The Autoware Foundation, the open alliance for autonomous driving technology, sent two teams to participate in the 3rd World Intelligence Conference (WIC) and the 3rd World Intelligent Driving Challenge (WIDC), in Tianjin: the team of AutoCore Intelligence Technology (Nanjing) Co., Ltd., and the joint team Tier IV, Inc. of Japan and AutonomouStuff. The founder of the Autoware Foundation and CTO of Tier IV, and Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo, Shinpei Kato, was also invited as the special guest to attend both events and gave a speech at the WIDC. Professor Kato said: It is a great honor that we are here in China to share the state of the art of autonomous driving technology. We believe that the success of the 3rd WIDC will lead to the future of mobility with autonomous vehicles.
The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) also implemented Autoware on British StreetDrone company's car to participate in this time’s WIC and demonstrated autonomous driving and automatic parking at the closing ceremony of the WIC.
Pursuing the mission to support open-source projects enabling self-driving mobility, the Autoware Foundation was jointly initiated by Apex.AI, Inc., Linaro/96Boards, and Tier IV, Inc., on Dec. 11, 2018, to collaborate on the three open source projects: Autoware.AI, Autoware.Auto, and Autoware.IO. Autoware Foundation's concepts of open government, collaboration, and win-win are supported by developers in the world. Thirty companies have officially joined during the past five months since its establishment. It is also the first open alliance that has members of various chip architectures, and semiconductor manufacturers, such as Arm, Intel, RISC-V and Xilinx.
The Autoware Foundation funds open source collaborative engineering Autoware projects, starting with Autoware.AI, Autoware.Auto, and Autoware.IO. Autoware.AI is the original Autoware project started in 2015 by Shinpei Kato at Nagoya University that is being used globally by more than 100 companies in more than 30 vehicles today. Autoware.Auto is a rewrite of Autoware using ROS 2.0 for certifiable software stacks used in vehicles. Autoware.IO focuses on heterogeneous platform support based on 96Boards products, vehicle control interfaces as well as a collection of third-party software and hardware tools to help deliver the core values of Autoware. Examples of Autoware.IO projects include simulators, device drivers for sensors, by-wire controllers for vehicles, and hardware-independent programs for SoC boards.
The AutoCore team, which debuted at the WIC and participated in the World Intelligent Driving Challenge, is the creator international standard of autonomous driving and heterogeneous computing. Leading by expert from “100 Talent” Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the company is focusing on developing intelligent driving technology. Established a research and development center in Cambridge, England and Nanjing, China. AutoCore intelligent driving development platform, based on distributed system architecture and heterogeneous chips (such as NXP, Renesas, Qualcomm, Xilinx, Huawei, etc.), is providing a low-power, high-performance universal standardized computing platform, and development unit for the autonomous driving industry. The company also provides unified communication protocols and development tools to efficiently integrate data from different functional units or different function providers, and provide standard I/O interfaces and sensor data fusion. At the same time, it provides end-to-end autonomous drive reference design and auxiliary tools (high-precision map production and simulation) based on the development platform, which is convenient for developers and users to quickly establish and develop a real-world driving environment with automatic driving ability. Chen Cheng, CTO of AutoCore, said: We provide heterogeneous chip platforms and autonomous drive reference designs for developing total system design and specialized function blocks, which can be customized according to customer requirements and support customers to further develop on our platform.
The joint team of Tier IV and AutonomouStuff, which debuted on this time’s WIC, showcased the world's most sophisticated combination of hardware and software technology. They use the Hexagon-modified passenger car, model Lexus, as a reliable platform and add Tier IV's AI Pilot unit to provide an intelligent driving platform. AutonomouStuff is a subsidiary of Hexagon, Sweden. Hexagon is the world's leading provider of digital solutions, building an autonomous connectivity ecosystem (ACE) that seamlessly connects, integrates the physical and digital world, and embeds intelligence into all processes. Shu Tenghong, President of Hexagon Greater China, said: We are to achieve the perfect combination of the world's most advanced hardware and software technologies while catching up with the high speed of China's autonomous drive development.
At the WIC, Autoware Foundation had in-depth communications with the autopilot R&D teams in companies and universities around the world, especially China. In interviews with the media, Professor Kato expressed his desire to further collaborate with Chinese companies and universities to accelerate the adoption of Autoware in China.