Wind River, a subsidiary of Intel Corporation and a leader in delivering software for the Internet of Things (IoT), has engaged with the Transportation Research Centre (TRC), The Ohio State University (OSU), and the City of Dublin to advance smart, connected, and autonomous technologies. The planned collaboration—focused around the Columbus region in central Ohio—aims to accelerate learning in the automotive community. The group looks to develop strategies and technologies that safely and securely increase the pace, quality, development, testing, and deployment of self-driving and other connected vehicle technologies.
“The Central Ohio region is an emerging hub for smart city and smart vehicle technologies, and our unique ensemble approach—uniting minds from academia, the public sector, and the tech industry—can set a standard for how communities can innovate mobility and use the learnings to impact vehicle development and deployment best practices,” said Marques McCammon, general manager of Connected Vehicle Solutions at Wind River. “To realise autonomous driving for the masses, a variety of players must come together with an aligned understanding.”
“Software is core to today’s automobile, and the automobile is a central part of our communities, so it is essential to be highly inclusive and collaborative when undertaking autonomous research. This makes a city like Dublin—which embraces technology and is already one of the most connected smart cities in the U.S.—such a natural partner,” adds McCammon.
The group is planning to test emerging technologies to discover how a symbiotic relationship between vehicles and infrastructure can improve the lives of community residents. In addition to the self-driving cars themselves, the group plans to test technologies such as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, connected vehicle cockpit software, smart sensing and mapping, and the associated data collection. With Ohio State students, researchers, and faculty to play a key role, the collaboration is also intended to further develop the next generation of expert automotive minds.
The key objective for the project’s initial phase includes joint development and testing of autonomous vehicles or “rolling laboratories.” Applying its expertise from the aerospace and defense, industrial, and automotive industries, Wind River plans to spearhead the project development and contribute its proven software for safety-critical systems.
TRC is the largest independent proving ground and vehicle testing organisation in the Americas. It is home to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Vehicle Research and Test Centre and acts as a one-stop research and development source for the entire auto industry. With expertise in areas such as crash, emissions, and durability testing, TRC can lead the validation process for the collaboration’s vehicles and be the hub for build and rigorous testing on its 4,500 acres of road courses and 7.5-mile high-speed oval.
Dublin, which has created high-speed connectivity for its businesses through more than 125 miles of underground fiber optics, is one of the end points for the 33 Smart Corridor —35 miles of highway between Dublin and East Liberty (northwest of Columbus), where the Ohio Department of Transportation is equipping high-capacity fiber-optic cable to link researchers with data from sensors along the road. The 33 Smart Corridor is primed to safely test technologies that can transform the way people and products are transported in Ohio and around the globe.
The OSU Centre for Automotive Research (CAR) team can provide hands-on support, leveraging its experience in autonomous vehicle research. OSU CAR focuses on energy, safety, and the environment, with an aim to improve sustainable mobility. With a concentration on preparing the next generation of automotive leaders, CAR emphasises systems engineering, advanced and unique experimental facilities, collaboration on advanced product development projects with industry, and a balance of government and privately sponsored research. In the planned collaboration, CAR faculty and students would be instrumental in the algorithm development and integration of the collaboration’s test vehicles.
In addition to supplying leadership for the overall program, Wind River can provide its expertise which has served the aerospace, industrial and defense applications for more than three decades. The Wind River portfolio of automotive products, Wind River Helix Chassis, includes technologies addressing infotainment, telematics, and digital cluster systems; safety-oriented systems such as advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving systems; and cloud-based development tools and enhancements for the applications.
“From Mars rovers to trains, cars, and commercial and military aircraft, Wind River’s core business is developing and delivering mission-critical software. In exposing Ohio State and its students to this type of software and the processes that support the development of mission-critical applications, we hope their innovations can find a faster path to production,” said McCammon.
“The first autonomous vehicle will be on the highway before the last driver vehicle comes off. So, really, part of the challenge is how do you mix the two. We can mix the two, on purpose in a safe and controlled environment here,” said Mark-Tami Hotta, TRC CEO and president. ‘Smart mobility, with connected vehicles and enhanced infrastructures, offers greater accessibility and mobility options, reduced road congestion, and more efficient use of natural resources.”
“The Ohio State University has a long history of automotive research, and we welcome the chance to contribute to a project that could affect real change in the way the auto industry and governments address autonomous driving,” said Giorgio Rizzoni, director of the Centre for Automotive Research, Ohio State University. “By having our students get mentored by industry experts using state-of-the-art technologies in real-life scenarios, they are gaining priceless experience that can propel them forward on their future path.”
“The City of Dublin embraces innovation for the welfare of our residents. We consider ourselves a start-up, and our product is city. Our work can be a benchmark for the nation in the area of intelligent research to improve safety and increase mobility, as well as address environmental challenges via more efficient transportation,” said Doug McCollough, chief information officer, City of Dublin. “By collaborating with some of the sharpest minds in their respective areas, we can help forge a safe and smart path to grow autonomous driving and, ultimately, a better connected city that enriches the lives of our people.”