A New Way of Working: Continuous Integration

Posted By
Alwin Bakkenes
Vice President, Global Product Lines

The Verge says it’s “how all car software should be designed.”  The object of their admiration is the infotainment system on the new Volvo Polestar 2. While they praise the result, they gloss over the highly collaborative and iterative development process that brought it to life - dubbed “Continuous Integration.”  This process spanned from Silicon Valley to Gothenburg, Sweden - the home of Volvo Cars.  It also spanned two industries - from auto to tech.  And, right there in the middle was a bridge - Aptiv. 

Continuous Integration (CI) is a new way of working across multiple program stakeholders based on an agile development methodology. 

It starts during quotation, with the establishment of a partnership based on capabilities, as opposed to a predefined set of features. The result is a better solution for the end customer because features can be defined closer to the release date, instead of 3 to 4 years early when development begins, which equates to several generations in the consumer electronics world. Thanks to an agile approach, we don’t have to guess today what services customers will want in the year 2023, we can design them in 2022.  

Moving to development, co-located teams from across multiple stakeholders develop the most important features first, which can be quickly prototyped and tested, reducing risk and accelerating speed to market.

These development teams then stay in place following launch to support continued updates based on evolving features and functions, resulting in a product that continues to evolve and improve.  After all, what we want in 2025 is probably going to be different than 2023! 

To support this new way of working, Aptiv created a lean software factory, complete with the tools and interfaces needed to support all program stakeholders.  This includes a high degree of automation, fast feedback loops at all levels, and a transparent, built-in approach to quality and bug fixes.

Aptiv also enables daily code integration across multiple development locations and parties.  Every change made to the software is fully tested and delivered to the customer daily, resulting in smoother effort and lower risk.  Instead of opaque milestones and reactive bug burndowns, teams have a partnership mentality and proactive dialogue.

At Aptiv, we speak the languages of both the software and the car, and can merge these complex worlds together for the benefit of the consumer. CI is ideally suited for the development of the open platforms, which allow for deep collaboration with the leading service ecosystems - such as Android - that customers are demanding in their vehicles.

As a systems integrator with extensive software and domain knowledge, Aptiv is naturally positioned act as the bridge between auto and consumer technology, using our Continuous Integration development approach to deeply integrate the software enabled features of the vehicle with the sensing, compute and interface devices that support them.

Now it’s time to go dream about our vision for 2025, and then make it real!