Issue: Mar 2018


LTTS – The expertise behind low-cost ADAS solutions



by Alan Tran

L&T Technology Services (LTTS), a leading global pure-play engineering services company, recently announced that it had tied up with Wind River, an Intel company and world leader in delivering software for the Internet of Things (IoT). According to a company release, the two companies will work together to investigate, validate and optimize LTTS technologies with Wind River software platforms to discover compelling joint value propositions for shared customers in areas such as IoT, cloud computing, and network functions virtualization (NFV) in markets ranging from aerospace and defense and automotive to industrial, medical, and networking.

“With Wind River’s flexible, extensible, and pre-integrated software platforms, and LTTS’ rich technology expertise in Transportation, Industrial, Medical and Telecom and other hi-tech areas, our customers will be able to begin their IoT transformation and realize their vision for new market opportunities,” said Amit Chadha, President, Sales & Business Development and Member of the Board, L&T Technology Services Limited. “We are excited to be a member of the Wind River partner program and look forward to our collaboration.”

L&T Technology Services offers consultancy, design, development and testing services across the product and process development life cycle for the industrial products, medical devices, transportation, telecom and hi-tech, and the process industries. The company also offers services and solutions in software engineering, embedded systems, mechanical & manufacturing engineering, value engineering and plant and process engineering.

In August this year the company was rated as an Expansive and Established player in the Zinnov Zones 2017 IoT Technology Services study and in the Leadership Zone across seven unique expertise areas. . Zinnov Zones is an annual rating published by Zinnov which rates Service Providers based on their competencies and capabilities. Since 2009, Zinnov Zones (previously known as GSPR - Global Service Provider Ratings) has become one of the most trusted reports globally, for both enterprises and service providers to better understand the vendor eco-system in multiple domains

Along with Product Engineering and Sensors & Devices Competency where LTTS was rated in the Leadership Zone in 2016, the company has been rated in the Leadership Zone in five new areas- Platform and Application Competency, Advisory and Consulting, System Integration, Communications Competency & Big Data. Overall, LTTS has been rated among the leading players in the Zinnov Zones IoT report on account of the company’s multi-vertical multi-domain expertise, its significant investments in innovation labs, a robust innovation-led portfolio and the complexity of IoT projects executed for global customers.

 “L&T Technology Services’ deep multi-vertical expertise, rich IP portfolio such as UBIQWeise™, iBEMS, W.A.G.E.S and innovation focused multi-domain labs gives it a clear advantage over its peers. Some of LTTS’ innovative work with its global clients in niche areas such as NB-IoT, Sensor Fusion, Robotics, Machine Vision, Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) also positions it as one of the pioneers in the IoT services space,” said Sidhant Rastogi, Partner & Practice Head, Zinnov.

LTTS, which saw an 8.3% rise in quarter on quarter revenues between Q2 and Q3 2017 to US$151 million (and 25.6% growth year on year),  says the rise is attributable to global customers in areas such as autonomous car technologies among others. Notable projects include developing advanced robotic programming and simulation algorithms for vehicle assembly plants of a global OEM manufacturer and partnering with a global technology company for enhancement of video platform solutions which are deployed to tens of millions of subscribers globally. LTTS is ramping up its design centres in Texas and the Midwest region to address the changing demands from US customers. It is also expanding its operations in Israel by setting up a Centre of Excellence that will develop next generation video and security solutions for customers across the globe.

“Digitization and on-demand business models are transforming the automotive industry and these forces are putting OEMs under massive pressure to develop vehicle features that provide greater digital connectivity. With consumer interest shifting from traditional vehicle models towards driverless cars, technologies such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), mobility, and natural user interfaces are gaining buy-in. Automotive OEMs and suppliers must adapt to more electronics and software in future automobiles due to increased demand for innovation in advanced safety, infotainment and different in-car experiences. Changing end-user preferences, innovative digital technologies are evolving and are bringing a massive paradigm shift in the Automotive industry,” says LTTS.

Automotive Industries (AI) asked Keshab Panda, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of L&T Technology Services, how are LTTS’ technologies helping in the evolution of autonomous vehicles

Panda: With the continuous enhancement in technological innovation, major auto players and technology companies are demonstrating the future of autonomous driving by means of prototypes. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) has made a triumphant impact in the automobile industry not only from a driver perspective but also from a vehicle maintenance angle. Big data and vehicle connectivity combined with driver safety offered by ADAS solutions will open new avenues for OEMs and dealers to collaborate and offer best in class customer service. Autonomous cars are reliant on sensor information for safe navigation. The 3D mapping technology enables information on the position, lane, speed, direction, pedestrian proximity and traffic junctures. As technology replaces the human element in the future, there is a need for proficiency in technologies like 3D image processing, real time data monitoring, real time mapping & navigation, machine learning algorithm and more.

At L&T Technology Services, our approach towards enabling new age transportation technology innovations is much wider and covers a comprehensive bouquet of aspects. We are pro-actively working towards redefining autonomous ecosystem and not limiting to the purview of autonomous cars. Over the years, LTTS has built  in-depth knowledge in image processing and  our pool of experts are experienced in developing technologies like vision, radar, lidar, functional safety, model based design as well as test automation. We leverage this expertise to formulate low cost ADAS solutions that enable automakers, auto suppliers to develop and deploy secure, reliable, connected vehicle services. We are also working towards advancements in artificial intelligence; machine learning and sensor fusion that help make cars fully autonomous and safer than those driven by humans.

AI: What is your company’s area of expertise in this field and how has this helped your automotive customers?

Panda: The industry is experiencing a revolutionary transformation and autonomous vehicles will continue to dominate the future of the automotive sector. For over a decade, we have developed an ADAS team of experts at LTTS supporting OEMs, Tier 1s and start-ups for the smooth development and integration of autonomous driving systems.

Our unique expertise across the product development cycle has enabled us to work on multiple programs such as

  • System Engineering & Software development for different features
  • Object detection & Classification algorithm development
  • Feature development, integration and validation for Autonomous L3 features
  • Vehicle dynamics development and validation
  • Tool developed for ground truth generation (VANGENTM – Video Annotation Generator) and Algorithm performance evaluation (ADAS-EVALTM)

Our end-to end system engineering capabilities enable faster development of latest ADAS solutions by leveraging our in-house framework models. LTTS shares a long term reliable partnership with OEMs and suppliers all over the world. We deliver innovative driver assistance solutions like lane departure warning system based on 3D reconstruction. Our scenario based validation solution speeds up the development of new ADAS systems by leveraging a comprehensive library of simulation test cases to validate the solution at an early development stage.  At LTTS, we use image processing algorithms to develop lane departure warning solutions, distance estimation, curved lane warning and surround view systems which leverage image stitching, bird’s eye view and camera calibration technologies. We take advantage of artificial intelligence and deep learning framework that gives developers a foundation for building applications that can leverage computationally intensive algorithms for object detection, map localization, and path planning. Our sets of engineers are extensively trained to work on the development of production grade ADAS/AD systems comprising of the process of system engineering, development and validation. Our strong knowledge in developing technologies such as algorithms, AUTOSAR Integration Framework, Validation Framework and complying with industry standards, such as AUTOSAR, ISO26262 makes us the ideal partner for automakers to bring a new era of connected safety with advanced driver-assistance systems as we blaze the trail of autonomous driving.

AI: How can LTTS help in making connected vehicles safe?

Panda: As autonomous vehicles are set to offer enhanced convenience and driver experience, cars are prone to security attacks. Security is our key focus when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology. Our ADAS solution covers all aspects including virtual lane driving, lane departure warning systems, accident prevention to name a few. The advanced driver assistance systems are developed to automate, adapt and enhance vehicle systems for safer and better driving experience. The safety features are designed to avoid collisions and accidents. Few of the safety features are the warning alerts, implementing safeguards as well as taking control of the vehicle.  The ADAS applications developed by LTTS are lane detection, blind spot detection, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition, navigation assist and distraction removal of repetitive unobtrusive objects. The prototype for each of these applications was tested on actual roads providing the algorithm the robustness to tackle various scenarios. The algorithms were further optimized to achieve better accuracy and frame rates. For technology pertaining to safety applications, testing of 2.5 million miles is being mandated. To aid in the testing, LTTS has developed tools called VANGEN (Video Annotation Generator) that annotates the objects of interest in a semi-automated manner. This significantly reduces time to generate the on-ground data that is essential for testing purposes. LTTS’s ADAS implementations have been provided to Tier1s & OEMs. ADAS is an important genesis for autonomous cars as well as connected cars of the near future.

AI: How do you see autonomous vehicle technologies evolving and what do OEMs need to do to stay ahead?

Panda: With the evolution of technology in autonomous vehicles, there is a growing need for the implementation of new regulations, policies and infrastructure to facilitate the adoption of this technology. There are various trends shaping up in terms of hardware and software. We foresee the use of powerful ECUs that can address multiple scenarios and have multiple functions run on it at the same time. It is essential that every aspect of autonomous driving is safe and reliable with safety technologies being the utmost critical factor.

OEMs and tier-one suppliers offering autonomous variants of their existing product lines will have to compete as well as collaborate with technology players. This will require autonomous car-makers to relinquish their strategies that aim at controlling every aspect of a vehicle. Instead, they will need to build on their natural advantages pertaining to existing assets and operations, and seizing technology acquisition opportunities.

With digital start-ups proliferating globally and paying special attention to AV technologies, traditional automakers are partnering with them to gain a competitive edge. Cybersecurity technologies, mapping solutions, freight aggregation, driver safety, human-machine interactions, and IoT analytics are among the technologies in demand. A survey indicates that automotive companies are already using mergers and acquisitions to develop such capabilities.

AI: What are the critical areas where gaps exist – for example cyber security for cars?

Panda: Cyber security threats are real in the automotive world. OEMs are facing unique challenges which need to be addressed to prevent, detect and respond to possible security threats. Legacy technology used by OEMs is hampering their ability to build more secure cars. OEMs consider other industries to have a stronger secure software development knowledge base than them. Understanding the cyber risk exposure is of paramount importance to OEMs. OEMs are lagging behind the maturity curve in comparison to other industries as far as the defence capabilities are concerned. The security gap that exists in the design, development, maintenance and operational procedures of a product life cycle needs to be addressed. The OEMs should observe to what extent the architecture can ensure security by itself. They also need to cross collaborate between the product security and IT security team to develop a viable cyber security framework. LTTS brings decades of automotive domain expertise. We have partnered with cyber security companies to help OEMs and suppliers with strategic cyber security solutions as well as optimizing their existing solutions.

AI: How will the Internet of Things change the automotive landscape?

Panda: Automobile manufacturers are stepping up their game with the usage of technologies like Internet of Things, big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence to realize potential business results through revolutionary digital transformation. IoT provides manufacturers with the power to track objects, identify how consumers use a certain product and to discover the aspect prominently used. Knowing your customers experience level and product adoption rate is something all car manufacturers want to leverage and the IoT makes it easily accessible and available. The future of connected cars will have mobile devices used as control devices to operate the features with data flowing from the smartphone devices to the connected cars. Vehicle to vehicle connection will become a possibility over the course of the next few years. Self driven cars will rely on multiple connected devices which will work in sync including radar, high powered camera, sensors, and lasers. These devices support routing, navigation and communicate a continuous view of a vehicle’s surrounding received from all directions for a smooth driving experience. These trends speak volume of how IoT and digitalization technologies will drive the transformation in the world of mobility.



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