Increasing demand for dynamically controlled safety features, passenger comfort, and operational convenience in upper class automobiles requires an intensive use of electronic control units including software portions. Modeling, simulation, rapid prototyping, and verification of the software need new technologies to guarantee passenger security and to accelerate the time-to-market of new products.This paper presents the state-of-the-art of the design methods for the development of electronic control unit software at BMW. These design methods cover both discrete and continuous system parts, smoothly integrating the respective methods not merely on the code level, but on the documentation, simulation, and design level. In addition, we demonstrate two modeling and prototyping tools for discrete and continuous systems, namely Statemate and MatrixX, and discuss their advantages and drawbacks with respect to necessary prototyping demands.Furthermore, we discuss how even more advanced technologies could be applied in the near future in the area of formal verification, aiming at the validation of safety-critical properties. Both design methods and verification have been applied to the case study of a cruise control system.