DETROIT – As auto makers make greater use of computer-generated software code destined for vehicle production programs, the number of vehicle recalls should decline, says Kevin Kott, president of dSpace North America Inc.

Design flaws historically have been at the root of many recalls. But computer-generated code, reserved until recently for experimental prototype development, affords greater accuracy, Kott tells Ward’s at the Convergence 2006 Transportation Electronics conference here.

“There’s a little term called ‘human error,’” he says. “In the old days before a lot of the (code-generation) tools came about, this was totally a manual, trial-by-error kind of process.”

And if a recall or design change is warranted due to incorrect data being used in the automatic code-generating process, fixes are relatively painless.

“That’s the comment we hear most often (from auto makers),” Kott says. “If it was done manually, you’d have to have an army of software engineers going back through it, saying, ‘Oh, gosh! What else was affected by making this change?’ They would have to make sure the one change to fix something doesn’t screw something else up.”

Kott makes his remarks as Germany's dSpace, a pioneer in code-generation for the auto industry, announces the release of its Autosar-compliant software, TargetLink 2.2.

DSpace also announces it is expanding its relationship with Freescale Semiconductor, the world’s largest supplier of semiconductors to the auto industry.

Freescale will provide dSpace with access to its products and vice-versa, with a view to enhance their respective processes and development efforts.

“Since dSpace tools work with our automotive (microcontrollers), it is in our best interest to make sure that dSpace’s (product) is highly optimized for our silicon,” Salim Momin, director of Freescale’s Virtual Garage lab, says in a statement.

In addition, the companies announce a “product alignment” that sees Freescale’s RappID ToolBox work with TargetLink.

emayne@wardsauto.com