Dear reader

The automotive industry is a sector in motion. Incumbent vehicle manufacturers are transforming into the providers of modern travel and mobility solutions. Driving this shift is the increasing connectivity of software, which is enabling the development and delivery of entirely new services and modern mobility options. To cope with this change, software expertise is needed – on a broad scale.

It's crucial to understand that the challenge now facing the industry is to become service-enabled. This shift impacts all areas:

  • Strategically – because in the future, the business models of the manufacturers – i.e. the OEMs – will necessitate significant and continuous cash flows from digital services 
  • Technically – from vehicle architectures to integration into dynamic “systems of systems”
  • Organizationally – underpinned by the ability to reliably develop and continuously operate systems to meet these requirements
  • Across the entire industry – because attractive offerings can only be created as part of an overall ecosystem, and end-to-end connectivity only works if everything is orchestrated and industry standards are established

Certain factors, often summarized by acronyms such as CASE – Connectivity, Autonomy, Sharing, and Electrification – are driven by the fact that vehicles will be determined by the software they contain. This is entirely in keeping with the paradigm of service orientation.

As a leading management consulting firm and expert in software competency, we are meeting this challenge at Kugler Maag Cie as part of the transformation taking place across the automotive industry as it becomes a service-oriented mobility sector. To meet this challenge on a global scale, we will support you in the future under the umbrella of our parent company, UL Solutions. UL Enterprise is governed by a non-profit foundation and supports industry practitioners with safety-focused research. As the nucleus of a new consulting organization for the mobility industry, we can drive this transformation with the necessary power and energy.

In this issue, you will learn how we view the challenges of software-driven vehicles from a technological and organizational perspective. And of course we outline how you stand to benefit from many new opportunities arising in the world of consulting. 

We wish you an enjoyable read and a great start to the New Year.

The Concept Crew at Kugler Maag Cie

In this issue

Letter by Jennifer F. Scanlon, President and Chief Executive Officer UL Solutions //More

Interview with Mary Joyce, Global Vice President and General Manager; Mobility and Critical Systems at UL Solutions //More

Learn more about the 10 mission-critial factors that drive of the connected car //More

Issue 02 2022-2 On an Automotive Industry in Motion

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Dear Readers and Customers,

UL's history goes back almost as long as the history of the automobile. In those 128 years since its founding, UL has dedicated itself to the credo of systematically enhancing the safety of technologies in the service of society. More specifically, to advance safety through research and build confidence in product safety through independent testing. UL stands for trust through competence. In retrospect, it is surprising that the paths of the automotive industry and UL Solutions only crossed today: Because in the software-defined vehicle, autonomous driving and digital value-added services are unthinkable without safety and cybersecurity.

Adoption of innovative technology is dependent on end users feeling confident in their benefits. That is why safety and quality are not only inseparable. What's more, they must also be conceived, developed, and operationalized together. Automotive manufacturers and their suppliers alike are increasingly looking for a single provider who can give them software expertise and systems thinking.

Almost twenty years ago, Kugler Maag Cie lead the automotive industry through the first phase of software technology development and implementation into vehicles. As further phases followed,  KMC remained at the forefront, helping to drive forward these phases and technological leaps thanks to Kugler Maag Cie's deep understanding of how to coalesce technology and processes with safety and quality.

The pace of innovation in the automotive industry will only continue to accelerate. As automotive technology continues to evolve rapidly from infotainment systems and advanced sensing to mobile app integrations and full driving automation, research and development processes and standards are the backbone for these innovations to realize their full potential.

Since our inception, UL Solutions has been trasforming safety, security and sustainability challenges into opportunities for our customers. Now, together with the experience and expertise of Kugler Maag Cie, UL Solutions can help the mobility industry build software expertise on a large scale. I am excited to write a new chapter in mobility history together.

Sincerely, your Jennifer F. Scanlon

President and Chief Executive Officer UL Solutions

Ms. Mary Joyce, the mobility industry itself is an industry in motion.

All the certainties in the automotive industry are being called into question right now: electric drives, connectivity, autonomous driving, service orientation - it feels like everything is changing right now.

In your opinion, what are the major challenges facing the industry?

The acronym ACES sums up the transformation well: Autonomy, Connectivity, Electrification and Shared Mobility. In all of these areas of transformation, the challenge for OEMs and suppliers is to build a global workforce with new technologies, skills and disciplines. This transformation starts in R&D, but also extends well beyond production to after sales and operations.

Take connectivity, for example: the increasing complexity comes from the different communication protocols. These provide numerous attack vectors and surfaces. Engineers need to be aware of this. Training is essential. But development processes also need to be set up and adhered to in a disciplined manner. To this end, we also teach how to deal with new standards, regulations and, above all, good practice.

What does the automotive industry, especially the incumbent manufacturers, need to keep pace with these changes?

Do you think they even already know what they need? But they need to change the way they develop: Some test hazard code, or they iterate without regression testing ... To avoid these mistakes, you need stringent development processes. People need to be skilled to keep up with ever-changing technologies and regulations. It's always about people, isn't it? You need the right people, or you need the help of the right people, to bring the necessary skills in-house.

Why can manufacturers and suppliers benefit from UL in this transformation?

Traditionally, OEMs and their suppliers came to UL for physical testing. More and more, they are also turning to UL Solutions as a trusted brand for additional help with the complex systems they are developing. Physical testing is still important. We saw this recently in Florida after the hurricane. Electrically propelled vehicles that were flooded with salt water spontaneously caught fire. But the software-defined car requires more and more validation and verification than just physical testing. That's because the complexity of the software outgrows the physical parts of the vehicle.

And OEMs are finding that the traditional way of developing products is far too expensive. They need to change their development methods. And this is essentially done through stringent processes. Here, OEMs are demanding much more support up front. They want a trusted partner to help them bring safe and reliable vehicles to market in all operating environments right from the start.

In addition to Kugler Maag Cie, UL Solutions has acquired numerous other companies from the automotive industry under your leadership. What does the customer gain from this pooling of capabilities under the UL Solutions umbrella?

The beauty of bringing together the capabilities of DTL, kVA, MethodPark and Kugler Maag Cie is that we can help the industry with its toughest problems and the biggest and most complex issues. And we're always mission-driven because we're owned by the nonprofit.

What do you anticipate from Kugler Maag Cie, what special capabilities do you expect from this acquisition?

Prior to the acquisition, I knew how good Kugler Maag Cie was, with capabilities in cybersecurity, functional safety, E/E architecture, and all the complex areas of a vehicle. But every day when I talk to new colleagues, I discover more and more capabilities. And when I talk to them and hear what they're doing, I think, oh my gosh, this is fantastic! I feel like Kugler Maag Cie has found a really good way to share expertise by having overarching communities of practice. My vision is that we expand those communities to more topics and throughout the COU as they come up, right?

“Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. When you follow this, your whole approach to a person or a problem becomes really different.”

This diversity of expertise at UL Solutions is exceptional. How did you personally come to UL Solutions and this particular challenge that comes with your position?

Three years ago, I was the fourth employee to be hired in the Automotive business unit. I'm a bit entrepreneurial, so I find it really exciting to start something from scratch. I also like the different cultures of the many small businesses around the world. Each company you enter has its own culture that is guided by UL's mission and values. I like the concept of many different cultures and people where I can learn all about them.

Among your responsibilities, you also are a member of the advisory board of a venture capital provider, have coached a volleyball team and care for people with special needs. What energy do these tasks give you for your activities at UL Solutions?

I’m a member of the board of directors of Enertech Capital, which is a venture capital fund that invests in pretty early on startups. This really gives me the opportunity to hear about cutting edge companies on a regular basis and helps me keep on top of what's coming down the pipe.

And then I am also blessed to have the opportunity to interact with the special needs community. What I get out of this engagement is a positive attitude. With a positive spirit, I can really listen to a colleague or a customer. Only when I can see them as a person do I feel able to fully understand their ideas, concepts and needs.

What advice do you have for young people looking to play an active role in the transformation of the mobility industry?

They should probably focus on continuous learning. This is because they need to be adaptable. One way to do this is to try to diversify your thinking as much as possible. And listen. Sometimes it helps to listen before you speak to really understand what another person can contribute to complete your picture.

Ms. Joyce, thank you for this insightful conversation.

Mary Joyce is Global Vice President and General Manager Mobility and Critical Systems at UL Solutions.

The Software-Controlled Vehicles is Turning the Industry on its Head

Ten drivers for R&D to master the SW-defined vehicle

Vehicles brimming over with software are fundamentally changing the automotive industry. Regardless of current visions of the future, connected software in conjunction with data-driven business models will always be a game changer.

The reason is that car makers want to benefit from digital services to create continuous cash flow (5). Unlike classic ECU-based vehicles, software-defined vehicles, the base for digital services, revolve around different prerequisites.

Let’s consider the two most important prerequisites digital services revolve around:

In technical terms, services rely on horizontal technologies (4) that require robust and scalable vehicle architectures (6) in order to continuously (2) and safely (9) create value for customers in a complex environment (1).

This is particularly challenging from an engineering perspective because in organizations driven by project-based tasks (2)(7), continuous development brings about fundamental changes in the traditional delegation of tasks. This does not stop at the four walls of the company: To offer appealing services, firms require competencies from a wide variety of industries. Manufacturers and suppliers will therefore need to build ecosystems (10) consisting of a large number of industry specialists.

Developing and operating software-defined vehicles in keeping with a systems-of-systems (SoS) environment requires the right software know-how. This includes technical skills, as well as new competencies on an organizational level.

To better understand the interplay, we describe the ten drivers that are critical to the successful development of a SW-defined vehicle.

System of systems

Software-defined vehicles communicate and interact permanently and simultaneously with other vehicles, with the infrastructures of traffic and telecommunications, and with back-end systems (4)(2)(8). Connected cars thus constitute systems of systems within their surroundings – like an assortment of randomly encountered systems. These systems are provided by different industry stakeholders, who have their own product philosophies, paradigms, and respective development cycles within their respective sectors of industry. As a result, manufacturers are no longer in a position to specify the entire end-to-end functions of their systems; actual specifications are now dictated on the road – and they change, even in real time (6). Embedded development must therefore gear itself to developing reliable systems for this open and dynamic environment (7)(10).

E/E task Ensure the robustness of the architecture to handle varying service requests.

The future paradigm: continuous development

To ensure software-defined vehicles retain their appeal – over their entire lifetime – they must be equipped with new functions, including performance updates (3)(5). As a result, the status of a vehicle on delivery quickly becomes obsolete. From an R&D perspective, the key to adapting to this new situation will be to see development as a continuous task, not as a sequence of completed projects. In a System of systems, development lasts as long as a vehicle series is expected to remain in use (1). Project-driven organizations must adapt to this new paradigm and transform into organizations that are permanently in a position to deliver services.

E/E task Enable the R&D organization to deploy and operate services.

Enabling opportunity vs avoiding risks

Opportunity versus risk: As in many areas, with software-defined vehicles these two factors are inseparable. Any line of code that is required to enable a function can potentially become a cyber security risk (9). One way to avoid this dilemma is to establish the appropriate vehicle architecture (6) in conjunction with disciplined engineering (7). Early design decisions relating to vehicle architecture will determine how easy it will be for services to function in the future. They also dictate which areas might be affected by services. Vehicle architecture therefore influences many decisions that will be taken later on down the line, and they will stay with developers and engineers throughout the lifetime of a vehicle.

E/E task Design performant architectures that can be partitioned and updated. 

Horizontal technologies

We open apps because we’re hoping to find a solution. No matter what systems are working in the background to deliver a digital service, we expect the user experience (UX) to be seamless. A smooth UX is only possible, however, if all functions work together in harmony. Alignment between systems requires a huge amount of groundwork. Architectures (6) inside and outside of the vehicle must be robust and clearly oriented around service provision, and collaboration between service teams has to work smoothly (8). That might be more easily said than done, because service orientation only works with the right organization and structures in place – and the right focus on processes. In addition, rather than departmental silos, horizontal technologies require organizations that are fully integrated.

E/E task Synchronize technologies with both services and the process-oriented organization.  

Digital services

According to their strategies, manufacturers are expected to generate significant sales from digital services. Micro services enable continuous cashflows (2), each comprising numerous small transactions. Individual services may be delivered by different service providers, each with different back-end infrastructures (8)(10). To succeed, the architecture of digital value chains must be structured horizontally and managed at every stage of the process (6)(9).

E/E task Keep services running smoothly, inside and outside the car.


Everything in a vehicle defined by software revolves around its architecture. Determining where a certain function will be performed within the vehicle architecture governs how opportunities and risks should be dealt with (3). Early design decisions have a direct impact on maintainability, extendibility, scalability, updateability, etc. They also dictate cyber security (9), of course, although it’s worth remembering that vehicles that depend on software cannot be fully specified in the SoS (1). Design decisions affect the resources that need to be invested in the future in order to make changes (2). Consequently, the subsequent success of a vehicle project depends fundamentally on the underlying concept phase.

E/E task Invest reasonable effort in designing future-proof vehicle and backend architectures.

Automotive systems engineering

Can anyone foresee how a design decision made today will affect future functions? To deal with complexity and uncertainty, automotive systems engineering (ASE) pulls together the different perspectives of all stakeholders and creates processes for coming up with solutions. This entails engineering discipline: Processes based on good practice lay a foundation for safely maintaining (9) and improving vehicles driven by software at a point in time ten years from now. In combination with automotive integrated development (AiD), which offers a blueprint upon which to base processes, this provides you with a consolidated picture linking factors relating to systems with aspects that drive the project and processes. ASE thus paves the way for a holistic approach to development, offering a useful tool for manufacturers to manage development projects transparently in unison with suppliers within the ecosystem (9).

E/E task Orchestrate project management, product development, production and fleet operations holistically.  

Digital service management

In order to offer attractive services in real time, a wide variety of domains, technologies, and paradigms must interact smoothly (4)(6). Service management ensures consistency in all areas: inside the vehicle itself, on back-end servers, and in the front-end. This is irrespective of who provides which service component within the ecosystem (10).

E/E task Establish an organization for cross-system service management. 


People won’t buy vehicles if they cannot be sure they are safe, they’re worried about losing money, or they place value on data security. This is where cybersecurity becomes important in providing reassurance. As early as the concept phase, engineers must ensure that vehicle architectures (6) and back-end systems (8) are robust enough to shield road users and other stakeholders, but also objects of value, from manipulation by third parties.

E/E task Keep the SW-defined vehicle secure throughout its lifetime. 


In the future, customers will choose vehicles based on the digital services they offer. Vehicles must be the product of ecosystems comprising dedicated developers, who are in a position to provide value-added services in a wide range of sectors of industry. To offer customers an integrated user experience, or UX (4), those services must function smoothly and without effort (8). The role of carmakers will thus be one of a systems integrator, more than today, as they orchestrate ecosystems in a kind of “coopetition,” partially collaborating but also partially competing in order to ensure all contributors to the ecosystem share a commitment to the same values.

E/E task Build a vibrant ecosystem that provides your fleet with attractive value-added services. 

With these ten drivers in mind, you can successfully design an R&D environment which is capable to develop the SW-defined vehicle.

10 lessons at a glance

  1. Ensure the robustness of the architecture to handle varying service requests.
  2. Enable the R&D organization to deploy and operate services.
  3. Design performant architectures that can be partitioned and updated. 
  4. Synchronize technologies with both services and the process-oriented organization. 
  5. Keep services running smoothly, inside and outside the car.
  6. Invest reasonable effort in designing future-proof vehicle and backend architectures.
  7. Orchestrate project management, product development, production and fleet operations holistically.  
  8. Establish an organization for cross-system service management.
  9. Keep the SW-defined vehicle secure throughout its lifetime. 
  10. Build a vibrant ecosystem that provides your fleet with attractive value-added services.

Issue 02 2022-2
On an Automotive Industry in Motion

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Science Meets Automotive Consulting

Software expertise on all fronts – what to expect in the future from the new automotive consultancy under the UL Solutions umbrella. As a leading management consulting firm for automotive electronics development, we’re proud to be in an even stronger position to support you with your transformation processes within the wider transportation and mobility industry. Working alongside our sister brands, we provide professional and competent support, covering all key requirements in the world of development.

A global leader in applied safety science, UL Solutions transforms safety, security, and sustainability challenges into opportunities for customers in more than 100 countries. UL Solutions delivers testing, inspection, and certification services, together with software products and advisory offerings that support the product innovation and business growth of our customers. UL Certification Marks serve as a recognized symbol of trust in our customers’ products, reflecting an unwavering commitment to the advancement of our safety mission. We help our customers innovate, launch new products and services, navigate global markets and complex supply chains, and grow sustainably and responsibly into the future. Our science is your advantage.

UL Solutions offers a broad portfolio of services to companies. Maintaining separate legal entities for conformity assessment and consultancy services, UL Solution has processes in place to identify and mitigate potential conflicts of interest while also maintaining impartiality.

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The North American Perspective

2022 has been a whirlwind of activity, to say the least. Some of the growth was predictable, but some of it was a pleasant surprise.

The very predictable: The rising tide of worldwide cybersecurity regulation has lifted all boats. Not only are more and more existing clients seeking help with Threat Analyses and Risk Assessments (TARAs), but our number of Introduction to Cybersecurity courses and Cybersecurity Management System (CSMS) audits have quadrupled. Additionally, the greater automotive supply chain has recognized some of the foundational aspects of Automotive SPICE in delivering on the regulation and have sought additional help in areas like Configuration Management and Quality Assurance.

The moderately predictable: The community has returned in force on the backend of pandemic isolation. Our office either hosted or co-hosted two Gate4SPICE gatherings in the past three months and both gathering halls were busting at the seams. The thirst for knowledge and interaction was evident; not just from the attendance, but from the enthusiastic discussions during the interactive workshops. Epidemiologists, economists and politicians can debate the theoretical end of a pandemic, but a palpable crescendo of attendees certainly points towards a restoration of community.

The moderately unpredictable: Growth has nearly outpaced the ability to recruit qualified candidates. Consultants must have sufficient knowledge and accreditation to help clients, but confidence and communication are critical, which have been impacted by 2-3 years of social distancing. There’s certainly talent in the community, though, so it’ll just be overcoming the initial trepidation of “skilled enough.”

The very unpredictable: The greatest growth in interest over the past six months has emerged from Mexico and Canada. Both markets have seen an increase in software and/or manufacturing “DevOps” professionals looking to increase efficiency or decrease costs.
And so predictable or not, we head into the year-end holidays with full satchels and great thankfulness.

Steve Tengler