AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform
Bringing High Performance into the Vehicle

AUTOSAR Adaptive: The Standard for Computing-Intensive Tasks

The AUTOSAR development partnership is adding a new standard to its line-up that is based on POSIX operating systems: the “AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform”.

The AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform is a future-proof basis for automotive ECUs. A key advantage of the new standard is the ability to develop ECU applications independently of one another in distributed work groups.

While the development of conventional ECUs was driven primarily by stringent real-time and safety requirements, today aspects such as updating and upgrading capability are primary considerations. These involve dynamic reloading of software components, the use of standard libraries – such as for image analysis –, self-learning of functions and accelerated production cycles.

The previous standard will continue to be offered under the name AUTOSAR Classic Platform.

Virtual Sessions AUTOSAR Adaptive

Our experts presented and discussed in 8 compact 20-minute sessions everything important about the standard for high-performance ECUs. You missed the event? Click here for the recordings of the sessions.

Technical Article
- The Computing Center in the Vehicle

The new AUTOSAR Adaptive software standard enables more powerful and more flexible E/E architectures in the vehicle. Ethernet-based ECUs can now be used as central application servers in an AUTOSAR Adaptive architecture. The big advantage: Adaptive ECUs make it possible to update applications over a vehicle’s entire life cycle and add new software functions at a later time.

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Ready for New Use Cases

The object-oriented approach of the AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform provides an optimal foundation for computing-intensive tasks with large amounts of data, e.g. algorithms for automated driving.

The main use cases for the new AUTOSAR standard are:

  • Automated driving
  • Networking the vehicle with the surrounding road traffic (“V2X”)
  • Multimedia applications (e.g. music streaming, online navigation, etc.)
  • Applications with continual “over-the-air” updating

The AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform offers more flexible options for the in-vehicle ECU architecture. Domain controllers enable central processing of functions which is independent of the sensor/actuator level. This lets users develop applications without having to define their final distribution to the individual ECUs beforehand.

Compatibility with AUTOSAR Classic

In the future, sensors and actuators of previous applications will continue to be implemented within the existing AUTOSAR Classic Platform, and they are fully compatible with the new AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform.

Service-Oriented Communication

In the previous approach, the individual ECUs in the vehicle were statically integrated into the total system. Therefore, connection relationships had to be defined at the time of configuration. Only very limited modifications could be made at runtime. 

Applications (“Adaptive Applications”) that are based on the AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform offer a crucial advantage: They can be integrated into the system at runtime, which means that they can be developed, tested and distributed or updated independently of one another.

Service-oriented communication also makes it possible to integrate applications into the total system at any desired time. It is compatible with SOME/IP (SD) of the AUTOSAR Classic Platform.


POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface) is a standardized programming interface between the application and the operating system and was not originally developed for the automotive industry. However, POSIX operating systems make software development for the vehicle much more flexible.

Adaptive applications that exclusively utilize the newly defined “AUTOSAR Runtime Environment for Adaptive Applications (ARA)” interface along with the “PSE51” POSIX subset are considered portable applications. The POSIX approach enables users to distribute these applications to the existing ECUs in any way desired.

E/E Architectures with AUTOSAR Adaptive

Domain controller architecture. Typical domains are e.g. body, drivetrain and infotainment.

In classic E/E architectures, sensors and actuators are directly connected to a functional ECU. If these values need to be used by other bus participants, the communication matrix needs to be changed. To overcome this problem, the domain controller architecture has been established. The basic idea of this architecture is using one powerful controller per domain, to which a large part of the necessary sensors/actuators is connected.

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Central servers or integration nodes are complex ECUs. They usually consist of several microcontrollers and microprocessors.

The next development step of a domain controller approach is the central server architecture. The domains are combined in a large high-performance computer or computer cluster. However, there are more differences to the domain architecture than this. It is, for example, no longer possible to connect the sensors/actuators directly to the central control unit, since so many I/O peripherals cannot be connected to processors available today. Sensors/actuators are now connected directly to the network as so-called "Smart Sensors" and "Smart Actuators" and perform mechatronic tasks. Hence, they become ECU and vehicle independent, enabling a modular system design with a high reuse potential.

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Technical Article

Assistance systems for semi-automated driving, regular over-the-air updates and the subsequent installation of additional software will soon be standard features in many vehicles. Without new architectures and high-performance ECUs, however, these sophisticated electronic functions cannot be realized. What role does the new software standard AUTOSAR Adaptive play in this?

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  • The first release of the AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform was published in March 2017.
  • Planned features for this initial release are:
    • System start and execution of applications
    • Service-oriented communication makes it possible for applications to share messages with one another
    • Diagnostic services enable the system to read out error messages from the applications, manipulate them and react to them.

  • The AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform will be further developed with 6 to 9 month release cycles.

Related Vector Products


MICROSAR Adaptive is the Vector solution for vehicles with an E/E architecture based on the AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform. It provides the AUTOSAR Runtime for Adaptive Applications (ARA) and comprises an efficient development environment integrated in Eclipse. MICROSAR Adaptive targets high performance ECUs such as in-vehicle application servers, ADAS ECUs and infotainment systems. Vector provides you with a complete safety solution up to ASIL D, ranging from the hypervisor, the POSIX operating system to the ARA.

MICROSAR Adaptive web page

More Know-How

Overview of the most important facts

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AUTOSAR Adaptive Training | 1-2 days

Do you want to know more about AUTOSAR Adaptive? Vector offers a 1-2-day modular AUTOSAR training. Depending on the booked module, you gain knowledge on the following topics:

  • Overview and Objectives, AUTOSAR Adaptive Application, Service Oriented Communication
  • Functional Clusters, Methodology of AUTOSAR Adaptive, Implications and Migration
  • Introduction AUTOSAR Adaptive in Practice
  • Introduction to MICROSAR Adaptive (with Exercise)
  • Exercises on Middleware, Persistency and Execution Management


Technical Sales Embedded Software and AUTOSAR

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