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Autonomous driving is movie-level science fiction poised to become our everyday reality. To remain competitive and relevant, manufacturers are employing the latest autonomous capabilities and partnering to develop self-driving vehicles. There is no shortage of investor or consumer enthusiasm.

Self-driving vehicles bask in the media spotlight, so it’s easy to overlook how hard automotive IT teams are working to transform the underlying infrastructure and processes needed to create that reality. The goal is to both support autonomous driving capabilities and, perhaps more importantly, improve their organizational agility, security, data focus, and ultimately, innovation.

Commonly referred to as digital transformation, initiatives focused on modernizing and optimizing infrastructure and processes require the deployment of powerful new technologies, effective collaboration with global systems integrators (GSIs), other industry and technology experts, and the development of new internal skill sets. Legacy infrastructure stands out as the main obstacle to successful digital transformation.

A legacy of limitation

To create new products, services, and revenue streams, automakers need to reinvent their infrastructure using the latest technologies, including analytics, big data, IoT, AI/ML, high performance computing, and 5G. It can be challenging to move away from legacy applications because they are often tied to existing revenue, external interfaces that could be costly to disrupt, and varying degrees of cultural resistance to change. 

Automakers assessing their application development and infrastructure landscape must make difficult decisions about what can remain as-is and what should be migrated to new platforms. Further, each action must incrementally advance their ability to more proactively manage the business and constituent processes - production, supply chains, parts and maintenance, dealer applications and more - without jeopardizing resource availability for longer-term initiatives like autonomous driving. This is where an experienced GSI partner can help identify a plan that optimizes value while minimizing risk.

Unlocking potential through open source

To overcome the challenges of legacy infrastructure, automotive CxOs must choose technologies that can build agility into their next-generation infrastructure. That’s precisely what open source solutions provide – better collaboration, faster innovation, and nimbleness that can result in improved decision making, time-to-market performance, and competitive differentiation. Operationally, open source typically lowers total cost of ownership, increases quality, and improves security. From a people perspective, many top-tier engineers and talent are attracted to open source environments and are eager to participate in its leading-edge co-creation. The open source approach helps CxOs more easily address customer needs and companies sustain a pool of talent that better positions the company for the future.

We have seen automotive CxOs embrace container and microservices-based open source tools such as Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, to unite application development and operations teams onto a single platform for building, deploying and managing applications. Automation is also key to strengthening agility and accelerating service delivery while maintaining control and visibility across dynamic IT environments. 

Learn more about how Red Hat partners are optimizing solutions to meet industry needs here


About the author

Anwar leads Red Hat’s modernization, automation, and digital transformation efforts with the DXC Technology alliance across all industry sectors. His 24+ years in the industry include experience in application and software development, solution architecture, and cloud architecture.

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