Automotive SPICE®


The world-leading automotive standard, Automotive SPICE® stands for Software Process Improvement & Capability determination and is derived from ISO 15504 (SPICE). (The ISO 15504 series has been revised by ISO and is now known as ISO/IEC 33001:2015)

It is a framework developed in 2001 by the AUTOSIG (Automotive Special Interest Group - VDA) for designing and assessing software development processes. Efficiently implementing Automotive SPICE® leads to better process and product quality. The standard helps to improve cooperation among complex supply chains and between globally distributed development and engineering centers.

Automotive SPICE® is built on the V model which comes as a sequence of requirements flowing down from the System to the Hardware and Software and then testing building up as software and hardware is integrated with the sub-systems and finally into the vehicle.


Automotive SPICE® is a standard tailored specifically for software developers in the automotive industry to evaluate and improve the capability and maturity of their Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) processes for mechatronic systems.

This standard is used as a reference for process evaluation and improvement. Automotive SPICE® has a Process Reference Model (PRM), Process Assessment Model (PAM), and handles work product and process dependencies. Automotive SPICE® can be used:

Automotive SPICE® Uses

  • To derive metrics for measuring performance
  • As a guiding principle to improve and strengthen skills while developing software
  • As a gauge or point of reference for competitor analysis
  • As a best practice material for the automotive industry


The standard is for software developers in the automotive industry to evaluate and improve the capability and maturity of their Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) processes for mechatronic systems. Compliance with ASPICE satisfies the IATF requirements for automotive product related software or automotive products with embedded software.

The results of the assessment are used for the identification of process improvements, and for identifying risks in the quality of a specific product release as well as a criterion for supplier selection. For suppliers to stay ahead in the manufacturing sector, they are to conform to Automotive SPICE® guidelines which is a prerequisite for the automotive business.

Automotive Spice for Cybersecurity


Dr.Juan Pimentel, Nikhil Unnikrishnan

Watch Webinar
Integrating Automotive SPICE® and Functional Safety into your New Product Development Planning and Requirements Management


Chad Kymal, Nikhil Unnikrishnan

Watch Webinar
Best Practices for Quality Assurance in Automotive SPICE


Chad Kymal, Nikhil Unnikrishnan

Watch Webinar
IATF 16949 Update - Automotive SPICE®, TISAX, ACMS, VDA PPAP and Other News


Chad Kymal, Martin Hettwer

Watch Webinar
Challenges and Best Practices Implementing Automotive SPICE®


Chad Kymal, Michael Edvardsson

Watch Webinar
Considerations of Functional Safety, Automotive SPICE®, and Cybersecurity in Automotive New Product Development


Chad Kymal, Dr.Juan Pimentel

click here
An Introduction to Automotive SPICE® for Beginners


V.K Chong

click here


ASPICE (Automotive SPICE) is a process model or Process Assessment Model (PAM) which containts the best practices for Automotive Development. Though there are many software development models available (e.g. CMMI), there was a need of model which caters purely for automotive software development. ASPICE fulfils that gap and has detail practices needed for automotive software development. It is primarily used by supplier organizations as a improvement model to improive their processes and by customer organizations as a Assessment Model to evaluate the processes. ASPICE can be considered as a model developed BY the Automotive Industry (major European OEMs) and FOR the automotoive industry (suppliers).

Every OEM has set requirements for their suppliers towards ASPICE compliance. Implementation of ASPICE becomes important as ASPICE processes esnure that software in vehicles meets the high safety and quality standards required in the automotive sector, particularly for safety-critical systems. ASPICE is also vital as its compliance esnures meeting OEMs process quality expectations.

Although there are many differences between ASPICE 3.1 and 4.0. The major ones can be elaborated as:

  • Inclusion of Harware and Machine Learning processes
  • Simplification of design base practices
  • Relocation of Strategy from Base practice to Generic Practice
  • Consistency in terms considering its larger defintion e.g. Verification Processes instead of Testing processes
  • Process element - Out Work poroduct is changed to Information Item etc.

There has been hundreds of assessments each year to evaluate the status of their projects by customer organizations. These customer organization can be OEM, Tie1, Tier2. primarily, after every assessment, there is a improvement roadmap developed and process improvement is carried out. Since its release in 2005, the automotive sector is using it to evaluate its suppliers and ensuring qulaity of its projects.

Automotive SPICE® is a registered trademark of the Verband der Automobilindustrie e.V. (VDA). VDA is also certification body accredited by intacs (industry wide accepted group for managing ASPICE assessors).

The initial version of ASPICE had 32 processes. Howver, all 32 processes were not quite relevant and vital for suppliers. The german car association group HIS (which was primarily involved in developmet od ASPICE model) made a set of 15 (now 16) processes which were to be implemented by suppliers inplace of all 32 processes. These processes were MAN.3, SUP.1,8,9,10, SYS.2,3,4,5 and SWE.1~6. After HIS got dismantled, this processe set is not known as VDA scope of processes.

The advantages of using ASPICE software include:

  • Improved software quality and reliability
  • Reduced costs and waste
  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction
  • A competitive advantage in the global marketplace

ASPICE and ISO 26262 are quite closely related to each other as both of them address V model approach, Management, Support processes. There is close relationship between them in terms of processe defintion. However, ISO 26262 is a standard focussing on safety aspects whereas ASPICE is a model focussing on qualit aspects. It is considered that achievement of ASPICE Level 3 sets the base of ISO 26262 as ISO 26262 requires a process infrastructure in place which is fulfiled by ASPICE. Also, Implemeation of ASPICE fulfils many requirements of ISO 26262.

ASPICE outlines five capability levels, spanning from Level 0 (incomplete) to Level 5 (optimizing), each signifying an increasing level of process maturity and capability. The automotive OEMs mainly requires their suppliers towards achievement upto Level 3. The main characterstics of L1~3 are:

  • L1 - Performed : Achieved by implementation of Basic Practices in each process
  • L2 - Managed: Achieved by implementation Generic Practices of L2 focussed on management aspects
  • L3 - Established: Achieved by implementation Generic Practices of L3 focussed on organization level standard process development and its implementation.