Industry 4.0 News Transportation

SUSE Innovates at the Edge with Elektrobit to Transform How Cars Operate

By: Melissa Di Donato

Mobility as we know it is about to change forever. Early stages of autonomous driving, the connected car, and electrification are no longer future ideas but realities on the road today. As the speed of innovation increases across the automotive industry, vehicles are now as much software platforms as chassis and engines. This fundamental shift away from hardware dominated to software-defined vehicles means there is a need to completely rethink the customer experience that the future best-selling vehicles need to deliver.

Today, we’re pleased to announce our strategic partnership with Elektrobit, an award-winning and visionary global automotive supplier of operating system agnostic embedded and connected software products. The automotive experience of Elektrobit combined with the IT infrastructure experience of SUSE, will enable this partnership to deliver a next generation, Linux-based operating system for the future intelligent vehicles.

By combining Elektrobit’s automotive experience with our leadership in delivering mission-critical Linux and container technologies, we aim to provide a future software platform for automobiles that fulfills key requirements around openness and transparency, seamless system updates over the air, all through a broad open source community that provides constant innovation and a large talent pool.

Safety, security, and reliability are our top priorities when adapting open source solutions to the needs of automotive solutions. Not only because we know it’s at the forefront of our customers’ minds, but because we know that consumers need products that they can trust. I can think of no better example that demonstrates the need and importance for safety and security than a person’s car. We are proud that the Linux-based operating system will be a first for Elektrobit, SUSE, and for the industry.

Software-defined vehicles bring new experiences to both manufacturers and drivers. No longer will car owners need to sit at the auto shop to replace outdated firmware. Maintenance and features will be delivered not through an appointment with a dealer, but automatically over the air. Autonomous driving means software-driven cars, and Linux will be at the heart of ensuring the performance, safety, and security of that software.

But even the best, most rigorously tested software needs to be maintained.  Bugs need to be fixed.  Security gaps that are discovered years after initial deployment have to be patched and permanently closed.  Without the ongoing care and support of the Linux and open source communities, it would be impossible to deliver our long-term promise of safety, security, and reliability.

We have the opportunity to take our Linux heritage and apply it to the automotive edge by creating a Linux and container solution tailored to automotive. SUSE technology will power autonomous driving, and ultimately, delivering a technology platform that every day consumers will depend on for their transportation needs. Auto manufacturers today know they cannot take this lightly and need to work with a company that they can trust- that company is SUSE.

“We’re proud to partner with SUSE to bring this vision to life,” said Alexander Kocher, President & Managing Director at Elektrobit. “We have confidence that together we will create cutting-edge solutions for the market that will transform how cars are powered, not a few years down the line, but in the next generation of automobiles.”

What’s remarkable is that we are just at the beginning of using open source technologies such as Linux in safety conscious contexts. What is developed in conjunction with Elektrobit will lay the foundation for software that can be deployed in other industries just as critical to our lives, such as aerospace, healthcare and beyond. I’m looking forward to seeing where this technology is implemented and the direct impact it will have on the world.

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