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Business Situation Reflected in Automotive Electronic Architectures: Analysis of Four Commercial Cases



Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


2nd International ICSE workshop on Software Engineering for Automotive Systems, St. Louis


Automotive vehicle electronic systems are developed facing a complex and large set of inter-related requirements from numerous stakeholders, many of which are internal to the Original Equipment Manufacturer, OEM. The electronic architecture, of the product, or its structure and design principles, form an equally complex construct; including technology and methods, which ultimately should be chosen to optimally support the organization’s own business situation. In this paper, we have analyzed the relationship of four automotive electronic architectures to their respective business requirements and business context. The study shows four functionally rather similar products with computer controlled power train, body functions, and instrument. In the light of the business situation, we explain the solutions and why design principles are pursued. The analysis shows that despite a common base of similar vehicle functionality the resulting electronic architectures used by the four organizations are quite different. The reason for this becomes apparent when looking at different business context and business requirements and their affect on the architecture. Differences in business situation drive the use of different methods for integration, different standards, different number of configurations, and different focus in the development effort. Some key parameters in business situation affecting architectural design decisions are shown to be product volume, size of market, and business requirements on openness and customer adaptation. An important lesson from this is that one should be very careful to uncritically apply technical solutions from one industry in another, even when they are as closely related as the applications described in this work. Understanding the requirements from the business case is the key to choosing architectural solutions.


author = {Joakim Fr{\"o}berg and Kristian Sandstr{\"o}m and Christer Norstr{\"o}m},
title = {Business Situation Reflected in Automotive Electronic Architectures: Analysis of Four Commercial Cases},
month = {May},
year = {2005},
booktitle = {2nd International ICSE workshop on Software Engineering for Automotive Systems, St. Louis},
url = {}