How Software is Eating the Car

I was very interested to read this recent discussion about the growing impact of software as the dominant areas for innovation in cars. Nearly all vehicle innovations by auto manufacturers, or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), are now tied to software. Moving to self-driving cars and electric vehicles will only increase this direction.

Ten years ago, only premium cars contained 100 microprocessor-based electronic control units (ECUs) networked throughout the body of a car, executing 100 million lines of code or more. Today, high-end cars like the BMW 7-series with advanced technology like advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) may contain 150 ECUs or more, while pick-up trucks like Ford’s F-150 top 150 million lines of code. Even low-end vehicles are quickly approaching 100 ECUs and 100 million of lines of code as more features that were once considered luxury options, such as adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, are becoming standard.