This week Coverity announced how one of its customers, Neopost, is advancing software quality and product innovation with Coverity Development Testing. Neopost, a European leader for mailing systems equipment, is constantly driving technological advancements in order to consolidate its market leadership position. Since software is fast becoming the key differentiator for success in this sector, the need to drive software innovation (and therefore quality) even faster, across multiple product lines, is paramount.
None of this is new to automobile manufacturers – they’ve been driving new product innovation with software for years. Much of this has led to improvements in car safety – based on standards such as MISRA and ISO26262 (see the recent Coverity blogon this subject).
But what’s the big shtick for auto companies today? In short: Infotainment. Consumers are demanding more and more of it in their cars: More advanced and detailed information about fuel consumption; More sophisticated and higher-spec entertainment systems (thorough Multimedia and Web-based devices), Better Services (Navigation, Telephony Integration) and even better driver Security (such as night vision and autopilot features). And the result: Modern cars are literally filled to the roof with software code.
Paradoxically, the distractions of in-car infotainment have increasingly become a cause for concern, when it comes to automobile safety. While standards such as ISO26262 are raising the inherent quality and safety of the automobile (including key functions such as brakes, gears, ignition, lights etc), the arms race for Infotainment Innovation is threatening the driver’s ability to stay focused on the real task in hand – that is, to drive the actual car! By way of (perhaps trivial) example, our neighbor practically wrote off our car this weekend when he undocked his iPhone, and subsequently dropped it on the car floor. By moving over to pick up his iPhone, he suddenly turned the wheel, and crashed into our car, which was parked outside on the street. So much for safety on the roads…
That aside, it seems clear that consumer demand for ever more complex in-car Infotainment systems will not abate. Hence innovation in this space will become even more important. And, like with Neopost, it’s the software that determines the must-have from the nice-to-have infotainment features. So before one thinks about upgrading the car for infotainment reasons, it’s worth making sure it’s has Coverity inside. At least that way, your neighbor will have no excuse if he crashes into your car.