Automotive ECU Software | Electronic Control Unit Development (2023)

Electronic Control Units (ECUs), within an automobile, have not only increased in number but also in software and hardware complexity.

Despite this growing complexity we have partnered with global OEMs’ and Suppliers; to help them ensure that the automotive ECU (Electronic Control Unit) software and hardware development process is:

  • Compliant with the stringent quality standards of the Automotive industry
  • Cost-effective
  • Delivered as per the automotive control unit (ECU) product development roadmap

[Video] How is Model Created in Model Based Development of Automotive ECU Applications

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ECU Software and Hardware Development Services

Automotive ECU Software | Electronic Control Unit Development (1)

Automotive ECU Hardware & Firmware Development

  • ISO26262 compliant h/w and s/w development
  • Board Support Package design and development
  • Device driver development
  • Communication stacks, middleware and application development
  • BLDC and PMSM motors, sensors and actuator integration
Automotive ECU Software | Electronic Control Unit Development (2)

AUTOSAR 4.0 compliant ECU software development

  • AUTOSAR RTE, BSW and COM stack configuration and integration
  • AUTOSAR MCAL development
  • Communication & I/O Drivers development
  • Tools expertise: Comasso, Vector , ECU Spectrum, KSAR AUTOSAR.
  • DaVinci Developer tool for architecture design.
Automotive ECU Software | Electronic Control Unit Development (3)

Model-based development of Automotive ECU product

  • Matlab/Simulink and auto code generation (Target Link and RTW).
  • Verification and Validation Services
  • Unit, Integration and Functional testing services
  • Model in loop (MIL) testing
  • Hardware in Loop (HIL) testing
(Video) AUTOSAR Basic Software and Beyond – Cutting Edge Automotive ECU Development
Automotive ECU Software | Electronic Control Unit Development (4)

ISO 26262 Functional Safety consulting

  • Functional safety consulting services
  • ASIL A and D compliant automotive control units development
  • ISO 26262 mandated Safety Planning
Automotive ECU Software | Electronic Control Unit Development (5)

In-Vehicle networking & diagnostics services

  • Unit testing (white box), integration testing, functional testing, MIL and HIL testing
  • Project experience in CAN, LIN, FlexRay, MOST .
  • Integration, configuration and customization of UDS, J1939, KWP2000, ISOBUS, OBD2
  • Integration of 3rd party automotive stacks

Handbook: Electronic Control Unit Applications & Services

Learn about our expertise in MBD, AUTOSAR and ISO 26262 Compliant ECU software/hardware Development

Download PDF

Meet Our Automotive Leaders

Automotive ECU Software | Electronic Control Unit Development (6)

With over two decades of experience, Sharad has witnessed the evolution of electronics, software, mobility and connected car solutions in the Automotive Industry.

As a visionary founder, Sharad has been successful in building cross-functional expertise in areas of automotive embedded hardware, software and mobility at Embitel.

Sharad Bairathi | Founder and Managing Partner
(A humble leader with a people centric mind-set)
Automotive ECU Software | Electronic Control Unit Development (7)

Kuldeep’s passion for automotive makes him a “go getter”. He is a perfect blend of smart and hard work and is willing to go that extra mile to get a problem solved.

He actively participates in entire project journey from requirement gathering to the project delivery. He has also played a key role in establishing Embitel as a trusted technology partner across Europe region.

Kuldeep Singh | Business Manager
(Loves all things 'Automotive', a passionate biker!)
(Video) Basics of Electronic Control Unit (ECU) in Vehicle

Automotive ECU Feature Development Expertise

Automotive ECU Software | Electronic Control Unit Development (8)

ECU Software Development and Testing: Customer Success Stories

  1. Electronic Control Unit (ECU) software migration for a Germany based Tier-2 Supplier
    • Software architecture re-design for migration of automotive ECU from Siemens C167 micro-controller to Tricore platform
    • We partnered with our customer for ECU software migration of a diesel engine based Commercial Vehicle (CV)
    • Modeling and auto code generation for ECU software using ASCET SD (ETAS)
    • Implementation of truck specific functionalities – Engine brake, Powertake-off, Cold start aidsystem, High Idle governing, Limp home features for critical sensor failures
    • Implementation of CAN communication network with other ECUs (electronic control units) as per SAE J1939 standards
    • Implementation of Vehicle diagnostics serviced over serial communication line as per EOBD standards
    • This automotive ECU project was supported by Offshore and onsite teams of expert embedded software developers along with dedicated automotive control units testing team
  2. Hardware in Loop (HIL) testing of Automotive Control Units (ECU)
    • Unit testing and Integration testing of Exhaust System Software, CAN, KWP2000 and UDS services for a Germany based Tier-II Supplier
    • Test automation strategy and test-case preparation for automotive ECU system (electronics control unit)
    • Vehicle simulator – Multitron Labcar from ETAS, Measurement and Calibration – INCA software
    • Calibration through CCP using ES690 from ETAS, Flashing through PROF/ JTAG debugger
    • Vector CANalyzer for simulation and testing of CAN nodes, Automation of CAN testing using CAPL programs
    • Our team worked on the in-house tool of the customer for diagnostic testing (KWP2000 over CAN) of the automotive control units system
  3. Mutation Testing of a Power Steering ECU for ISO 26262 (ASIL D) Compliance
    • Software architecture re-design for migration of automotive ECU from Siemens C167 micro-controller to Tricore platform
    • We partnered with a Germany-based Automotive Engineering Services company for verification and validation of an automotive control unit of Electronic Power Steering (EPS)
    • Mutation testing is a complex code structure-based automotive testing method. Such a verification & validation method requires skills in Advance C and automotive domain expertise
    • Designed automotive ECU software was required to be tested using Mutation Testing method in order to conform to the Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) D of the ISO 26262 standard
    • Our team analyzed EPS ECU software architecture to developed in-depth understanding of the embedded software code
    • Mutant Codes were designed for all the test-cases
    • Our Automotive Testing team partnered with the customer for technology workshops in order to get hands-on training with the proprietary tools
    • Test-cases were executed and mutant testing results were reported using the proprietary tools
    • We analyzed mutant test results to identify ‘acceptable’ and ‘not acceptable’ mutants (mutant codes that were not killed)
    • Our automotive software engineers reworked on test scripts to kill ‘not acceptable’ mutants

Q1. With respect of automotive ECU development, please share your team’s experience in working with different microcontrollers?

Ans. In our 11+ years of automotive ECU software development journey, we have successfully delivered projects designed on some widely deployed microcontrollers:

Here’s a detailed list of MCUs, based on which we have delivered several automotive projects:

(Video) what are OEMs and what is Production Chain of Automotive Software: #ECU #embed_c #car

  • TI Microchip NXP- Automotive Sun-roof System
  • Renesas NXP MC Platform– Motor Control Systems
  • ST Microelectronics– Automotive Sunroof System
  • NXP MPC Micro Series– Electronic Power Steering (EPS) ECU
  • Infineon – Battery Management System for Electric Vehicles, DC to DC Converter for Solar powered EV charger

Q2. We have a production-grade Application Software that we wish to integrate to the existing microcontroller platform. What support can you provide?

Ans. First, we can custom-develop the Board Support Package (BSP) packaged with the all the low-level drivers and APIs to facilitate the integration.

If no customization is needed in the BSP software provided by the chip vendor, we can partner with you for the development of all the interfaces that may be required for the integration of application software.

If you wish to migrate your application software to a new microcontroller platform, we can also provide BSP customization/development and driver development support for this.

As part of the integration support, the following will also be the part of project deliverables

  • Enhanced APIs to help the application get the required data from base software modules
  • API documents, if the integration needs to be executed by your in-house team

Q3. Will Embitel provide support for CAN/LIN compliance testing?

Ans. Yes, we will provide in-vehicle network compliance tests for CAN or LIN. This test is performed w.r.t to a protocol parameter in order to test the system under stress conditions.

For instance, LIN will be communicated with 500 Kbps of data rate, a lot of signals will be passed simultaneously, and several error scenarios will be created in the testing tool. We will investigate the software and its behavior under such test conditions.

CAN/LIN Project Reference: We have partnered with one of our US based customer for CAN and LIN compliance testing of an automotive roofing system.

Based on the results of the test-case scenarios, our team was able to deliver a stable software solution. CAN/LIN compliance testing helped us to ensure that the software stack was tested to perform as expected, under all vehicle environments and operating conditions.

Q4. We have 3rd party stacks (e.g Vector based stacks). Can you help us to integrate them with existing application software or low-level drivers?

Ans. Yes. We have partnered with many customers for integration of third-party stack, with the existing application software and MCAL drivers.

If you have the third party stack and want us to develop a Bootloader based on the stack, our team has the required expertise to deliver the same.

We can also develop the low-level drivers required to facilitate the integration

These are the components that we offer as an integration service, following are the details:

  • MCAL development and integration
  • Communication Stack (UDS, Bootloader etc.) integration

Q5. What kind of automotive ECUs can you provide development support for?

Ans. We provide development support for a range of automotive control units. Some of the automotive ECUs for which we have partnered with OEMs and suppliers are:

  • Body Control Module
  • Motor Controller- DC Motor, BLDC Motor, Induction Motor
  • Electric Vehicle ECUs – Battery Management System,
  • ECUs for Adaptive Lighting systems

Q6. Can you share some of the details regarding control algorithm software for the Motor Control system?

Ans. The following are the details of the control algorithm that we can develop for the motor control system. We can provide support for both open and closed loop control systems:

(Video) ECU in Cars | ECU in Automotive | Electronic Control Unit | Engine Control Unit | Embedded World

  • Field Oriented Control Algorithm: can be developed by manual coding or by Model Based Development (MBD) with MATLAB
  • Proportional Integral (PI) Algorithm
  • Proportional Integral Derivative Algorithm for closed-loop control system using MATLAB
  • Current Regulation Algorithm
  • Speed Control Regulation Algorithm
  • Soft Start/ Soft Stop Algorithm for controlled motor starting and stopping

Q7. Will Embitel Support for tool-specific testing services?

Ans. We are fully equipped to handle any 3rd party tool-specific unit testing requirements. The 3rd party tools, for which we have provided support to our partners, include RTRT, PolySpace, MxDev tool, QAC and more.

Q8.Do you provide support for HMI, PC based tool development and other such interfaces for ECU re-programming and vehicle diagnostics applications?

Ans. The need for an interface for ECU re-programming and vehicle diagnostics is growing quite rapidly and we have the right set of skills and expertise to handle this.

We can develop Human Machine Interface (HMI), configuration tools, mobile apps, PC utility tools to help our customers with ECU reprogramming and vehicle diagnostics applications.

Project Reference: One of the configuration tools that we had developed for a customer, was to create codes for thousands of signals in a CAN DBC. Manually, it would take a minimum of 30-40 days for the task, but with our configuration tool was able to execute the same within few minutes.

Q9. Do you provide calibration protocol support as part of ECU software development?

Ans. Yes, we will provide calibration protocol support. Both XCP and CCP based calibrations are supported along with UDS based vehicle diagnostics calibration.

Related Blogs: Learn More About Automotive Control Unit Solutions

  • The Story of How Car Seating System has Evolved and Role of Automotive Electronics
  • Migration to Bharat Stage (BS) VI: Emission Control, Fuel-Grade, Automotive Electronics and ECU Challenges
  • ‘ECU’ is a Three Letter Answer for all the Innovative Features in Your Car: Know How the Story Unfolded
  • How Automotive ECU Consolidation is Powering the Multi-Display Infotainment System in Cars
  • What’s Below the Hood of an Electric Two-Wheeler? A Sneak Peek of the Architecture and Electronic Control Units

Knowledge Bytes

What is an Automotive Electronic Control Unit?

  • An Electronic Control Unit is an embedded system tasked with controlling the vehicle’s electronic system. The heart of a vehicle may be all metal but its brains are the control unit that regulates all systems and processes.
  • From basic components like engine and powertrain to the advance ones like anti-lock braking and seating control, an automotive ECU is the brain behind each of these systems.
  • In-vehicle networks like CAN, FlexRay, MOST. help the ECUs in communicating with the relevant components.
  • Some of the most common automotive ECUs are
    • Engine Control Unit
    • Transmission Control Unit
    • Body Control Module
    • Telematics Control Module.

Filed Under: automotive-insights


What programming language is used in ECU? ›

Though assembly language has been used for programming of the Engine Control Unit(ECU) so far, we adopted the C language to improve the productivity of the software.

How do you program an ECU unit? ›

Ensure the OBD-II vehicle interface is properly connected. Switch the ignition to ON but do not yet start the engine. Choose Detect Vehicle… from the Tools menu, then select Program Engine ECU when the window appears, and click OK. Select Program ENgine ECU to enter programming mode.

Is ECU and EMS same? ›

Based on this data input, the ECU precisely calculates and delivers the ideal air-fuel mixture. It also regulates the engine's idle speed and limits the top speed of a vehicle. This system is also widely referred to as an ”Electronic Engine Management System” or the EMS.

What is ECM called now? ›

ECM is now dead (kaput, finite, an ex-market name), at least in how Gartner defines the market. It's been replaced by the term Content Services.

What is ECU coding vs programming? ›

Coding is the process of translating and writing codes from one language to another whereas Programming is the process of building an executable program that can be used to carry out proper machine level outputs. Coding only deals with the codes and so it is less intimidating and less intensive.

What software is used to program cars? ›

If you need to work on automotive designs, 3Ds Max is the best solution on the market. This is an accurate tool, mostly used by professional designers to create high-end renderings. Moreover, this program can be used for Virtual Reality.

What are the 5 EMS components? ›

Being able to effectively sell change demands a strategy, let's discuss five essential components to act as your foundation for a successful change progression:
  • Responsiveness to known and unknown. ...
  • Effective change equals effective timing. ...
  • Sell your ability and experience to manage change. ...
  • Create trust with the workforce.
18 May 2015

What is the difference between a ECU and ECM? ›

ECM stands for Engine Control Module, and ECU is short for Engine Control Unit. These two acronyms represent the same component and are used interchangeably.

How much does ECM cost? ›

If you have a professional replace your car's ECM, you can usually expect to pay somewhere between $800 and $1,500 to get the job done. Of course, the exact cost will depend on various factors, such as the year, make, and model of your vehicle.

Does an ECM need to be programmed? ›

ECM Programming is Essential

In fact, if you replace the ECM on a vehicle model year '96 or newer and don't flash or program it, then your vehicle won't start. Most electronic car modules have a warning on them about reflashing before installation.

How many ECU does a car have? ›

Today's vehicles may contain 100 ECUs or more, controlling functions that range from the essential (such as engine and power steering control) to comfort (such as power windows, seats and HVAC), to security and access (such as door locks and keyless entry).

What is ECM technology? ›

Enterprise content management is an umbrella term for the technology, strategy and method used to capture, manage, access, integrate, measure and store information. The value of today's ECM solution goes beyond simple scan, store and retrieve solutions to encompass all the platform's capabilities and strengths.

Can you swap ECU without programming? ›

A replacement ECU does not need to be programmed. If you have a replacement ECU for the same model of car, then you do not need to do anything like programming it to your car. Replacement ECUs are plug-and-play.

Are all ECU programmable? ›

Most ECUs are not programmable/reprogrammable. However, there are aftermarket options that can be reprogrammed.

How do I program my new ECU key? ›

Programming a Single Key
  1. Insert the key into the ignition, and turn it to the on position. ...
  2. Leave the key in this position for 10 minutes and 30 seconds, and then turn it off.
  3. Turn the key back on, and wait for additional 10 minutes and 30 seconds before turning it off again.
  4. Repeat the process for a third time.
10 Feb 2021

Is Python used in automotive? ›

As a general-purpose programming language, Python is ideal for many automotive uses. One of its most popular and useful frameworks for coding software within automobiles is Robot Operating System (ROS).

Is car coding legal? ›

However, once you have your own OBD equipment, you can code your car as often as you want! Having this type of access to your car's ECUs can make you wonder if this is legal. In short, car coding is generally legal and permitted.

How do I tune my car ECU to my laptop? ›

All you have to do is connect the programmer's cable to the diagnostic scanner tool port, as shown in the image below, and start your modifications by connecting the laptop. Once you read the ECU file, you can open it in different software environments, apply your modifications, and change the parameters.

How do you program a car computer? ›

How to Reprogram Your Car's Computer - YouTube

What is coding in automotive? ›

Coding a car generally involves modifying the software of your vehicle's on-board computer to alter, change, or remove certain features or capabilities. Sometimes these changes can look like changing the tone of a specific alert from your car or programming your** lights to blink or dim** in a certain way.

What are the four 4 cycles of methodology of EMS? ›

To implement an EMS in an organization, four steps need to be taken: I. Environmental Planning; II. Implementation and operation; III. Checking and corrective action; IV.

What is EMS software? ›

An Enterprise Management System (EMS) is a software package that supports the various requirements of complex organizations. The software allows personnel to manage multifaceted companies whose infrastructures are often scattered geographically.

What are the 10 standard components of an EMS system? ›

Terms in this set (10)
  • Regulation & Policy. ...
  • Resource Management. ...
  • Human Resources & Training. ...
  • Transportation. ...
  • Facilities. ...
  • Communications. ...
  • Public Information & Education. ...
  • Medical Direction.

How does an automotive ECU work? ›

Fundamentally, the engine ECU controls the injection of the fuel and, in petrol engines, the timing of the spark to ignite it. It determines the position of the engine's internals using a Crankshaft Position Sensor so that the injectors and ignition system are activated at precisely the correct time.

When did cars start using ECMS? ›

I found that while GM developed new computerized systems for the 1981 model year and Ford installed its first EEC (Electronic Engine Control) system on the 1978 Lincoln Versailles, it was Chrysler — which, believe it or not, was once known for technical innovation — that beat them both by introducing its Electronic ...

What is automotive ECM? ›

An electronic control unit (ECU), also known as an electronic control module (ECM), is an embedded system in automotive electronics that controls one or more of the electrical systems or subsystems in a car or other motor vehicle.

How much does an ECU unit cost? ›

The average engine control unit replacement cost is between $500 and $2000 with most vehicles. You can expect to pay around $450 to $1800 for the ECU, with about $50 to $200 due in labor charges.

What is the most common failure of an ECM? ›

The most common source of ECM failure is in one of the wiring harnesses. If the wires to the transmission or fuel injectors become corroded, they can lose conductivity, leading to a failure. Fortunately, these issues can usually be resolved by replacing the corroded wires.

How long does an ECM last? ›

The ECM will usually last the lifetime of the car, though it can go bad. In fact, the computer can fail as early as 75,000 miles, and around 125,000 miles is the most common range for ECM replacement.

What language is BMW written in? ›

Thanks to its Flutter framework – an open-source UI development kit created by Google – and cross-platform design written in the Dart language, the My BMW app supports the iOS and Android operating systems using a single code base.

What language does BMW use? ›

The full name, Bayerische Motoren Werke – or Bavarian Motor Works – is a bit of a mouthful after all (➜ Read more: The BMW name and its history). And, as the above would indicate, it is German – Bavaria is a state in the south of Germany – the initials just happen to be the same in English.

What language is used in unity? ›

The language that's used in Unity is called C# (pronounced C-sharp). All the languages that Unity operates with are object-oriented scripting languages. Like any language, scripting languages have syntax, or parts of speech, and the primary parts are called variables, functions, and classes.

What is car programming? ›

Car coding is a relatively new thing in the automotive world, and it implies software modifications to a vehicle to allow the use of functions not available in the car when it left the factory for different reasons, mainly local regulations.

Can you jailbreak a car computer? ›

As of Today, the Answer is Yes. Modern automobiles are operated by dozens of computers, known as Electronic Control Units or ECUs, which control almost all of the main functions in a vehicle, including engine control, fuel efficiency, and breaking.

What software do BMW technicians use? ›

BMW's factory tool is the PC based Online Service System (O.S.S.). O.S.S. includes a number of components and provides extensive service functionalities.

Is Python used in cars? ›

Role of Python in Automotive Industries

Python is the go-to programming language for testing new automotive systems such as steering control system, camera system, engine management system, parking system, break control unit.

How do I code my BMW myself? ›

How to Code Your BMW at Home - Unlock Hidden Features - YouTube

Is BimmerCode free? ›

By the way, the BimmerCode App isn't free but at $30, you can't beat it. If you want all of the neat features that the BMW has hidden you'll pay hundreds of dollars from BMW for them to code it for you. I purchased the Wifi version and it has worked every time!

What programming language does GM use? ›

Believe it or not, GameMaker engine has its own programming language, called GameMaker Language, or 'GML.

Is learning Unity hard? ›

It's also an amazingly complex game engine, but how long does it take to learn and is it difficult? Learning the Unity software can take around one to three weeks. Unity is easy to use and presents to the developer many tools to create from the beginning of a game.

Is learning C# hard? ›

C# is one of the easiest programming languages to learn. C# is a high-level, general-purpose programming language that is easy to read because of its well-defined class hierarchy. It is the perfect language for beginner developers as it will be straightforward to grasp compared to most other languages.

Is Unity coding free? ›

New creators can download Unity for free and begin with ready-made Unity Microgames and Mods. Learn with hundreds of free and affordable tutorials, courses, terms, and game kits, from both Unity and our amazing community.

Does an ECU need to be programmed? ›

A replacement ECU does not need to be programmed. If you have a replacement ECU for the same model of car, then you do not need to do anything like programming it to your car. Replacement ECUs are plug-and-play. Just make sure that it is for the model of your car.

Is it hard to code a car? ›

Moreover, coding your own car is fairly easy. However, many car owners might not feel comfortable intervening with the car's software. If you want to code your car but don't have any experience with coding, various questions arise.

How do I code my own car? ›



1. Introduction to automotive Electronic Control Units
(eDrives Embed)
2. 3 Introduction to Design and Development of a ECU
(B Ashok)
3. Car ECU Micro-Controller M37477M2V Program Analysis
(Develop IT)
4. Introduction to ECU and AUTOSAR Architecture for Automotive Systems (Part - 1) | Electrical Workshop
(Skill Lync)
5. Mastering the Challenges for the AUTOSAR Tool Chain – Cutting Edge Automotive ECU Development
6. ECU
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