SEOUL, Feb. 8, 2024 — The integration of software into cars is fundamentally changing the way mobility is developed. Changhyeon Song, President of the Hyundai Motor Group (the Group)’s AVP (Advanced Vehicle Platform) Division and mobility AI company 42dot, offers a glimpse into recent software trends. 

The Rise of Software-Defined Vehicles

Why is the Group transitioning to a “mobility solution provider”? The answer is quite simple. Cars that are developed with software at their core can quickly implement various functions in a more reasonable and efficient way. It can also reduce technical burdens along the process of automotive development.

For example, the integration of technologies such as autonomous driving and connected services leads to an expanded scope of automotive technology. By establishing standard architecture and operating systems, it becomes possible to efficiently develop almost all functions of a car. This also suggests the need for a revolutionary change in development methods for future mobility. 

The realization of software-defined vehicles (SDVs) goes beyond the use of simple wireless update capabilities and the evolution of infotainment systems. The application of software-based convenience features and application services has an impact not only on mobility performance but also on safety.

Song put it simply last November at the 3rd HMG Developer Conference when he said that the SDV development system would fundamentally bring about a “paradigm shift” in automotive development methods.




Until now, automotive control units have had a monolithic structure where the software is embedded in the hardware, and the electronic control functions of the vehicle have mostly been developed around the electric control unit (ECU) or micro controller unit (MCU). These control units communicate with each other using the controller area network (CAN), which has been the industry standard for a long time.

However, there are clear limitations to this structure and development approach. The software logic of vehicles is becoming exponentially complex with the advent of EVs, integration with smart devices and the emergence of advanced technologies such as autonomous driving. 

To cope with this technological trend, an architectural structure with an independent nature that separates hardware and software is needed — also known as “decoupling.”

Through this decoupling, hardware, operating systems and applications will be separated into distinct domains. Each component can be developed independently, leading to efficiency and enabling flexible decision-making from a business standpoint.



Modular Architecture and Standardization

The second SDV trend noted by Song was “modular architecture” — creating modules that encapsulate shared functionalities required by different software components. These modules can be developed and improved independently, and easily be reused when necessary. Once a module has been verified, there’s no need to re-verify it the next time.

The final key concept was “standardization in architecture” — like using standard data formats, communication protocols and software. When the communication system between hardware and software is standardized, entry barriers for developers will be reduced, which would ultimately allow software to be connected with the cloud and mobility infrastructure, thus innovatively expanding the development ecosystem of SDVs.

A Boundless Mobility Experience

“The Group will provide freedom of movement to many people by breaking down the constraints of time and space,” Song remarked, “enabling them to immerse themselves in more valuable activities rather than being tied to the means of transportation.”

The AVP President said he expects software and AI to bring limitless possibilities to the mobility industry, highlighting that at the center of such possibilities will be software developers.