Transparency and contracts: Continuous integration and delivery in the automotive ecosystem

Rob Van Der Valk, Patrizio Pelliccione, Patricia Lago, Rogardt Heldal, Eric Knauss, Jacob Juul

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 2018 ACM/IEEE 40th International Conference on Software Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationSoftware Engineering in Practice, ICSE-SEIP 2018
PublisherACM, IEEE Computer Society
Number of pages10
VolumePart F137352
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356596
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2018
Event40th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice, ICSE-SEIP 2018 - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 27 May 20181 Jun 2018

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Conference40th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice, ICSE-SEIP 2018


  • Automotive
  • Continuous integration and delivery
  • Information sharing
  • Interview survey
  • Legal contracts
  • Transparency

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