Software Strategies to Lead the Evolution and Future of Vehicles

Atsushi Hayashida : Chief Software Officer (CSwO)

DENSO’s Three Core Software Strategies

To gain further competitiveness in the software field, where DENSO has distinct advantages, and to meet the expectations of our customers, we are advancing activities based on three core software strategies. The first strategy is to focus on the integration and optimization of software in each vehicle by leveraging our accumulated expertise in vehicle software. The second strategy entails accelerating both the establishment of global development capabilities and partnership strategies to provide value that accurately reflects the needs and trends of each region. Lastly, we will standardize software to contribute to the reliability and efficiency of the entire industry. Through the aforementioned strategies, we will increase the value of our software and provide the industry with strong leadership.

Utilizing Our Expertise in All Types of Vehicle Software

DENSO has been involved in automotive software development since the 1980s, when software was first used in vehicles. Since then, we have accumulated expertise in software for a lineup of products that covers all vehicle functions and includes powertrains, bodies, chassis, air conditioners, cockpits, and advanced safety systems. As software becomes more extensively incorporated into all automotive control systems going forward, we will take maximum advantage of our accumulated expertise to enhance the quality of our development and provide automakers and new customers with advanced software systems. Further, in realizing highly intelligent vehicles, we must provide solutions based on heightened cross-domain value. To this end, DENSO will achieve mutual cooperation among its different domains so that the Company can provide solutions for architecture design, integration, and other tasks.

Strengthening Global Development Capabilities Even Further

To move forward with software development, which is rapidly increasing in scale and difficulty, bolstering our development capabilities not only in Japan but in other countries around the world is critical. DENSO has established software development companies in each region and established development capabilities that capitalize on each region’s characteristics and advantages. Also, since 2020 we have been developing software engineers by reskilling hardware engineers. We currently have 11,000 software engineers. By fiscal 2026, 12,000 software engineers will support our development capabilities. Moreover, to ensure that we significantly increase not only the number of software engineers but also their quality, we will visualize the skill levels of software engineers around the world through a career innovation program (Sommelier Certification Program) and advance high-quality development initiatives globally. In conjunction with these initiatives, we will work with development partners to accelerate the co-creation of leading-edge AI, security, and data science technologies, which are indispensable for providing new value to the mobility society as a whole.

Contributing to Industries through Software Standardization

In all manner of industries, software development is driving up investment, making curbing the volume of development a pressing issue. We will build a cooperative ecosystem for industries overall by actively taking the lead in standardization through utilization of the relationships of trust built with customers as well as our experience in working with various industries and standardization organizations on security technology and platform software.

Creating Businesses through Software-Based Value Creation

While leading cooperative initiatives, we will establish software businesses that capture demand resulting from the proliferation of intelligent vehicles. To enhance the value of vehicles, we will enable realization of software’s unique advantages. For example, we will offer integration and architecture design solutions for the creation of the latest application software and SoCs that are of the quality required for in-vehicle utilization. Further, we will roll out software updating services that offer value throughout vehicles’ lifetimes. Building a diverse product lineup will allow us to provide a wide range of solutions that meet the needs of automakers, thereby achieving business growth in systems, mechanical parts, and electronics.

Continuing the New President’s Legacy

Former CSwO Shinnosuke Hayashi is the first DENSO officer to become president after a career in the software field. Although a latecomer to the long history of the automotive industry, software is currently uniting the efforts of internal and external stakeholders, including customers, to evolve vehicles and enhance their value and is supporting the coordination among technologies and teams that is needed to create good vehicles. I believe that software has the power to connect people with people, things with things, and vehicles with society. Through co-creation and competition with the diverse industries and companies involved in the evolution of a mobility society, I will do my utmost to create the kind of forward-looking value that has always been our hallmark.