Embedded software has been used in vehicles since computers were first integrated into cars and trucks. It is used not only for improving dashboard displays, but for ensuring the safety of the operator and his or her passengers as well. Automotive software is regulated by the Motor Industry Software Reliability Association (MISRA) standards, as well as ISO 26262 - which is an adaptation of IEC 61508, which governs the functional safety of electronic and programmable electronic safety-related systems.
These standards take software and system integrity into account, covering failure probability, risk factors, continuous demanding operations and the consequences of failure.
Determining the proper operation of controls, protection and computerized systems, automotive software is designed to automate processes and help motor vehicles run more smoothly. Software has been used in the auto industry for years, replacing analog systems and improving the operational efficiency of vehicle controls. Software has helped make the car industry what it is today.
The use of embedded software in cars allows for more complex systems, while increasing functionality without raising costs. It has also allowed for improved circuit analysis and behavioral modeling on a large scale for motors and other major systems. This allows for automated systems to be implemented as well.
Developing embedded software requires attention to detail and risk management in order to ensure the systems that utilize it are as safe possible. Thorough testing to ensure adherence to standards, as well as to keep code at the highest possible quality, is vital to the industry.
Without testing, motor vehicles would not be as safe as they are, not only reducing the quality of cars, but of travel in general. Consumer vehicles would be affected, as well as industrial and retail transportation through trucking. Despite heavy use of planes and trains for travel, the car will always be a time-honored mode of transportation.