Automotive & Mobility

Fraunhofer IESE offers innovative solutions for software in automobiles and commercial vehicles with maximum reliability.

In recent years, vehicles have increasingly become “computers on wheels”, with complex software on board. The trends towards higher levels of automation and digital networking with services in the automotive industry continue to drive this development. But how do you ensure that your software is highly reliable?

Fraunhofer IESE develops innovative software and systems engineering solutions for the automotive and commercial vehicle industry that can be relied on in every respect. We support you in the implementation of safety concepts, the development of new architectures, virtual integration and qualification, and the design of innovative products. Measurability, transparency, and quality are our top priorities in this regard.

What are your challenges?

How do you want to get started with your software-supported mobility solution? We give you answers to the most important questions. Use the table of contents below to jump to the next topic.

What does state-of-the-art safety engineering for vehicles look like?

Functional Safety

Keep track and save time and costs with automated analyses

Modern safety engineering must take numerous safety-relevant aspects into account. In addition to functional safety, these also include, for example, the opening up and networking of passenger cars and commercial vehicles, which offers opportunities for attacks and thus also generates new risks for functional safety. Classic safety assurance methods such as FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) or FTA (Fault Tree Analysis) must therefore be supplemented by other aspects, such as those of IT security/cybersecurity (ISO/SAE 21434).

TARA (Threat Assessment and Remediation Analysis) provides new aspects for potential hazards. Experience state-of-the-art safety engineering from a single source. At Fraunhofer IESE, we use our safeTbox tool to integrate all these factors into a uniform model of your system that describes all relevant safety challenges and countermeasures. Automated analyses on this model will save you time and money in the development and qualification of your systems.

Fraunhofer IESE supports you in introducing these methods and mapping them to the tool chain!


Dynamic Risk Management

In mobility services or in new architectures for electric or highly automated/autonomous driving, the system boundary is not limited to the vehicle: More and more backend systems are being integrated and connections are being created in Digital Ecosystems from the “Automotive & Mobility” industries and beyond. Systems must dynamically couple to form systems of systems in order to achieve their goals. For this, it is necessary that the vehicle-side software and the software in the cloud work absolutely reliably, that risks are assessed dynamically, and that the system derives actions that avoid hazards and damage – while at the same time adequately achieving the goal of the task. State-of-the-art safety engineering methods also provide support here and, supplemented by suitable software architectures, can create dependable systems. Therefore, safety engineering must go hand in hand with system design.


Read more about the topic of “Functional Safety” and safety for modern vehicle systems:


How do you ensure dependability of your AI-based systems?

Dependable AI

Dependable AI / Verlässliche KI Keyvisual - Fraunhofer IESE

Quality and dependability for highly automated vehicles

The safety of modern vehicles is at a very high level. The topic of software validation has also been an issue for companies for a long time. However, interconnection on the one hand and high automation on the other hand create new challenges in the areas of security and safety.

Existing standards such as ISO 26262 or ISO 21448 (SOTIF) still provide insufficient support for the safety assurance of highly interconnected vehicle systems. Especially in the context of Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning, the topics of safety and dependability represent a challenge.

Highly automated vehicles rely on the processing of huge amounts of data and are increasingly integrated with central cloud services for this purpose. These range from navigation functions via federated learning to the outsourcing of safety-critical functions to cloud infrastructures. Under the buzzword “Dependable AI”, we are creating a framework for making the inherent uncertainties of solutions involving Machine Learning controllable. At Fraunhofer IESE, research work in this area has been carried out and solutions have been offered for many years already. The underlying methods can be integrated into the processes of automotive software engineering. Together with our partners, we are using these to develop solution concepts and products. One important element, for example, is the assessment of the inherent uncertainties of Machine Learning methods. Another topic that Fraunhofer IESE is dealing with in this context is the evaluation of data quality – both in the context of system design and during operation.


Read more about our focus topic “Dependable AI”


  • Topic page “Dependable AI” 
    Holistic dependable AI from AI strategy via AI development to the assurance of AI, including AI validation and AI auditing


Reference projects in the area of Automotive and Functional Safety

Customer Statement

“The cooperation with Fraunhofer IESE regarding a multi-aspect safety engineering method with safeTbox has led to significant success for Hitachi’s R&D."


Dr. Shiro Yamaoka,
Department Manager Hitachi Ltd.

Electronics & Information Technology


In a research cooperation, Hitachi and Fraunhofer IESE investigated the necessary scope for future safety engineering to assure safety in autonomous driving.

Automotive & Mobility

V&V Methods

In the project “Verification & Validation 
Methods” with leading manufacturers, standards for the safety case of automated vehicles (levels 4+5) in urban environments are being developed.

Automotive & Mobility


The “Uncertainty Wrapper” architecture and analysis methodology developed by Fraunhofer IESE was applied to an existing AI component in order to reliably estimate uncertainty.

Automotive & Mobility


In the project “Dependability Engineering Innovation for Cyber-Physical Systems”, a holistic approach for the safety assurance of cyber-physical systems at development time and at runtime was developed.

Automotive & Mobility

e.GO Life

During the development of the safety concept of the electric vehicle e.GO Life, Fraunhofer IESE provided safety engineering support. 

Automotive & Mobility


Methods for the development of components for the creation of trustworthy autonomous systems.

What does your future development and testing environment need to look like?

Virtual Engineering

Fokusthema: Virtual Engineering, Fraunhofer IESE

Virtual development, qualification, and virtual testing

In the future, it will be possible to retrofit vehicles with software functions via updates and thus to always adapt them to usage behavior and customer needs. The large number of vehicle configurations required for this purpose calls for models of software components and vehicles that support and automate testing and inspection activities in engineering. Virtual integration, virtual validation, or virtual deployment are the keywords that characterize automotive software engineering. Fraunhofer IESE provides its own simulation framework for this purpose. Be faster than your competitors. Work with us to realize the development and testing environments of tomorrow. Even today, you can save significant costs with virtual Hardware-in-the-Loop (vHiL) tests. These replace expensive HiL test benches with simulation-based solutions and thus relieve your existing HiL capacities. Our solutions scale with your problems and are suitable for realizing even the required large number of test runs for highly automated and autonomous driving functions. Do you want to implement a rest bus simulation or a complete Digital Twin? We will be happy to support you with our simulation solutions!


Even starting small is worth the effort!

There is no need to simulate an entire virtual vehicle. With the help of virtual ECUs, the performance characteristics of E/E architectures can be simulated at an early stage. Is the performance of the selected hardware sufficient for your solution? We will virtually integrate your target hardware (e.g., Aurix) with the Autosar software stack! Does the new control model work in the existing system? Do the communication buses transport all messages within the timing constraints? We will simulate your Matlab/Simulink model together with vehicle buses and existing C code! With our partner network, we will find solutions even for special challenges. Which DRAM solutions have enough power reserves for the head unit of the future? With DRAMSim, which was developed jointly with TU Kaiserslautern in the Fraunhofer High-Performance Center, we will find the answer for you!


Read more about what we offer in the area of Virtual Engineering:


Reference projects in the area of Automotive & Virtual Engineering

Automotive & Mobility


In the project “Verification & Validation
Methods” with leading manufacturers, standards for the safety case of automated vehicles (levels 4+5) in urban environments are being developed.

Automotive & Mobility


Memory bandwidth as bottleneck: The project MEMTONOMY is testing how to optimize DRAM memory for driver assistance systems and autonomous driving. 

Customer Statement

“The measurement system developed with Fraunhofer IESE and TU Kaiserslautern provides important information for future central computers in our vehicles.”


Michael Huonker,
Architect for
Design High-Computing Platforms,
Mercedes-Benz AG


Automotive & Mobility

Reference project Bosch

Fraunhofer IESE and Robert Bosch demonstrate the potential of virtual validation of electronic control units with the simulation platform FERAL.

Automotive & Mobility


für Projekt von Pablo. Noch in Vorbereitung


How is your business model changing with the digital transformation and the platform economy?

Networked Digital Ecosystems

Digitale Ökosysteme, Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE

Software technology for a world in motion

The flexible and individual integration of services is a key feature of mobility today, while the requirements on comfort, environmental protection, and safety are increasing at the same time. Highly automated assistance systems and driving functions must function safely and reliably in order to implement new mobility services or innovative commercial vehicle solutions. In this process, existing system boundaries between vehicles and IT-based services are becoming blurred. 

Future mobility services will be offered in Digital Ecosystems in which different stakeholders cooperate multilaterally to conduct business. Such Digital Ecosystems are currently emerging in a wide variety of different, even competing, constellations and cover both the provision of services related to the use of mobility and the optimized production of vehicles. At the center of these Digital Ecosystems are platforms which, for example, take care of brokering mobility offers or the harmonized exchange of telematics data or production-relevant data.



Making Digital Ecosystems successful in the long term

Just as in an ecological ecosystem, it is important to create a balance between the various participants – otherwise the ecosystem will collapse and there will be no basis for business. Traditionally, business relationships can exist between OEMs and suppliers or with the end consumer, but can also include service providers, repair shops, and drivers or passengers. The availability of data and digital information makes it possible to implement new business opportunities that also involve new partners, such as insurance companies or other transport carriers. 

In addition to the design and structuring of such systems, we at Fraunhofer IESE also address the IT-technical realization with platform architectures and with the handling of the data. Which data provides you with which added value? We work on answering this and other questions with you and perform a potential analysis. How do I use data sovereignty to motivate my customers to share mobility data, for example? We work with you to design your entire Digital Ecosystem in a way that offers added values for all stakeholders, is fair, complies with data protection laws, and is attractive overall for long-term growth.


Read more about the solution we offer and about our service portfolio for Digital Ecosystems:


Reference projects in the area of Automotive & Digital Ecosystems

Automotive & Mobility

Caruso Dataplace

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

Automotive & Mobility

Bosch Success Story

Together with Fraunhofer IESE, Robert Bosch GmbH developed a safety concept for a cloud service for automated driving.

Customer Statement

“For us, the cooperation with Fraunhofer IESE was groundbreaking for the safety engineering of our cloud services.”


Erik Lesser,
Chief Product Owner, Robert Bosch GmbH

Smart Mobility as a Service


Das Fraunhofer IESE entwickelt gemeinsam mit Partnern eine B2B-Serviceplattform für Mobility as a Service.

Automotive & Mobility

Smart MaaS

Together with partners, Fraunhofer IESE is developing a B2B service platform for Mobility as a Service.

Does your software (still) make you an innovative pioneer in your industry?

Differentiation through software and system modernization

Keyvisual Fokusthema Systemmodernisierung, Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE

Modernizing systems and keeping them competitive

Present-day vehicle systems, as well as the systems supporting their development and operation, involve thousands of person-years of software engineering effort. The same is true for many systems that deliver mobility services or form the backbone of mobility companies. This legacy software is the cornerstone of success, but also a cost and risk factor.

Companies have to decide again and again whether to continue working with the existing systems as before, whether to implement selective improvements, or whether to develop a new generation from scratch. We support you in the necessary analysis and decision-making process. With our experts and analysis tools, we assess your situation competently, quickly, and independently. The results will help you reposition yourself in terms of new customer requirements, technologies, and interfaces and to migrate or transform existing systems.

An upcoming modernization of systems always also offers the opportunity to realign such systems to the current situation and future opportunities. We will be very happy to help you with this – from the initial exploration of future business opportunities and business models to the technical implementation.


Read more about our portfolio on software and system modernization:

Is your software architecture prepared for the challenges of the future?

Core competence System and Software Architecture

Software Architecture, Fraunhofer IESE

Changing system architectures create need for action

System and software architecture is an absolutely central topic in vehicles, in all systems beyond vehicles, and in the interconnection of all systems. The system architecture of vehicles is currently undergoing rapid and comprehensive change. Networking with backend systems, the ability to update onboard software, and the increasing proportion of software create a need for action.

We support you in the design and selection of an appropriate approach! In doing so, we look at sensible potentials for reuse and answer questions such as: “How to switch to new vehicle architectures, such as domain control units or service-based architectures – without having to start all over again?” We also support you in integrating new concepts and technologies such as the “Digital Twin” of vehicles.


Industrie 4.0 in the automotive industry

There are also numerous architecture-related challenges outside the vehicle architecture and between vehicles and surrounding systems on which we are happy to work with you. These range from the establishment of scalable data platforms for vehicle telematics data to dealing with huge amounts of data collected by vehicles as part of Machine Learning to the question of where safety-relevant functions can and should be executed along the vehicle – edge – cloud route.


Read more about what we offer in terms of system and software architecture:



Do you use the methods and technologies available on the market profitably in the right processes?

Competence Development Processes

Development Processes, Fraunhofer IESE

The classic development cycles lasting several years are a thing of the past

Today, customer solutions must be implemented quickly and flexibly and must be continuously developed further. Continuous engineering builds on agile practices. In the automotive sector, however, the integration with production processes and special normative requirements must be taken into account.

For 25 years, we at Fraunhofer IESE have been supporting manufacturers and suppliers in the continuous improvement of development productivity and software quality. For the adaptation and modernization of your processes, systems, and architectures with respect to current requirements, we rely on proven approaches combined with state-of-the art methods. We support the transfer of technology to you – with customized solutions, co-creation, training, and coaching!


 Read more about our topic area “Development Processes”



Automotive & Mobility

Volkswagen AG

In this project with Volkswagen, Fraunhofer IESE developed an agile method for quality assurance of the corporate software.

Automotive & Mobility

Caruso Dataplace

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

Automotive & Mobility


Fraunhofer IESE supported JAMSS, demonstrating how agile approaches can be relevant and helpful in safety engineering as well as in quality assurance.

Are you looking for another solution or support in the context of software and systems engineering?

With our specialist departments, we cover a broad range of topics across the entire lifecycle of software and systems engineering. From hardware-related software to the design of Digital Ecosystems, our competencies span many levels of abstraction.

Overview of Fraunhofer IESE services


Have we sparked your interest?

Just talk to us! We will be happy to make time for your question and find a suitable solution – with us or in the large Fraunhofer network! 


Contact us!


We will be happy to discuss your individual challenges with you and will design a solution based on our competencies.