Deploying safe, autonomous vehicles at scale is a colossal undertaking that requires much stronger synergies between corporate development, government participation and academic research than currently exist. It also requires a vastly expanded ecosystem for autonomous vehicle technologies.
Organizations like the Autoware Foundation are closing these gaps, and we are proud to say NXP recently was asked by several partners in the autonomous vehicle community to join this non-profit foundation. We believe in its mission of initiating, growing and funding open-source projects that enable self-driving mobility. We also firmly embrace its goals of enabling autonomous driving technology for everyone.
The Autoware Foundation began as a development project in 2015 at Nagoya University in Nagoya, Japan. The foundation was officially formed about a year ago. Today, technology stemming from the Foundation’s work, including middleware, is used in more than 30 vehicle models in 20-plus countries. Many of those are already using NXP’s silicon solutions as a development platform for the Autoware software.
While organizations such as the Autonomous Vehicle Computing Consortium (AVCC) – in which NXP also participates (learn more) focus on silicon, the Autoware Foundation focuses on delivering an autonomous driving software stack.
With the Foundation, open-sourced software stack contributions from members are fully open to everyone. Moreover, the group is developing software that is vendor-agnostic to any system-on-chip (SOC). All of this is important because many OEMs and tier 1 automakers do not yet have a full software stack. By working with Autoware, they can run and test latency, impacts on performance and more on their solutions.
The Autoware Foundation today boasts more than 40 member companies, government organizations and academic institutions from around the world. Members of NXP’s R&D organization regularly participate in various hardware working groups around the reference platform, as well as software groups. Over time, it is anticipated the group will improve existing tools and solutions and help derive more complex use cases that can be added to the open, automated driving stack. Foundation members are fueled by innovation and determination, and they are not hampered by licensing issues.
The first impacts for NXP through the Foundation include one automotive grade development board for autonomous driving and centralized computing that was developed in coordination with another foundation member; AutoCore. We also have validated the current Autoware driving stack, and it is ported to and running on a variety of NXP chip solutions including radar microcontrollers, embedded computer processors, automotive vision and sensor fusion processors. Any company looking to develop automated vehicles may access the stack through these and other devices.
We are so proud to be a part of this dynamic Foundation, a truly open source community where every participant is working toward the same intention, sharing our work through open and frank discussions. Interested parties may learn more about the Autoware Foundation here: https://www.autoware.org/.
To learn more about NXP’s participation, contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org.