Software delivers security for all-electric Formula E race car

16th January 2020
Lanna Deamer

At CES 2020 last week, Green Hills Software showcased the all-electric Formula E race car from Mahindra Racing that relies on the safe and secure INTEGRITY RTOS and optimised development tools from Green Hills Software. The multi-year partnership is fueling Mahindra’s strategic Race to Road initiative - a plan to win races with innovative electric vehicle technology and easily transfer it to production road vehicles.

The rigors of racing and its inherent competitive pressure demand a software platform with the highest efficiency, safety and security, while the software teams require development tools that help them be more productive and decrease the time to develop new software.

Finally, the software platform must be scalable and flexible so as to be reused off the racetrack on electric passenger and commercial vehicles.

Mahindra Racing knows first-hand that not all innovation in electric-vehicle technology occurs inside calm and quiet laboratories. It is a founding member of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s first all-electric street racing series with the mission to promote environmentally friendly automotive technology through high performance, zero-emission racing.

Now in its sixth season, races will be held in 12 cities around the world including Paris, New York, London, Seoul, Rome and Berlin. There are twelve competing teams, including Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Porsche, Mahindra Racing, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and others.

All competing cars must use the identical main battery, chassis and tyres - meaning they ferociously compete and strive for a winning edge through custom motors, transmissions and notably, in-vehicle software.

The Championship is a catalyst for transferring electric vehicle technology and experience from the racetrack to the showroom, from race cars to sedans and family SUVs. Mahindra Racing chose Green Hills to supply the INTEGRITY safety RTOS and development tools to build and control the software at the heart of the car.

“Software plays a huge role in an electric car. Mahindra is pleased to be working with Green Hills Software on our Race to Road initiative to develop electric vehicle software that not only brings us success at the racetrack but also has a positive impact on road car industry,” said Dilbagh Gill, CEO and Team Principal, Mahindra Racing Team.

“Green Hills gives us a competitive advantage as our in-vehicle systems grow in software intelligence and complexity. Their automotive experience and products help us to increase our systems’ performance, safety and reliability, and to develop our code more quickly.”

For the last year, Mahindra’s teams have been developing their optimised in-vehicle electronics software with the ASIL-certified MULTI integrated development environment. The deployed code is controlled by the ASIL-certified INTEGRITY real time operating system.

Together, they ensure Mahindra’s applications run with maximum performance and reliability on the underlying Arm-based automotive processor from Renesas, achieving improved powertrain efficiency, battery controller safety, high assurance and accurate data logging and secure vehicle communication.

“Digital transformation within the vehicle is key to the future of mobility, and requires hardware and software to be developed side by side,” said Chet Babla, Vice President of Automotive, Automotive and IoT Line of Business, Arm.

“This is exactly the type of work we are doing with Green Hills and Renesas, enabling the high performance computing required to meet the energy demands and safety requirements of Mahindra Racing’s Formula E race car.”

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