In-vehicle prototyping and data logging system advances autonomous cars

Autonomous vehicles rely on sensors to provide expansive data streams that must be processed very quickly. Video cameras as well as lidar and radar sensors create data volumes of multiple terabytes (Tbytes) per hour.

As a result, the bandwidth requirements, computing power, and storage technology required are exceedingly high, says dSPACE.

Recording vast volumes of data during test drives is one typical applications. The data will be used for development or homologation, or as the replay of the recorded data in the laboratory, prototyping sensor fusion or perception algorithms in the vehicle. The Autera AutoBox features the Autera Data Storage Unit that provides multiple Tbyte of storage space with the Autera solid state disk and a large storage bandwidth of up to 50Gbits per second. To also handle computation-intensive tasks, such as the development, validation and optimisation of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, the Autera AutoBox can be equipped with hardware accelerators, such as graphics processing units (GPUs) and FPGAs. These can also be used during data logging of a test drive to perform intelligent data filtering and pre-processing. This process saves time for data evaluation and implicitly increases the storage capacity for the data logging system.

The Autera system offers extensive bus and network support based on the latest standards, such as AutoSAR and Fibex. To process data from various sensors synchronously, the Autera AutoBox records precise time stamps and supports a number of camera interfaces, for example, GMSL II, FPD Link III, or CSI II to ensure compatibility with different camera manufacturers. A dedicated Autera upload station will be available to upload the logged data as quickly and easily as possible to an existing server or cloud infrastructure. Its interfaces can upload the recorded data to the data centre at a high bandwidth, for example, 100Gbits per second Ethernet.

The Autera systems can be used to develop functions for automated driving that supports all relevant sensor interfaces, buses, and networks. It can be combined with other development systems, such as the MicroAutoBox, and, with pre-installed software, is ready for use.

The Autera AutoBox is configured based on RTMaps. Developers can use the component-based software development and run-time environment to record data from various sensors and vehicle buses and add time stamps, synchronise the data, and replay it. Alternatively, additional software environments, such as Linux-based applications, can be used. A documented application programming interface of all relevant interfaces is provided. A fleet management solution is planned for future release which will allow users to manage and monitor Autera systems during fleet deployment.

The company will introduce the Autera family at the dSpace World Conference in Munich, Germany next week (19 and 20 November).

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