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AI-based vehicles paving way for software engineers to build a career in the auto industry – The Financial Express

Connected vehicle technology, ADAS, telematics and autonomous vehicles is all what sums up the auto industry in the current age and time. And these rapid technological disruptions are all highly dependent on the softwares like cloud computing, AI, ML, etc which literally has made the vehicle what we call ‘computer on wheels’. And this is why, anticipating the huge potential of the softwares, be it major or small OEMs or industry enthusiasts, the existing players and the emerging startups; the common notion is that the integration of tech into vehicles is the future of the industry. 
Automotive software, in simple terms, is a coded program data that basically instructs the performing operation of the computer/cloud-based applications fitted in the vehicles. These applications include all the functionalities from telematics, infotainment, vehicle powertrain, body control, safety and communication. 
At a time when we see vehicles communicating with each other as well as the drivers, these tech advancements not only transform the utility of the vehicle but affect every aspect associated be it the convenience of the driver or the safety of the car or the driver. How about the idea of your car becoming your own virtual assistant!
While we talk about 5G and AI taking complete control of the vehicle, there are a few hindrances to the same. For countries like India, we still lack the standard protocols, there is still not a legitimately connected tech infrastructure and experts who can help with troubleshooting and maintenance of the software with complex codings. And hence, this segment offers lucrative opportunities for growth and development of the advanced automotive ecosystem. As we are moving towards the adoption of smart devices, it is very crucial to re-work the existing structures and get going, time to cling to the cloud. 
Software development and coding as a career has firmed its grip in a rather unconventional manner and we are still learning how to harness all the prospects of the custom-coded softwares which in a way are meant for the driver’s convenience. This calls for excellent software career opportunities in the automotive industry and success is a guarantee. It is no surprise that professionals with computer science or programming background have employment options to explore in the automotive industry as well. 
Also read: Top 5 careers to explore across auto industry
There are many engineers and coders working in the autonomous vehicle-making sector. But this also brings forth the challenges these professionals are going through. The ever-evolving industry demands for honing their skill sets from time to time, there has emerged another field of study called Automotive Software Engineering, a course that combines the making of autonomous vehicles and the know-how of the required softwares.  
“Software is rapidly reprogramming the car industry. The four biggest disruptions in recent years—autonomous vehicles, connectivity, electrification, and shared mobility (ACES)—all rely heavily on leading-edge software,” states a  McKinsey report. 
“Many automotive players are aware of the advantages that come with strong software development and are now taking drastic steps to improve performance. Based on our research, only 40 percent of the R&D leaders who view software as a major disruptor feel prepared to make the necessary operational shifts. While leaders across industries have made step-change improvements in their software engineering practices, most auto­motive players still significantly lag behind high performers. Areas of concern include agile practices, continuous integration, and automated testing,” the report adds. 
A seemingly tricky concept for the existing players, an ecosystem approach to enable auto tech and make a new-age software-defined vehicle is perhaps a viable solution. Also, the EV adoption journey, which the industry has begun trodding, makes it a must push towards a change since electric vehicles have all the way triggered the accelerator for the entire sector.  
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