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Volkswagen Joins with Tech Companies On Ethernet Networking Solutions for Autonomous Vehicles

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【Summary】​The automotive industry’s push toward autonomous driving and connected vehicles requires the transmission of large amounts of data from the autonomous vehicle to the cloud. To support this need, major automakers, including Volkswagen are partnering with tech companies in a alliance to develop solutions for in-vehicle networks.

Eric Walz    Jun 28, 2018 6:49 PM PT
Volkswagen Joins with Tech Companies On Ethernet Networking Solutions for Autonomous Vehicles
author: Eric Walz   

The automotive industry's push toward autonomous driving and connected vehicles requires the transmission of large amounts of data from the autonomous vehicle to the cloud. To support this need, major automakers, including Volkswagen are partnering with tech companies in a alliance to develop solutions for in-vehicle networks.

Aquantia, Bosch, Continental, NVIDIA, and Volkswagen announced this week the formation of the Networking for Autonomous Vehicles (NAV) Alliance, to drive the ecosystem development required for the next generation of Multi-Gig Ethernet networking in vehicles.

Self-driving cars gather terabytes of data each hour that must be transmitted quickly and securely. This data comes from cameras, radar, lidar, and other on-board vehicle sensors. The alliance with work on solutions to transmit and analyze large amounts of safety-critical data very quickly via an Ethernet network.

"Redundant and diverse AI algorithms are the key to level 5 automation. However, the volume of data generated by multiple types of sensors (camera, radar, lidar, ultrasound) can reach 32TB every 8 hours – that level of data transfer calls for a new breed of ultra-high-speed networks, including Multi-gig Ethernet. The NAV alliance will catalyze the development of a reliable next generation of networking platform for self-driving cars," said James Hodgson, Senior Analyst Autonomous Driving, ABI Research.

NAV alliance's members are joining together in an effort to shape the future of in-vehicle networking technologies as society prepares for the eventual shift to autonomous and automated driving.

This next-generation networking architecture is based on an array of ECUs, CPUs, GPUs, high-definition cameras, sensors, gateways, and storage devices, all connected through a high-speed, Multi-Gigabit/s Ethernet network that works to move data throughout the vehicle securely and reliably.

NAV's objectives include the development of an ecosystem for next generation Multi-Gig Ethernet automotive networking, creating specifications for interoperability, security and reliability of the in-vehicle network, as well as promoting products and solutions that adhere to the new specifications.

"Autonomous vehicles require an onboard AI supercomputer, architected for functional safety, capable of processing vast amounts of sensor data through redundant and diverse deep neural networks and algorithms. Multi-Gig Ethernet has a proven track record for interoperability and scalability, making it a natural choice for automotive connectivity, delivering critical data from the sensor suite to the vehicle's AI brain." said Gary Hicok, Senior Vice President of Hardware Development, NVIDIA.

The Volkswagen Group of America released a following statement from Dr. Matthias Erb, EVP & Chief Engineering Officer for the company's North American Region:

"Volkswagen Group of America is pleased to join the NAV Alliance as a founding member because we are aiming to provide the best self-driving experience for our customers. The Volkswagen team is looking forward to collaborating with other alliance members to advance the safety and ease of use for autonomous vehicles while bringing them to market faster."

The founding members will expand the NAV Alliance membership roster in the coming months to include additional automotive suppliers and manufacturers.


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