How to assure safety for Intelligent Automotive Software. The view from a Start-Up.


Delivering high quality intelligent automotive software is not a trivial endeavour. Development of innovative solutions is challenging, especially when there is a necessity to follow a large number of standards and guidelines. Add to this the limited resources in terms of capital and personnel and this problem becomes even more demanding. Eatron, as a start-up, wouldn’t commit large teams with large budgets and long timescales to these tasks like an established OEM or Tier 1 would. Since we are lean, agile, adaptive and flexible it is much easier for us to make decisions and generate products quickly and efficiently to follow these standards.


Battery management and adaptive suspension systems have been in mass production for a number of years now. The products we are developing are novel, we’re making them intelligent by adding cloud and edge based artificial intelligence. This adds another challenge for us to find employees with suitable experience because that experience has yet to be developed.


In order for us to be able to win customers we need to demonstrate that we are a capable, quality driven company. More established Tier 1s already have a long history of products and services. On the other hand, we are still building our reputation. In order to compete in such a market, we provide our customers with a growing body of evidence that we are following the latest standards and guidelines and subject ourselves to external independent assessments.


A key competitive advantage of Eatron is we are lean with few levels of authority. Our company structure is flat with little bureaucracy. We can make decisions quickly, pivot effectively, and always react to our customers’ needs. As we break new ground in innovative areas we expect and embrace our customers’ desire for new features. To be effective we empower our team to make decisions and take responsibility without the need for excessive scrutiny since they are trained professionals. This can be demanding but it is ultimately rewarding and hence we all feel more in control and able to contribute.


Ultimately to deliver a quality product you need to be in control, so we take care over the configuration of the artefacts we produce (the product, its documentation and other assurance evidence). We meticulously review and test the material we produce because we do not have time to make changes later due to mistakes, we would rather focus on adding new features and value to the product. We are also careful about how we manage change. This is of paramount importance because we have an agile development methodology. And we want to improve what we do; we need to in order to find efficiencies in our processes and methods before our competition catches up with us.


All this exists so that we can get high quality intelligent automotive software into production vehicles with more features and a flexible approach to our customer needs.


Gareth Price, Director of Software Delivery & Assurance @Eatron Technologies