Containerized Development and Microservices for Self-Driving Vehicles: Experiences & Best Practices


In this paper, experiences and best practices from using containerized software microservices for self-driving vehicles are shared. We applied the containerized software paradigm successfully to both the software development and deployment to turn our software architecture in the vehicles following the idea of microservices. Key enabling elements include onboarding of new developers, both researchers and students, traceable development and packaging, convenient and bare-bone deployment, and traceably archiving binary distributions of our quickly evolving software environment. In this paper, we share our experience from working one year with containerized development and deployment for our self-driving vehicles highlighting our reflections and application-specific shortcomings; our approach uses several components from the widely used Docker ecosystem, but the discussion in this paper generalizes these concepts. We conclude that the growingly complex automotive software systems in combination with their computational platforms should be rather understood as datacenters on wheels to design both, (a) the software development and deployment processes, and (b) the software architecture in such a way to enable continuous integration, continuous deployment, and continuous experimentation.

Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Automotive Software Architectures (WASA)