“It is very surprising to people just how much open source software is used in modern software development,” observed Jeff Luszcz, Vice President of Product, Management at US software specialist Flexera, during a recent Automotive World webinar. According to Flexera research, more than 50% of all code written today is open source. “If we look at any software product ten to 20 years ago, OSS was just filling in the gaps, but my experience is that 100% of IT organisations are using OSS today.”
Software content has become a differentiator for automakers, who had once relied on factors such as drivability or exterior design to sell their cars. Today, software-based features are often the focal point for advertising campaigns.
This software is derived from a multitude of different sources, and rarely originates from a single developer. Many vehicles today leverage Linux, an open source operating system. “Every device in a modern vehicle contains anywhere between 80 to 100 million lines of code. Some vendors have ten or more Linux computers running at the same time, and while these computers may have very similar software stacks, they will likely have been put together by different development teams, and have different reasons for existing,” added Luszcz.
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