Audi, British semiconductor company Arm, and Cariad, Volkswagen Group's automotive software unit, are among the initial partners of a "safe software" working group established within The Autonomous, an organization dedicated to developing autonomous vehicle technology.
The goal of the group is to develop a safe system architecture for self-driving vehicles and help pave the way for mass autonomous vehicle production.
The working group's approach to system architecture design includes subsystems connecting to sensors and actuators, as well as fault-containment units to ensure the safe automated operation of the vehicle.
Sensor fusion software specialist BASELABS, software developer CoreAVI, Japanese automotive components manufacturer Denso, Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE), Dutch semiconductor maker NXP, the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology and autonomous driving software provider TTTech Auto are among the other companies participating.
The Group hopes the vehicle architecture will initially serve as a reference solution for participating members, and other companies and regions in the future.
The collaborative approach aims to jointly develop recommendations, specifications, and best practices. The working group's output will be published in the form of technical reports offering concrete guidance to the automotive industry for the series production of safe autonomous vehicles.
"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," Ricky Hudi, chairman of The Autonomous, said in a statement.
"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," the statement added.
The safe software working group plans to make a public announcement on Sept. 29 at an event hosted by The Autonomous.
In April, the organization collaborated with the World Economic Forum to publish a report offering its take on the alliances, coalitions, standards bodies and partnerships available to the industry, titled The AV Governance Ecosystem: A Guide for Decision-Makers.
In May, another alliance of major auto industry players was formed, this time with a focus on digitalizing the supply chain through a cloud-based ecosystem.
The Catena-X initiative is backed by Volkswagen Group, Daimler, BMW, Robert Bosch, Schaeffler, BASF and Deutsche Telekom. The new system is designed to ensure sovereign, trusted, and decentralized data exchange, allowing network partners to share their data with others without relinquishing data sovereignty.