Electric Vehicle Software Development: Challenges and How to Overcome Them

About The Author

Tracy-GardnerTracy Gardner Global Chief Marketing Officer
LinkedIn|25 Oct 2023

In electric cars, the software plays a crucial role as the engine that powers them. The software handles the vehicle's management and operation in the absence of intricate mechanical systems or conventional engines. The core of electric cars becomes computing, which is essential to how they work. 

Software developers also use data from EVs to assess vehicle performance, pinpoint problem areas, and improve the next electric vehicle designs. 

The global EV charging management software platform market size was estimated at $ 0.93 billion in 2022. It’s expected to grow at a CAGR of 30.3% from 2023 to 2030. 

Based on the insights of McKinsey & Company, the global automotive software and electronic market is bound to reach $462 billion at a 5.5% CAGR by 2030. 

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However, automakers must overcome the difficulties associated with developing the software for electric vehicles in order to succeed in this hot and expanding EV sector. What are those difficulties?  

In this blog, you will learn about EV software development challenges and how software developers can tackle them: 

EV Software Development Challenges with Their Solutions 

EV Software Development Challenges with Their Solutions

Challenge #1 -Selecting the Best System Architecture

Due to the complexity and integration requirements that ECU developers must deal with, EV software development is common with architectural difficulties. In order to demonstrate that the architecture is fail-safe, Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) accreditation is frequently needed. (ASIL is a risk categorization system for road vehicles that is specified by ISO 26262 standard.) 

A "combo-box" architecture, in which EV functionalities are merged and integrated into a single ECU, is used by several developers. You need one cooling system and one control system when functions are combined, such as the OBC and the DC/DC converter. It lowers costs, complexity, and vehicle weight. ASIL criteria can also be met by utilizing a microcontroller and AUTOSAR stack with multicore capability.  

Challenge #2 - Integrating Hardware

Each layer in the EV software architecture interacts with a particular kind of hardware. The middle layer is dedicated to infotainment features like GPS and air conditioning, while the top layer distributes data from the automobile to a phone.  

Last but not least, the basic layer controls crucial tasks, including interacting with sensors and semiconductors. An OS that can integrate multiple types of hardware from numerous suppliers must be created and maintained for EV software to offer repair workers reliable diagnostics data in real time. 

Mobile app development services for electric cars is a practical method for integrating hardware components in EV software design. This OS should support a variety of hardware from various manufacturers, guarantee interoperability and compatibility, and give repair personnel access to real-time diagnostics information. 

The versatility and scalability of the EV-specific OS should be emphasized for the simple integration of various hardware components and systems inside an EV. It should be able to identify any connected hardware components as well as the standardized communication channels used by the different levels of the software stack.  

Additionally, it must be able to enable over-the-air updates, allowing for the quick deployment of bug fixes, security updates, and software upgrades throughout the whole fleet to ensure that it keeps up with the development of hardware innovations. 

Repair professionals can carry out maintenance and repairs quickly by developing complete EV solutions, such as operating systems developed for readily combining various types of technology and supplying precise diagnostics information on demand. Owners also benefit from an adaptable, scalable EV software setup that is perfect for continuing improvements in electric vehicles.  

Challenge #3 - Ensuring Cybersecurity

EVs are susceptible to malware and DDoS assaults when they connect to EV infrastructure, such as charging stations or EV supply equipment, via USB or WiFi. It may expose personal information, including payment information, to danger. A hacker might harm the battery pack of an EV as a result of a ransomware assault. Even worse, it may expose the entire grid network to possible assaults. 

Developers may reduce these dangers by following certain steps and including sophisticated security mechanisms in the design of ECUs. For instance, the car network can be safeguarded via a firewall. To secure data while it is being sent between the car, charging station, and the network, transport-layer security (TLS) can be used.  

By implementing the AUTOSAR BSW secure on-board communication paradigm, peers' exchanges of application data across embedded networks may be safeguarded. A hardware security module can also increase security by encrypting data and authenticating users.  

Challenge #4 - Accommodating changing protocols

As EV technology advances, new and developing protocols for connecting to charging stations also emerge. These protocols differ based on the charging station manufacturer, the location of the charging station, and other variables. To keep drivers moving, ECUs must use a communication stack to guarantee interoperability across all-electric vehicle components. 

EV software developers require a platform that offers the following to overcome these difficulties: 

  • An AUTOSAR-aware environment for integrating, testing and evaluating software while decreasing hardware dependencies. 
  • Support for multi-domain model-based systems engineering (MBSE), which includes all essential software, electrical, mechanical, and electronic components. 
  • A multicore system that makes it possible to distribute software to address the performance and security issues associated with embedded software development. 
  • Layered, embedded ECU security that supports functional safety use cases for all ISO 26262 specified levels, from ASIL A to ASIL D, as well as mixed ASIL software partitioning for combo-box implementation. 
  • The entire range of charging communication protocols is supported. 
  • With these skills at their disposal, EV developers may confidently take on the architectural, safety, security, and communication difficulties associated with developing EV software.  

Challenge #5 - Keeping Drivers Safe at All Time

EV safety requirements are becoming more and stricter by the second. Drivers are at risk if suitable design safeguards aren't used, therefore. For instance, the battery management system (BMS), which ensures the EV's battery operates properly, must promptly address problems or separate faulty battery cells. Fail-safe functions are necessary as a result.  

Additionally, high functional safety criteria must be met by power inverters. For certain components, ASIL compliance is essential. 

How Do you Build EV Software for your Automobile Business? 

Build EV Software for your Automobile Business

Building Electric Vehicle (EV) software involves developing software systems that control and manage various aspects of an electric vehicle's operation. EV software can include components for battery management, charging control, motor control, regenerative braking, user interfaces, and more. Here are the steps to build EV software:  

Define Requirement

Clearly outline the software's functionality and features, considering aspects like battery management, motor control, charging, user interfaces, and connectivity.  

Develop Software Architecture

Design a robust software architecture that can efficiently control and manage various aspects of the electric vehicle, ensuring scalability and modularity.  

Write and Test Code

Develop the software components, such as the Battery Management System (BMS), motor control algorithms, and user interfaces. You can go through different types of software testing services for performance, safety, and reliability.  

Integrate with Vehicle Systems

Ensure seamless integration of the software with the electric vehicle's control systems, sensors, and hardware components.  

Certify and Maintain
  • Obtain necessary certifications. 
  • Adhere to safety standards. 
  • Plan for ongoing maintenance, including software updates and improvements to enhance the EV's performance and safety. 

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What is the Importance of Software in the EV Industry? 

According to McKinsey's research, the ECU (electronic control unit) and DCU (domain control unit), whose combined market share is anticipated to reach $144 billion by 2030, account for the highest portion of the electric vehicle industry. 

The mobile app development market stats, on the other hand, entails integration, verification, and validation. By 2030, the market will experience the second-largest share, with a potential revenue of $83 billion. 

By 2030, it is anticipated that ADAS and AD software will make a considerable contribution to this increase, making up about half of the software industry. The commercial launch will happen several years after the software development for higher-level autonomous driving, such as urban AD. 

In electric cars, the software plays a crucial role as the engine that powers them. The software handles the vehicle's management and operation in the absence of intricate mechanical systems or conventional engines. The core of electric cars becomes computing, which is essential to how they work. 

If you have still electric vehicle adoption dilemma, here are several benefits software developers use data from EVs to; 

  • Assess vehicle performance 
  • Pinpoint problem areas 
  • Improve the next electric vehicle designs 

You can get professionals from reliable mobile app development company such as VLink! 

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Hire Professionals for EV Software Development Solutions with VLink! 

Whether you need end-to-end cooperation or an experienced remote team of software engineers with EV expertise, our experts are here to help you out. At VLink, we have a dedicated team of professionals who have extensive experience in software engineering for the electric vehicle industry.  

We create expert teams depending on your business specifications and objectives. So that you may focus on your main company tasks while we handle the rest. 

If you hire experienced developers from VLink, you will get: 

  • The fast development process begins 
  • Highly flexible and scalable teams 
  • Full cost transparency 
  • Dedicated engineers 
  • Cost efficiency and quick access to talent 
  • Focused development method  

For more information about EV challenges and perspectives, contact us today!  

FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should you invest in electric vehicle software development?

Investing in electric vehicle (EV) software development is crucial for staying competitive in the growing EV market. It offers opportunities for innovation, cost savings, and environmental sustainability. Well-designed software enhances EV performance, user experience, and long-term viability, positioning your company as a leader in this transformative industry. 

How do you hire developers to build EV software?

To hire developers for EV software: 

  • Begin by defining project requirements. 
  • Post job listings on tech job boards social networks, and collaborate with specialized recruitment agencies. 
  • Screen candidates for experience in embedded systems, automotive software, and proficiency in relevant programming languages. 
  • Conduct technical interviews and assess their adaptability to industry regulations and standards. 
What is the impact of EV software on an ecosystem?

Electric vehicle (EV) software has a significant impact on the ecosystem. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, contributing to cleaner air and mitigating climate change. EV software can also promote energy efficiency and grid management.  

However, the production and disposal of batteries, as well as the energy sources used to charge EVs, also affect the ecosystem, making it crucial to consider holistic sustainability in the EV ecosystem. 

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