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Major tech and automotive industry players establish cross-industry partnership for automated driving

Major tech and automotive industry players officially partner to develop state-of-the-art technology for autonomous vehicles. The partners and leaders in their domain include Arm, Audi together with CARIAD – the automotive software company of VW group, BASELABS, CoreAVI, DENSO, Five, the German Fraunhofer IESE, NXP, the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology and TTTech Auto. Under the umbrella of “The Autonomous”, the members of this first Working Group are committed to working towards a safe system architecture for self-driving vehicles. The goal of this collaboration is to lay the basis for safety standardization and pave the way for mass autonomous vehicle production.

“This cross-industry collaboration marks the starting point for a change of mindset in the industry and for further partnerships that will help overcome major hurdles of the prevailing competition,” says Ricky Hudi, Chairman of The Autonomous. “The development of truly automated driving will be better mastered by joint forces of car manufacturers, Tier 1 suppliers, tech and research companies. Therefore, a pre-competitive environment is necessary to develop safe technology beyond borders. By this, we create the basis for sustainable customer trust including best practices and cross-industry standards.”

Increasing complexity and research costs

According to PWC[1], car manufacturers’ R&D costs have increased significantly due to the rise of electric, connected and autonomous vehicle development. In the USA and Asia, R&D spending rose by one-third (to €13 bn and €28 bn respectively), while in Europe it increased by 75 percent to €42 bn during the last decade. But increasing costs are not the only challenge for companies within the automated driving sector.

Product liability, emerging technological best practices and increasing technical complexity all demand know-how in various fields to solve remaining safety problems. To overcome these challenges, The Autonomous proposes a collaborative approach, bringing all relevant industry players together to jointly develop recommendations, specifications and best practices.

A safe vehicle architecture for the industry

Following its kick-off in 2019 and multiple Chapter Events in 2020 with more than 1,500 participants, The Autonomous has now established a new level of long-term collaboration with the first Working Group entitled “Safety & Architecture”. The upcoming safe system architecture for self-driving vehicles will include subsystems that connect to sensors and actuators as well as fault-containment units to ensure the safe automated operation of the overall vehicle. The resulting vehicle architecture will represent a reference solution for all participating members as a first step and subsequently may become of use for other companies and regions.

Industry benefits and an invitation to participate

The Working Group’s consolidated output will be published in the form of a technical report. The report will support knowledge transfer and give concrete guidance to the automotive industry for the series production of safe autonomous vehicles. Liaison and alignment with standard bodies will ensure that the Working Group outcome complements safety-related industry standards.

Contributors can initiate further Working Groups on The Autonomous platform in order to tackle key safety challenges of safe automated driving. The Autonomous community consists of participants from industry, government and academia as well as disruptors. A public announcement will follow at The Autonomous Main Event on September 29, the flagship event of the initiative (


Arm – Dipti Vachani, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Automotive and IoT Line of Business: “Safety technology is paramount for autonomous vehicles, and the massive societal value they will bring, to succeed. Arm’s collaboration across the industry in initiatives such as AVCC, and now The Autonomous, complements our technologies and ecosystem engagements to enable and accelerate the development and deployment of safe autonomous vehicles.”

Audi: “Safety and customer acceptance are more than just important factors, they are fundamental prerequisites for the development of automated driving. We, therefore, welcome the initiative of “The Autonomous” to create a Working Group that is committed to working towards a safe system architecture for self-driving vehicles. It will allow us to cooperate beyond industry borders for the benefit of automated driving technology.” Stefan Sollmann, CARIAD, automated driving advance development

BASELABS – Robin Schubert, co-founder and CEO: “With its software product strategy, BASELABS contributes to safe automated driving not only for one brand or one car model, but for all vehicles. This aligns perfectly with The Autonomous’ mission of working together on global reference solutions that will benefit the future users of automated mobility. We are looking forward to creating results in the working groups.”

CoreAVI – Damian Fozard, CEO: “CoreAVI’s pedigree in architecting complete safety critical compute and graphics solutions to the highest safety integrity levels which is fundamental to the safe mass deployment of autonomous vehicles. We are thrilled to join forces with The Autonomous to contribute our knowledge and experience in the safety domain to the future of autonomous driving standards.”

Five – Iain Whiteside, Director of Safety Assurance: “The development and rollout of new Automated Driving Systems (ADS) – particularly SAE Level 4 – is the greatest engineering challenge of the modern era. Despite the industry’s embrace of advanced technologies to seek and find fragilities in ADS, the difficulty of demonstrating the safety of ADS through practical and rigorous assurance methodologies remains a major obstacle. Cross-industry collaboration through organizations like The Autonomous has the opportunity to dramatically impact the speed of maturity of ADS and we’re excited to play a full part in this exciting revolution.”

Fraunhofer IESE ( Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering) – Prof. Dr. Peter Liggesmeyer, Director: “Autonomous mobility is a key topic for the European economies and assuring safety and dependability a major challenge. Fraunhofer IESE is dedicated to the investigation and realization of corresponding solutions and is looking forward to collaborating with other important players of the autonomous driving landscape in the Working Group by The Autonomous.”

NXP – Arnaud Van den Bossche, Director Global Marketing eCockpit & ADAS: “NXP welcomes the opportunity to work collaboratively with other automotive industry leaders in The Autonomous Working Group “Safety & Architecture” to address the challenges of developing and deploying technologies for safe automated driving vehicles.”

KTH Royal Institute of Technology – Martin Törngren, Professor and Center Director: “The development of safe autonomous mobility requires multidisciplinary and pro-active collaboration; this is a major priority for us.”

TTTech Auto, initiating company of The Autonomous – Georg Kopetz, CEO: “This kick-off towards joint development of a pre-competitive safe autonomous mobility reference architecture can be a game-changer and we are proud to take part in this important global activity. One of the drivers for the mass adoption of autonomous driving technology is the collaboration among industry leaders to agree on a common safety reference architecture. Together, we are working to solve the fundamental question of how an ultra-dependable, yet also affordable autonomous safety architecture can soon be realized at scale for passenger cars”

About The Autonomous

The Autonomous is the global community shaping the future of safe autonomous mobility. Initiated by TTTech Auto, The Autonomous is an open platform bringing together the chief executives and experts of the autonomous mobility ecosystem to align on relevant safety subjects.

The goal of The Autonomous is to generate new knowledge and technological solutions in the field of autonomous mobility. To achieve this, The Autonomous has put in place two strategic streams:

1.      Event Stream – facilitates discussions and networking for leading executives and experts from the autonomous mobility ecosystem
2.      Innovation Stream – facilitates cooperation across the industry to work on global reference solutions for  safety challenges. These reference solutions conform to relevant standards and will facilitate the adoption of safe autonomous mobility on a global scale. As part of the Innovation Stream, The Autonomous will launch and facilitate Working Groups in order to bring about the co-creation of recommended practices and concrete developments.

The findings of these strategic streams will be presented at The Autonomous Main Event on September 29, 2021.

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