Research Projects


Paving the way for the software-defined vehicle

Start: 08/2021

End: 07/2024

All SofDCar Alliance project partners are focusing their research on the challenges of future E/E & SW architecture in vehicles. The vehicle is understood as part of a networked vehicle and system environment. Its integration will be enabled by means of a “Data Loop” and based on a new type of “Digital Twin” to allow for digital sustainability (of existing and future vehicle generations) as well as efficient data use and innovative use cases over the entire life cycle of the vehicle (re-deployment).

The FZI is contributing its extensive research expertise in the field of mobility. The focus of SofDCar is on validating, verifying, and maintaining the consistency of vehicle variants, recognizing limitations and weaknesses in the driving function, evolving both variants and individual functionalities, and managing the resulting versions with the help of the digital twin. The spotlight is also on quality-assured application processes across vehicle boundaries. In addition, applied IT security issues such as the security assurance of vehicle components will be studied using Artificial Intelligence methods, including practical security tests on selected components. In the Test Area Autonomous Driving Baden-Württemberg (TAF BW), various aspects of software-over-the-air updates, validation, and increased robustness are being tested.

This project is part of a government-sponsored research program funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).


Jörg Henß

Department Manager
Division: Software Engineering

Research focus

Intelligent Transportation Systems and Logistics

Intelligent solutions for the transportation of people and goods represent a focus topic of FZI’s application research. Particular attention is paid to public transport, the application of artificial intelligence, the further development of driving functions and their safeguarding, and open source & open data.

At the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the FZI Research Center for Information Technology, we research concepts for developing and securing software-implemented functionality in vehicles and their cloud infrastructure. The focus is on security analyses, dealing with a high number of versions and variants, and over-the-air updates.

Together, we are examining various aspects of software-over-the-air, safeguarding, and robustness enhancement at the Autonomous Driving Test Field Baden-Württemberg. Our test vehicles are also used for this purpose. Our goal is to continuously improve the safety of AI-based functionalities, also with the valuable evaluation opportunities weaned from the test field.

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