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Transparency and Contracts: Continuous Integration and Delivery in the Automotive Ecosystem

Conference paper
Authors Rob van der Valk
Patrizio Pelliccione
Patricia Lago
Rogardt Heldal
Eric Knauss
Jacob Juul
Published in 40th International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice Track (ICSE-SEIP 2018), 27 May - 3 June 2018 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
ISBN 978-1-4503-5659-6
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Computer Science and Engineering (GU)
Language en
Keywords Continuous integration and delivery, transparency, legal contracts, information sharing, automotive, interview survey
Subject categories Software Engineering


Most of the innovation in automotive is nowadays coming from electronics and software. The pressure of reducing time to market and increasing flexibility while keeping quality are leading motivations for these companies to embrace system-wide Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI&D), which in the scope of complex automotive value-chains, implies inter-organizational CI&D. In this paper, we investigate the challenges and impediments posed by inter-organizational CI&D in the automotive domain, i.e. continuous software development that involves agile interaction between an OEM (the car manufacturer) and its software suppliers. In particular, we focus on legal contracts that regulate the agreements between these companies and transparency intended as the degree/level of information that is shared between the various companies in the value-chain. The main findings of this study show that (i) inter-organizational transparency is considered positive but not a necessary condition for inter-organizational CI&D, (ii) transparency has positive effects on information sharing among different companies, and (iii) legal contracts are an impediment for inter-organizational CI&D. The results of the study provide useful insights for practitioners that work in similar settings. In addition, the identified challenges and impediments define a research agenda for researchers.

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