Use of Over-the-Air (OTA) updates and software lifecycle management for the next-gen automotive and its application to Avionics

Alex Wilson

Director, Aerospace & Defence, Wind River

In the Automotive world, the importance of software and powerful electronic control units (ECUs) is rapidly increasing as OEMs develop advanced systems for next-generation vehicles. Car manufacturers are realising the numerous benefits of over-the-air (OTA) technology for multiple ECU updates, such as faster development and continuous software deployment cycles, post-production enhancements and reduced costs associated with feature-related recalls or fixes.

For Avionics systems, software updates are typically carried out during routine maintenance, with some systems still dependent on physical media such as floppy disks. However, as aircraft systems become more complex, and more dependent on software for functionality, the ability to rapidly update software systems becomes critical.

In particular, the discussion will address:

  • The key Automotive OEM challenges and how they are utilizing OTA
    • Lessons-learned from implementing a secure OTA solution
    • New business opportunities arising from OTA and Software Lifecycle Management
  • Differences in safety regulations between Automotive and Avionics
  • Challenges for Avionics software updates, both technical and business focussed

About Alex Wilson

Alex Wilson obtained a BSc(Eng) in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College, London in 1986. Prior to Wind River, Alex worked at British Aerospace on Automated Test Equipment and as a Field Applications Engineer (FAE) for Motorola Computer Group. He joined Wind River in the UK as an FAE in 1996 supporting VxWorks. In 2002 he became European Business Development Manager for Wind River focusing on the Aerospace and Defence market. As Director of Aerospace and Defence Market Segment for Wind River, he is responsible for A&D market Segment in EMEA, APAC, and Japan. This role is part of the Wind River Aerospace & Defence Market Segment Team, and is responsible for business strategy including product requirements, sales growth strategy and ecosystem development.

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