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).
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.