How Japanese Automotives Cope with the European Standards in Embedded System?

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2015)


automotive embedded system, conformance test, consortium, interoperability problem, Product Architecture, product level conformity assessment, standard


How Japanese Automotives Cope with the European Standards in Embedded System?
Case: Japan Automotive Software Platform and Architecture

Akio Tokuda(Ritsumeikan University, Japan) Stephane Heim (Kyoto University, Japan)

The global carmakers and electronic suppliers recently entered a new competitive era that might profoundly reshape the worldwide automotive industry. This competition is articulated around the development of standardized interfaces, and the roots of this competition are to be found in the collective capabilities of carmakers agglomerated in national or regional consortia to develop together and impose to others their standards. The rapid progress of standardized interfaces relevant to the automotive embedded system also accelerates the architectural innovation (from integral to modular) in the automotive industry. The fact is that most of the standards are developed by European consortia (e.g. AUTOSAR for Basic Software, FlexRay Consortium and MOST for LAN, HIS for Software development process, etc.), which entails recently a disadvantageous positioning in the sector for Japanese manufacturers (OEM, Tier1, semiconductors, software and tool vendors etc). How to meet the European standardized interfaces is one of the critical themes for them to keep up with their competitive edge in the automotive industry. Our presentation raises this problem, while describing and discussing the characteristics (technical, economic, institutional) of the current European supremacy.
Our case study will illustrate the way Japanese car manufactures cope with this situation by showing the result of participant observations at one Japanese consortium. For this purpose, our research is a comparative analysis on a specific stage of the development of the standardized protocol (=FlexRay ©), which is the difference of the CTSs’ drafting (Conformance Test Specifications) between the European-based consortium (=FlexRay Consortium) and the Japanese one (=JasPar: Japan Automotive Software Platform and Architecture).
The reason why the CTSs are featured in our research is that not only the strategy of each consortium appears clearly, but also the “nature of the standardized interface” is most closely revealed by seeing the different characteristics of them.
Based on this comparison, it appears that the way CTSs are designed in each consortium has a major effect on the affordability and competitiveness of the standardized interfaces. Even if the targets of the standardization (FlexRay ©) are the same, the characteristics of its CTSs are sharply contrasted, due to the fact that the organizational capabilities of European and Japanese consortia are totally different from each other. Namely the European consortium, driven by highly specialized such a German carmakers as BMW and Daimler, which is relatively good at managing the horizontal collaboration amongst firms, drafted so called “wide and loose” type CTSs that help to boosts the quick dissemination of the standards, while the capability of the Japanese consortium, which is relatively good at managing the vertical collaboration amongst firms, drafted so called “narrow and tight” type CTSs that ensure the standards’ reliability.

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