JLR Partners with Elektrobit to Enable Cutting-Edge In-Car Digital Experiences in Its Next-Generation Vehicles

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By Dylan Khoo | 2Q 2023 | IN-6955

The agreement announced in April will see Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) use Elektrobit’s software platform and Automotive Operating System (OS). This is another win for the embedded and connected software vendor that paves the way for JLR’s transition toward Software-Defined Vehicles (SDVs).

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Elektrobit Plays a Key Role in JLR's Reimagination


Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has selected Continental-owned automotive software company Elektrobit’s software platform and Automotive Operating System (OS) for its next-generation Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA) Continuum electronic architecture. Few details are currently available about EVA Continuum, but it will build on EVA 2.0, which launched with the 2020 Land Rover Defender and has since been used in other vehicles, such as the 2021 Jaguar E-PACE and the 2022 Range Rover. EVA 2.0 is a domain-based architecture, with infotainment, driving assistance, and connectivity domain controllers. EVA Continuum will debut in new vehicles from 2024, coinciding with the expected launches of the all-electric Range Rover based on the Electrified Modular Architecture (EMA) at the end of 2024 and new Jaguar battery electric Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) based on the Panthera platform in 2025.

The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is focusing heavily on electrification, as well as Over-the-Air (OTA) and software-defined capabilities to enable digital services and experiences that Elektrobit will be key in delivering. JLR has already used Elektrobit’s solutions, such as EB tresos, to streamline the development of Electronic Control Units (ECUs) and reduce development time for new features.

This strategic move by JLR to adopt Elektrobit’s solutions is part of a broader industry trend toward Software-Defined Vehicles (SDVs). This is being driven by changes in customer expectations of a more connected driving experience that goes beyond the traditional car to integrate cutting-edge digital services. Drivers now demand an in-car experience that is more customizable and innovative, with modern interfaces akin to those they use every day provided by their smartphones and other personal electronics.

Standardization Will Define the Next Generation of Automotive Software


JLR is in the process of a complete overhaul, with a reorganization that sees JLR becoming a “house of brands” with the Range Rover, Defender, Discovery, and Jaguar as its constituents and a £15 billion investment announced in April 2023 in industrial footprint, vehicle programs, technologies, and skills.

The Elektrobit software platform and Automotive OS are important enablers for SDVs, bridging the gap between the application layer and the central control unit, and containing a high-performance computer with several performance cores for Central Processing Unit (CPU)-intensive functions and safety cores for safety-critical functions and monitoring. The platform and OS provide abstraction between the software and hardware, allowing the two to be decoupled. Decoupling means apps can be developed independently of devices and operate across many different models, which is closely tied to the concept of standardization.

Standardization is an important enabler for software and hardware decoupling, and a trend that ABI Research expects to take off in the next generation of platforms currently being built. OEMs have historically had a desire to be bold and control the software framework to keep as much ownership as possible over user data and experiences. However, there is now widespread acceptance that independent development will lead to a fractured market that is unsustainable and that will restrict mass market deployment. Standardization will allow a smartphone-style ecosystem to form in which developers can create a single solution that functions across many devices. Third-party developers will not need to tailor their products and services to each platform they are offered on; this facilitates innovation, reduces development and maintenance costs, and encourages a healthier market with a greater variety of products and services.

Standardized Platforms Enable New Streams of Revenue


The new digital features and experiences that will be unlocked through flexible software platforms, such as Elektrobit’s, will bring new sources of revenue for OEMs through Feature on Demand (FOD) and providing connected services. JLR currently offers InControl subscription packs for automatic theft alerts, stolen vehicle tracking, and automatic emergency calls, but has not yet fully exploited the potential for FOD. BMW and Mercedes-Benz are leading developments in this area. BMW offers a host of unlockable options through the ConnectedDrive Store, including Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) and entertainment features, but also heated seats, which were infamously panned when launched as an option in 2022.

FOD will not be restricted to high-end brands, with other OEMs, such as Stellantis, Ford, and General Motors (GM) also investing heavily in this area. ABI Research expects FOD to be monetized primarily through subscriptions, with global revenue from these subscriptions reaching US$57 billion in 2030. While OEMs will want to offer branded experiences, this creates a massive opportunity for software vendors to offer white label solutions or content and assets that can be integrated into automakers’ platforms. Software suppliers that provide flexible and modular solutions taking advantage of standardization across platforms will benefit the most from this.

OEMs should look to adopt third-party middleware and OSs like Elektrobit’s. This will let them focus on working in the application layer to provide differentiating functionality in the driver-facing domains. This is where the most value can be generated and avoids double-work across the industry due to every automaker building their stack independently from the ground up. This will allow OEMs to innovate and deliver the cutting-edge digital experiences that are needed to satisfy customers. They will also have to focus on providing continuous support, maintenance, and improvements for their software in the future through OTA updates, further diverting resources toward applications.

See ABI Research’s Automotive Over-The-Air Software Updates report (AN-5547) for further information.


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