Automotive Software Engineering#

Fraunhofer IESE has software application expertise in the domains Automotive, Commercial Vehicles, Agricultural and Construction Machinery.

Our Solutions for Software in Automotive
and Commercial Vehicles

At Fraunhofer IESE, we are developing software systems for the automotive and commercial vehicle industry that are dependable in every respect. We empirically underpin the processes, methods, and techniques required for this, attaching great importance to engineering principles such as measurability and transparency. 

In the application area Automotive, Fraunhofer IESE supports companies with software engineering analyses and innovative solutions.

What does Fraunhofer IESE offer in the area
of automotive software?#

  • Independent quality analyses and assessments of embedded automotive software and architectures
  • (Joint) Development of system architectures and innovative products for Automotive and commercial vehicles
  • Controlled evaluation and piloting of new technologies in automotive software engineering
  • Customer-specific process and tool consulting, empirical validation of methods and tool chains
  • Trainings, workshops, coaching for software methods in a system context, such as safety engineering

Software technology for a world in motion#

In recent years, vehicles have increasingly become “computers on wheels”, with complex, highly dependable software on board. The trends towards a higher degree of automation and digital networking of services in the automotive industry are further driving this development.

Today and in the future, vehicle users want to make use of innovative services, whose functions are implemented efficiently in an end-to-end architecture. Highly automated assistance systems and driving functions must work safely and reliably in order to enable implementation of new mobility services, such as robotaxis, or innovative commercial vehicle solutions, such as mobile autonomous safeguarding of construction sites. Existing standards such as ISO 26262 or ISO 21448 (SOTIF) still provide only insufficient support for such systems. Particularly in connection with Artificial Intelligence (AI), resp. Machine Learning, the issue of Safety is a challenge. At Fraunhofer IESE, research in this field has been ongoing for several years already, with a variety of solutions offered. The underlying methods can be integrated into the processes of automotive software engineering. Together with our partners, we build on these to develop solution concepts and products.

Read more about Safety for Autonomous Systems


On the part of the development processes, major changes are also on the horizon – the integration of vehicles into digital ecosystems requires Continuous Engineering. Commercial vehicles are already networked in a variety of ways. In the future, it will be possible, for example, to flexibly extend agricultural machinery with software functions, while updates will provide optimal usage parameters at all times. To enable this, activities must be further automated and formalized models must be developed for software components (Model-based Engineering). Particularly testing and inspection tasks are predestined for this – virtual integration, virtual validation, or virtual deployment are the keywords in automotive software engineering for which Fraunhofer IESE even provides its own framework. This makes it possible to realize the solutions for tomorrow already today.

Read more about FERAL – our tool for virtual development


Have we aroused your interest? Get in touch with us! We would be happy to discuss your individual challenges with you and design a solution based on our competencies.

Link tips


All about automotive software engineering from the research & development of Fraunhofer IESE:


Is ABS from the Cloud possible?

Powerful networking of vehicles and IT infrastructure enables functions that were previously located in the car to be provided as Cloud-based services.


NFZ-Roadmap 2030

Experts from industry and research under the leadership of the CVC Südwest on the topic of “Smart Commercial Vehicles and Dependable Commercial Vehicle Networks” [in German only]

Meet us at the important events of the automotive &
commercial vehicle industry#

Please contact us prior to an event and schedule a meeting.

Further dates will follow

Selected projects in the area of Automotive and Commercial Vehicles#


Bosch: Safety Considerations of a Cloud Service

The challenge of this Cloud service project was to develop a safety concept.


Caruso Dataplace

Caruso GmbH developed its open and neutral data and service marketplace for the automotive aftermarket with the support of Fraunhofer IESE.


Control and test procedures for AI systems

Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation (JAMSS)

Fraunhofer IESE supported JAMSS in assessing the potentials of agility in regulated domains.


Reference Project: e.GO Mobile AG

Functional safety for an all-electric passenger car

Fraunhofer IESE supported e.GO Mobile AG in the safety engineering of its electric vehicle e.GO Life.







Robert Bosch GmbH

Together with Robert Bosch GmbH, Fraunhofer IESE realized the virtual integration and validation of electronic control units (ECUs) using the Fraunhofer technology FERAL. 


John Deere: Secure Software Engineering

Together with John Deere, researchers of Fraunhofer IESE studied the software of current display systems in terms of their architectures.

Particularly the area of embedded systems presents new challenges for secure software engineering, as special restrictions and constraints need to be considered.


Bosch: Software Replaces Expensive Hardware

Together, the project partners Bosch and Fraunhofer IESE developed a flexible software safety architecture that makes it possible to use non-validated hardware for safety-relevant applications.

“We are so much convinced by the results of our collaboration with Fraunhofer IESE that we will transfer them into series production.”


Strategic Variation Management

Together with Fraunhofer IESE, Knorr-Bremse has developed a more sustainable reuse approach.

“IESE developed very concrete and real solution approaches to allow us to master the impending challenges of increasing complexity as well as higher certification requirements.”


Hitachi: Safety Engineering for Autonomous Driving Systems

In a joint research cooperation, researchers of Hitachi and Fraunhofer IESE have investigated the necessary scope for future safety engineering.

“The cooperation with Fraunhofer IESE regarding a multi-aspect safety engineering  method with safeTbox brought about substantial success for Hitachi R&D."