- Toyota is planning to develop its own automotive software for its vehicles by 2025.
- The automotive software platform, Arene is expected to compete with German rivals, Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG.
- Arene will control basic components which include the steering wheel, brakes, and accelerator.
For autonomous car manufacturers, automotive software is essential to ensure these vehicles operate smoothly. Over the years, car manufacturers have invested millions in the research and development of automotive software.
And when it comes to automotive software, Tesla arguably tops the list for being the most innovative in its solutions. However, recent issues such as accidents involving its self-driving vehicles have brought in some negative publicity for the carmaker.
Despite this, Tesla is still the top producing autonomous car manufacturer in the world.
However, this is also rapidly changing as Asian carmakers are now making their presence felt in the global autonomous vehicle industry. For example, Chinese autonomous vehicles have been seeing increased demand and sales, not just in China but globally as well.
Part of the reason for this is that most of these automakers are manufacturing and designing their own automotive software.
Automotive software includes the use of AI for self-driving as well as processing data the vehicle sends and receives.
Apart from autonomous driving, automotive software is also needed for managing electric motors and batteries as well as navigation and providing entertainment.
With more automated features being developed for autonomous cars, some manufacturers are now deciding to design and build their own operating software as well.
According to a report by Nikkei, Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp is planning to launch its own operating system, which would be capable of handling advanced operations such as autonomous driving, for its vehicles by 2025.
Building a native automotive software
The automotive software platform, Arene is expected to compete with German rivals, Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG. Volkswagen is already working on its ‘VW.OS’ software, while Daimler is planning to roll out its own ‘Mercedes-Benz Operating System’ in its cars by 2024.
General Motors is also developing an operating system that can be updated instantly via the internet, pouring US$35 billion by 2025.
At the same time, tech companies have also jumped into the bandwagon and are developing their own autonomous vehicle and automotive software. For example, Apple is rumored to be working on an autonomous vehicle while Google seeks to bring the business models that succeeded in smartphones to the auto industry.
For Toyota, the Japanese carmaker also plans to make it available to affiliates such as Subaru in the future. Reports also showed that Toyota is considering a licensing model to make Arene available to other car manufacturers and companies working on electric or self-driving cars.
Nikkei reported that Arene will control basic components which include the steering wheel, brakes, and accelerator.
The automotive system will also manage the vehicle’s safety systems as well as location and traffic information. All vehicles fitted with the operating system, regardless of make or model, will have access to shared functions. Consumers can update the system online, much like smartphone software, enabling quick improvements to performance.
As competition in the autonomous vehicle industry increases, vehicle manufacturers are likely to feel pressured to continuously work on developing and improving their own automotive systems.
This is not just to stay ahead, but also sidestep supply chain complexities, especially given the global semiconductor shortage that’s expected to persist to 2023.