How can Tier 1 companies use HD maps, ADAS, HMI, and open-source development to get closer to the driverless future? VW and HERE shed light on what’s trending now in Automotive and how it shapes the autonomous ecosystem.

Imagine Elon Musk flies away to Mars and takes all his autopilot Teslas with him. Would it stop the driverless technology from evolving? Not for a moment. The idea of the self-driving car has already captured millions of minds around the world. More and more companies, both big and small, are joining the race to automate routing, navigation, and location data processing. Intellias is not an exception. So, no worries, we will definitely have enough hands to pull driving to its full autonomy.

To make sure this is happening, Intellias has gathered Volkswagen, HERE, AirMap, MAPS.ME, Juno, and Mapbox at the third annual Maps Solution Conference 2017 in Lviv. This tech talk event aimed to grow Ukrainian automotive community and keep up-to-date Intellias’ robust expertise in this domain. After delivering their presentations, the speakers from HERE and Volkswagen shared thoughts on hot trends in Automotive that pour fuel to the self-driving madness.

Check out the key takeaways from speakers' interviews on how to accelerate the autonomous revolution.

The third annual
Maps Solution Conference 2017
in Lviv

Increase visible distance with HD maps and real-time data

The initial idea was ambitious. A car would navigate the route by itself using only car sensors (LIDAR, RADAR, sonar, cameras). After a few fails, this concept has been rejected. It turns out that a full autonomy requires much more than just 200-300 meters’ view, even from every angle. An autonomous car has to operate data about the further traffic 200-300 km ahead. And this should be real-time data updated over the air.

live picture of surroundings
for self-driving experience

For now, carmakers and T1 companies recognize the need for placing real-time data in multilayer HD maps to build a live picture of surroundings for self-driving experience. This trend goes first in march for the autonomous car.

Peter Caron
Peter Caron

Director of service automation and continuous integration at HERE

Sensors, other connected cars ahead, smart infrastructure, and the cloud – they all combine a great collection of data. This data has to rely on software to build a natural landscape for cars. It has to be changeable, flexible, and scalable for real-time events. And this software is a map itself. What we will see is a shift from a map as geodata canvas to the HD multilayer map as a software platform. So not just maps, but a comprehensive system to predict events long before they happen to automate car navigation.

Intellias has a day-to-day experience with multiple cases where HD maps represent the entire software development platform to operate real-time data. This experience shows that the trend is gaining momentum.

Respond to the ever-changing environment faster with ADAS

Think of a runner on the steeplechase track. The promising athlete should have a fast reflex and stretch muscles to react on the obstacle fast enough to jump over. Just like a human body, a self-driving car converts visible data into actions. In case of a running competition, obstacles in the way of the athlete are static. As for the environment around the car, it's continuously changing. The response time is reduced to seconds, if not less.

self-driving car converts
visible data into actions

For a car, ADAS plays the role of a fast reflex, and its actuators are the muscles. They give a car the ability to react in a flash moment and safely overcome obstacles. So, if your solution is aimed at provision of a full autonomy, you should rely on the latest ADASIS v2/v3 protocols and proprietary formats that enable a car to see, think, and react.

Thomas Weidner

Architect at Volkswagen

Currently, ADAS has its influence on the comfort and safety of the driving tasks and with its main steps to reduce zero vision, fatalities, and fully automate driving in the future. Without a doubt, ADAS is the main building block for the great goal of autonomous driving, and this trend will be loud on the market next year

Combine the best of mobile UX/UI and Automotive to improve HMI

How do you start building a trustworthy relationship with another person? For sure, you start a conversation. Through communication you become aware of the person's intentions. If your empathy is high, you can even recognize behavioral patterns that help you predict the person's actions.

But what about a car? You are not used to its independence in making decisions on where to turn or when to stop. Before taking an action, a car should communicate its intentions. This communication needs to occur in time and be clear for the driver.

Human Machine Interface breaks
the ice between the driver and the
autonomous car

Human Machine Interface breaks the ice between the driver and the autonomous car.It doesn’t mean you should put touch screens everywhere. It's time to think of combining the best practices from both mobile experience and Automotive. For this, you better to find HMI developers with a narrow automotive experience.

Thomas Weidner

Architect at Volkswagen

I think the next step should improve hardware and software engineering for proper applications and interfaces. They need to create a connection between a human and different car blocks to perform environment perception, path planning, and coordination of various actuators in the way understandable for people. So, HMI software is the main path and especially the combination of different software experiences. We have to use the best of the two worlds, mobile design and automotive practice.

Open your data to encourage developers and accelerate the process

Creating an autonomous solution on your own, you can safeguard yourself from outside intruders. On the other hand, your development process will be slow and take much more efforts. To streamline the process, you might consider an open development platform that would integrate data from various industries and unite independent suppliers in one place.

Open-source development solves the
problem of data fragmentation.
The useful data is everywhere

Open-source development solves the problem of data fragmentation. The useful data is everywhere. You just need to gather and sort it out. With an open platform, you can combine, analyze, and then use each fragment to fill a particular gap.

In HERE case, OEMs provide the entire fleet of cars connected to their Open Location Platform. This connectivity gives more "eyes and ears" to get the real-time data about the traffic, signs, and surroundings. As a result, we get a comprehensive picture of the world where autonomous cars can safely navigate our roads.

Peter Caron

Director of service automation and continuous integration at HERE

We see now the growth of automation, real-time decision-making, and the amount of data that was not expected before. We can't stick to the old style of software development. What we need is to combine all this data from every channel and adapt it for the autonomous market.

For this moment, it’s clear that autonomous driving creates an entirely new market for OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to introduce their solutions. So, what you do next is completely up to you. Either keep your existing products distant from the new trends or join the autonomous race on all cylinders.

If stuck on a decision crossroad, get in touch with our automotive experts. They’re always open to help you.