Frankfurt am Main, March 26, 2012 – A survey of the European automotive industry revealed widespread use of free and open source software (FOSS) but pointed to gaps in the FOSS governance and software asset management processes across software supply chains. Study participants representing 50 percent of the EU automotive ecosystem including auto manufacturers (OEMs), Tier 1 suppliers and automotive software developers, indicated that drivers of FOSS use include:

  • Competitive differentiation
  • Reduced development costs
  • Increased customization agility
  • Avoidance of software vendor lock-in

The survey, conducted by management and technology consulting firm BearingPoint, a strategic advisor to the automotive industry, was scientifically guided by Prof. Dr. Dirk Riehle, head of the Open Source Institute at the University of Erlangen/Nuremberg and sponsored by Black Duck Software, the leader in open source software knowledge, adoption and governance.

Although survey respondents indicated increasing reliance on FOSS (59 percent use FOSS in products, with an additional 35 percent evaluating FOSS use), an overwhelming majority had no structured way to ensure compliance and automated control of FOSS deployments. While many have processes to govern traditional software development and manage requirements, very few manage the deployment or selection of FOSS components with the same rigor.

“This study demonstrates that open source should be an important part of any software strategy in the automotive industry,” says Professor Riehle. “By publishing the data, companies throughout the automotive ecosystem can learn from each other about the prevalence of open source use, and the need to properly manage open source compliance and governance.”

Concerning supplier management, while the majority of companies using FOSS check traditional software supplier deliverables against specifications, only one third perform supplier audits, and less than 25 percent require a FOSS bill of materials from suppliers. Even fewer check for FOSS license compliance (less than 1 in 10) across their software supply chains.

“The accelerated use of FOSS has encouraged and enabled innovation in automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers”, says Tim Yeaton, President and CEO, Black Duck Software. “As the automotive industry continues to increase its use of FOSS across digital supply chains, it must adopt and embrace policies and processes to manage FOSS with the same rigor and commitment as it did for Lean Manufacturing and ISO-9000 best practices with traditional auto supply chains.”

Software Pervasive in Modern Automobiles

Software is pervasive in automotive platforms and components – in fact, today’s premium-class cars host more than 100 million lines of software code. According to a report by the GENIVI Alliance, an automotive industry association driving the development and adoption of an open in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) platform, nearly 70 percent of this software is found in the “head unit,” the telematics and IVI subsystem. In-vehicle infotainment systems are increasingly being developed on FOSS-based platforms, such as GENIVI and Android.

„Automotive OEMs have benefited from modular and platform based car architectures for many years. The concept of platforms and re-use of modules and parts not only makes sense for mechanics and electronics components, but also and foremost for software, which has an evolving stake in the automotive industry ”, comments Dr. Alexander Krzepinski, Head of Product Lifecycle Management at BearingPoint. “Our recent study about free and open source software management has confirmed the trend that more and more automotive companies try to accomplish significant cost reductions and competitive advantage through adoption of FOSS.” 
A summary of study results is available here.

About BearingPoint

BearingPoint delivers business consulting with management and technology capabilities. As an independent firm with European roots and global reach BearingPoint serves leading companies and public sector organisations world-wide to align and optimise processes, IT and operating models with business strategy. Driven by a strong entrepreneurial mindset and desire to create long-term partnerships, BearingPoint’s consultants are committed to delivering excellence and value to their clients. The firm’s approach to working with clients is highly collaborative and designed to improve business performance, from strategy through to execution. BearingPoint currently employs 3,200 people in 15 countries. 
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About Black Duck Software

Black Duck Software is the leading provider of strategy, products and services for automating the management, governance and secure use of open source software, at enterprise scale, in a multi-source development process. Black Duck enables companies to shorten time-to-solution and reduce development costs while mitigating the management, compliance and security challenges associated with open source software. Black Duck Software powers, the industry’s leading code search engine for open source, and, the largest free public directory of open source software and a vibrant web community of free and open source software developers and users. Black Duck is among the 500 largest software companies in the world, according to For more information, visit

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