Perforce Automotive Software Development Survey Reveals Software Has Become Central to Automotive Development Amid Tough Market Challenges

A survey of 400 automotive development professionals finds that meeting all ISO 26262 requirements is the top safety concern; security and the global economy also came first.

2023 Software development on the state of automation

MINNEAPOLIS, March 28, 2023 – Perforce Software, a solutions provider for business teams that require productivity and visibility at scale within the SDLC, has released the results of its annual survey on the state of automotive software development conducted in partnership with Automotive IQ. Approximately 400 automotive development professionals from around the world provided answers to current practices and emerging trends in the industry. The key findings suggest an ongoing concern for automotive software safety and security, as the automotive vehicle market continues to evolve rapidly.

With the continued growth of the autonomous, semi-autonomous, electric and connected vehicle segments, software is even more central to automotive development. The growing amount of software installed in vehicles can lead to more safety considerations during the development process. In fact, 73% of automotive developers have adopted or are in the process of adopting a left-shift strategy to identify software security and security vulnerabilities as early as possible.

Key market conditions impacting automotive software development this year include the global economy and related inflationary conditions, chip shortages, supply chain challenges, and the shift to a remote/hybrid workforce. As a result of many of these challenges, automotive organizations are more concerned with maintaining the competitiveness of the industry and maximizing existing resources and talent.

Furthermore, the survey found that the top three development concerns of automotive developers are safety (30%), safety (27%) and quality (26%). Among those most concerned with security, 47% said their biggest concerns are the difficulty and time required to meet each ISO 26262 requirement.

« Security continues to be the automotive software industry’s top priority, but security issues continue to grow as the need to protect automotive electronic systems, communication networks, and software grows, » said Ido Benmoshe Vice President of Product at Perforce. « OEMs and their supply chain partners want to prevent costly and malicious attacks, unauthorized access or manipulation of automotive systems, and ensuring their code is secure is the first step in mitigating such incidents. »

The development of autonomous, semi-autonomous, electric and connected vehicles also has a big impact on development teams. Most of the teams are working on autonomous and semi-autonomous components (80%), electrical components (90%) and connectivity components (86%) to some extent.

Another notable finding was that 85% use a coding standard to ensure safe, secure and reliable code, with 42% of respondents using a static code analysis tool to aid compliance and 32 % uses a SAST tool to ensure the security of the software.

« Organizations across the automotive industry continue to work towards the highest levels of quality, » said compliance director Jill Britton. “With the rapid growth of the electric and autonomous vehicle segments, compliance with safety standards will be more important than ever.”

The full results of the survey are available in Automotive Software Development Survey Status Report 2023.

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