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Vehicle engineers work to deliver compliance, safety, performance and cybersecurity on a software-defined vehicle.

Automotive Digital Thread

Software-defined vehicles

Accelerate EV, ADAS and AV feature deployment with methodologies, processes and tools that manage the rapid increase of software and electronics.

Accelerate software-defined vehicle innovation

As software becomes increasingly interconnected and integrated across multiple domain systems, integrating advanced software and systems engineering ensures software and hardware interoperability to deliver vehicle performance, compliance, safety and cybersecurity while meeting challenging cost and timing targets.

Achieve continuous simulation-driven decision making

Leading companies are benefiting from our fully integrated solutions that are tailored to meet their automotive business needs.


Time reduction

on integrated processes using Simcenter 3D and NX. (Denso Corporation)


R&D productivity increase

Using Polarion ALM to enable efficient workflows. (NIO)


Reduction in model identification time

With the help of Simcenter Amesim. (Renault)

Software-Defined Vehicle Solutions

Deliver innovation faster

Software and systems engineering accelerates electric vehicle (EV), advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicle (AV) feature deployment with methodologies, processes and tools that manage the rapid increase of software and electronics while providing mechanical system alignment.

Drive innovation, ensure compliance and design for the future with trustworthy, cross-domain system models:

  • Capture customer, engineering and regulatory requirements in system models to align your earliest architecture to system needs
  • Share, reuse and cascade relevant information seamlessly throughout development
  • Evaluate software requirements and assess safety risks earlier to ensure auditable compliance
  • Find the optimal feature implementation strategy by testing multiple assumptions across all systems
  • Enable opportunities to monetize software-based services in the future

Benefit from integrating multiple domain systems

Streamline the development process

Build a full virtual platform for vehicle development and controls verification with Simcenter. (FAW)

Cut down design iterations

Use Siemens consulting services and software tools to get your software-defined vehicle design right earlier. (Karma)

Increase collaboration efficiency

Gain the operational flexibility you need to get cross-discipline teams working together effectively. (Renault)

case study

Hyundai Motor Group

Using model-based systems engineering to take a new approach to virtual NVH development
Case Study

Using model-based systems engineering to take a new approach to virtual NVH development

Company:Hyundai Motor Group

Industry:Automotive & transportation

Location:Seoul, South Korea

Siemens Software:Simcenter 3D Solutions

The outcome of our project with Simcenter Engineering is we can now make timely and reliable improvements during the early stages of vehicle development.
Sangyoung Park, Senior Research Engineer, Hyundai Motor Group
Software-defined vehicles

Explore our resource library

Overcome the rising complexity of software-defined vehicles to delivery innovation faster than the competition.

A high-tech car manufacturing setup shows how softwarae defined vehicles are becoming more common.

Solutions to innovate software-defined vehicles

Systems engineering

E/E systems development

Performance engineering

Application lifecycle management

Frequently asked questions

A software-defined vehicle is a cutting-edge automotive concept that redefines traditional vehicles by prioritizing software control and adaptability. It leverages advanced computing systems to manage and customize crucial vehicle functions such as powertrain, suspension and safety features. By centralizing control through in-vehicle and off-vehicle software, manufacturers gain unprecedented flexibility to update, optimize and personalize vehicle performance remotely, enhancing user experience and longevity. This approach allows for seamless integration of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, connectivity and autonomous capabilities.

Automotive manufacturers are shifting their focus to software-defined vehicles (SDV) due to the potential to differentiate their offerings, improve operational efficiency through remote diagnostics and updates, and future-proof their vehicles against rapid technological advancements. Developing SDVs successfully requires upfront architectural decisions that consider software and the resulting implications on hardware as well as the various interfaces to sensors and actuators. Additionally, manufacturers must incorporate long-term scalability to enable remote maintenance and upgrades.

Automotive Open System Architecture AUTOSAR is a worldwide development partnership of automotive-interested parties. The primary goal of the AUTOSAR development partnership is to provide a leading solution for automotive software platforms by standardizing basic system functions and functional interfaces. The framework enables the efficient development of embedded application software that supports tasks surrounding essential automotive functions in vehicle system development. Capital ® Embedded AR Classic ™, part of the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio, is an example of software for implementing the AUTOSAR standard. It is a complete offering with tools and software to meet all electronic control unit (ECU) platform needs, from ECU extract updates to software platform configuration.

Software integration testing in the automotive industry focuses on verifying that different software components work together as intended when integrated into the vehicle's overall system. It ensures seamless communication and compatibility between various subsystems. The most efficient software integration testing includes simulation tools and virtual environments to simulate real-world driving scenarios and test the behavior of the integrated software under different conditions. This virtualization allows for comprehensive testing without the need for physical prototypes. Once the software integration is complete, vehicles must undergo extensive field testing in real-world conditions to validate performance, reliability, and user experience. Data collected during field tests enables a closed-loop feedback system to help identify any issues or areas for improvement. Siemens offers the following proven testing solutions from the Capital portfolio, curated for the automotive industry:

Verification and validation are crucial in engineering software-defined vehicles to ensure that the integrated software functions correctly, meets performance standards, and complies with safety regulations. Verification confirms that the software is built according to specifications and design requirements, while validation ensures that it meets user needs and operates reliably in real-world conditions. Insufficient or delayed verification and validation can lead to software errors, safety hazards, and compliance issues which may result in recalls and damage to brand reputation.

Siemens assists with verification and validation by combining realistic system models in co-simulation scenarios to validate early software architecture assumptions in the context of electrical and network architectures. By enabling continuous evaluations that can be performed with stakeholders across multiple engineering domains, tradeoffs like weight, cost and power consumption can be balanced before moving on to domain-specific engineering activities. Individual domains can then validate functional interfaces, generate options, verify requirements, ensure cybersecurity and evaluate hardware and software decisions with simulation in a virtual environment.

As software is implemented, Siemens solutions can generate verified and validated ECU extracts to facilitate application software integration with the base software for the configured ECU. This allows engineers to test the execution of application software in real time with a virtualized ECU and actual network communication data. As a result, engineers can develop complex software faster and deliver high-quality products to their customers.

A semi-luxury or luxury vehicle on the road today is estimated to have over 100 million lines of code executing at any given time. Ensuring a flawless driving experience in this complex environment requires hundreds of computing units to work flawlessly in real-time. In recent years, manufacturers have increasingly focused on optimizing the software needed to execute this hardware and leveraging software alongside technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) to differentiate their products. This approach to automotive development has been labeled the software-defined vehicle, where software is rapidly becoming the key to how a vehicle gets engineered, produced, serviced and acts as the edge to collect consumer intelligence data. The main differences between a software-defined vehicle and a traditional vehicle are as follows:

  • Control: In a software-defined vehicle, control is primarily managed through software systems, whereas in traditional cars, control is mainly mechanical, relying on physical components like levers, cables and hydraulics.
  • Adaptability: Software-defined vehicles can easily adapt their functionalities remotely through software updates, offering flexibility and customization options to users. Traditional vehicles lack this adaptability and typically require physical modifications for updates.
  • Integration of emerging technologies: Software-defined vehicles seamlessly integrate emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), connectivity and autonomous capabilities. Traditional cars may not have the infrastructure or compatibility to incorporate these advanced features without significant retrofitting.
  • Longevity and maintenance: Due to their software-driven nature, software-defined vehicles can potentially have longer lifespans and require less frequent maintenance compared to traditional vehicles. They allow for remote diagnostics and updates, enabling manufacturers to address issues quickly and efficiently, whereas traditional cars may require more hands-on maintenance and repairs.

For automotive manufacturers, a software-defined vehicle offers the following benefits:

  • Differentiation and competitive edge: Software-defined vehicles allow automotive manufacturers to differentiate their products in a crowded market by offering unique features and capabilities driven by advanced software systems. This differentiation can help attract customers and maintain a competitive edge in the industry.
  • Development efficiency: The development and production of software-defined vehicles can be more efficient compared to traditional cars, as software updates, bug fixes and optimizations can be implemented remotely without requiring physical modifications to the vehicle. This streamlined process can reduce development time and costs for manufacturers.
  • Continuous revenue stream: Software-defined vehicles enable manufacturers to offer subscription-based services and premium features that can generate a constant revenue stream beyond the initial vehicle sale. This ongoing income can contribute to profitability and long-term sustainability for automotive companies.
  • Continuous improvement: Software-defined vehicles generate vast amounts of data about vehicle performance, user behavior, and driving patterns. Automotive manufacturers can leverage this data to gain insights into customer preferences, improve product development and create revenue through data monetization partnerships with third-party companies.

For drivers and passengers, a software-defined vehicle offers the following advantages:

  • Flexibility and personalization: Software-defined vehicles offer consumers unprecedented flexibility to customize and personalize their driving experience through software updates. They can remotely adjust settings for performance, comfort and safety preferences, enhancing overall vehicle satisfaction.
  • Safety and convenience: Software-defined vehicles often come equipped with advanced safety features driven by software, such as collision avoidance systems, adaptive cruise control and autonomous driving capabilities. These features can significantly improve road safety and provide added convenience for drivers.
  • Improved longevity and resale value: The ability to receive over-the-air software updates allows software-defined vehicles to remain current with the latest technology advancements and performance optimizations. This capability can extend the vehicle's lifespan and enhance its resale value compared to traditional vehicles that may become outdated quickly.
  • Real-time diagnostics and maintenance: Software-defined vehicles enable real-time diagnostics and remote monitoring of vehicle systems, allowing manufacturers to proactively identify and address potential issues before they escalate. This proactive approach to maintenance can reduce downtime and repair costs for consumers, providing peace of mind and a smoother ownership experience.

Learn more


  • On-demand webinar | Complexity in the automotive industry with a systems engineering approach
  • On-demand webinar | Software defined vehicles & the automotive industry software factory


  • Podcast | Meeting the challenges of design complexity
  • Podcast | How product definition is helping manufacturers adapt and stay competitive
  • Podcast | The value of connected engineering
  • Podcast | The value of product validation


  • White paper | Master product development with modern MBSE and SysML v2
  • E-book | Continuous verification and validation for software-defined vehicles
  • E-book | Model-based engineering for seamless automotive system integration

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