end-to-end solution cautions drivers about unseen pedestrians and enhances signals and cuts emissions and idling. It not only protects pedestrians/cyclists and aids drivers in avoiding head-on collisions, but also helps gather intersection data for traffic, safety, and environmental enhancements.

A quick look at the mirrors, a glance over the shoulder – and then, a sudden scare from a honking car as you try to overtake. It is common to miss a rapidly approaching vehicle from behind or in your blind, especially in heavy traffic settings. The Blind Spot Detection (BSD) system by Continental eases this strain by monitoring these areas with sensors, warning against unsafe maneuvers.

Modern systems warns drivers, pedestrians or cyclists in blind spots. Using radar, these systems assess positions and predict potential collisions. Enhanced by cameras, the Right Turn Assist employs machine learning and imaging to detect cyclists sooner. AI predicts the likely direction of pedestrians or cyclists, thus refining safety measures.

Platooning involves trucks closely following each other, similar to a pearl necklace on the highway. Only a comprehensive environment model updated in real-time makes this maneuver conceivable.

Traffic Sign Recognition displays the ongoing speed limit and road signs to the driver. It links camera-captured images with speed limit data in the navigation system and ensures that even obscured speed limits within cities are displayed to the driver.

Lane Departure Warning – Lane drifts often lead to accidents. Statistics reveal one in five commercial vehicle accidents stem from sideways collisions. Using a specialised camera, LDW detects lanes up to 40m ahead and alerts drivers through sound or vibrations to prevent inadvertent lane departure.

Securing the Vehicle

With wide-ranging software-based functions, future vehicles are also at risk of attacks. From development to monitoring and updating systems to comply with the latest regulations around the world, Continental keeps a sharp eye on cybersecurity throughout the entire lifecycle of a vehicle.

Continental's cybersecurity values are based on the three pillars, namely, prevent, detect, and respond. Prevention is all about building security at all levels. Understanding is real-time tracking and SOCs ensure immediate response by sending an over-the-air patch to the vehicle and blocking the danger. Responding is analysing and averting cyber-attacks. An extra layer of security with an Incident Management System becomes vital as this can react quickly to the situation.

Continental has created CSMS (Cybersecurity Management System) - an all-encompassing framework that ensures continuous software development and security monitoring throughout the vehicle's lifecycle.

Since the software-defined vehicles are highly complex, Continental works with partners to find the best solutions. For CAEdge with Amazon Web Services (AWS) or with Continental subsidiary Elektrobit for automotive software and cybersecurity.


Continental’s CAEdge framework revolutionises vehicle architecture and software development by offering a standardised, modular solution that streamlines the creation of software-centric vehicles. It drastically reduces development time and enables quicker and safer software implementation. By utilising the CAEdge framework, Continental and its partners can efficiently develop highly automated driving systems. This framework, powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and machine learning, accelerates development steps that once took weeks into mere hours. It ensures efficient collaboration among developers and companies, safeguarding information and granting exclusive data access to manufacturers.

In Summary

The future of software-defined vehicles is poised for remarkable strides that will be largely driven by AI and ML. With predictive analytics, hazard identification and autonomous safety measures, it will reshape the very essence of driving experiences as we know it. Today’s vehicles are more interconnected and infrastructure and ethical AI implementation is vital. In such a scenario, a collective thrust towards global standards and regulations will ensure the integration of innovations. Software-defined vehicles will not only redefine safety but also embody a future where AI-driven solutions safeguard lives. This will make roads safer and driving experiences secure for all.

Prashanth Doreswamy is President and CEO at Continental India. Views expressed are of the author. 

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