The case for an end-to-end automotive-software platform

Software is transforming car capabilities but also creating development challenges for automotive players. An end-to-end approach that integrates independent software elements into a comprehensive platform can improve functionality and decrease complexity.

Today’s hardware-defined cars are rapidly transforming into software-defined transportation platforms. The latest automotive innovations, including intuitive infotainment, self-driving abilities, and electrification, depend less on mechanical ingenuity than on software quality, execution, and integration. This change is happening so rapidly that automotive OEMs and other industry stakeholders are now struggling to keep pace. The enormous cost of integrating and upgrading the features that consumers increasingly expect, including high-end onboard assistants and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), is also daunting.

The path to an end-to-end platform will be complex, with some stakeholders assuming new roles or venturing into new software areas, and there is still much uncertainty ahead. Over the next five to seven years, consolidation of today’s complex vehicle architecture into even two or three leading platforms could represent a viable first step. But one fact is clear: the potential value that increased integration could unlock for OEMs and suppliers is immense, proving the adage that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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Source: McKinsey & Company

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