I’m pleased to announce that the Siemens PLM Software automated driving solution has won the “Innovative Product of the Year Award (Software/Tool Category)” as part of the ASPENCORE World Electronics Achievement Award (WEAA). ASPENCORE is the publisher of EE Times, EDN and many other top electrical engineering trade publications. WEAA is ASPENCORE’s global awards program, honoring companies and individuals from around the world who have made outstanding contributions to innovations and development in the electronics industry.
The award-winning solution addresses a critical design challenge that engineers face today as they work toward delivering first-generation self-driving cars: automakers are quickly realizing that physical prototypes and road testing alone cannot reproduce the multitude of complex driving scenarios self-driving cars will encounter. In fact, many of the deadliest scenarios are impossible to reproduce, while others are so dangerous to reproduce that ethics preclude pre-testing.
Underscoring this challenge is a 2016 Rand Corporation report finding that autonomous vehicle prototypes would have to be driven hundreds of millions of miles, and in some cases hundreds of billions of miles, over the course of several decades to demonstrate their reliability in terms of fatalities and injuries — an outcome the authors deemed inconsistent with the near-term commercial viability of self-driving cars. For possible solutions to these challenges, the researchers pointed to innovative testing methods such as advanced simulation technologies. (I’ve written a bit about our own thinking on verification and validation of self-driving systems here.)
Enter Siemens PLM, which is setting the pace for the larger worldwide automotive industry by delivering advanced technologies such as the award-wining platform. Leveraging proven, physics-based simulation and innovative sensor data processing technologies, the Siemens solution minimizes the need for extensive physical prototyping while dramatically reducing the number of logged test miles necessary to demonstrate the safety of autonomous vehicles — helping automakers and their suppliers address this industry challenge with the potential to shave years off the development, verification and validation of self-driving cars.
The Siemens PLM Software automated driving solution integrates autonomous driving technologies from recent Siemens acquisitions Mentor Graphics and TASS International. TASS’ PreScan™ simulation environment produces highly realistic, physics-based simulated raw sensor data for an unlimited number of potential driving scenarios, traffic situations and other parameters. The data from PreScan’s simulated LiDAR, radar and camera sensors is then fed into Mentor’s DRS360™ platform, where it is fused in real time to create a high-resolution model of the vehicle’s environment and driving conditions. Customers can then leverage the DRS360 platform’s superior perception resolution and high-performance processing to test and refine proprietary algorithms for critical tasks such as object recognition, driving policy and more.
With this award-wining platform, Siemens now offers simulation solutions for each stage in the development process from sensors, to processors, to sub-systems, to the entire vehicle. Having a greater scope in simulation solutions offers Siemens the ability to play a leading role in the validation and verification of automated vehicle solutions.
Congratulations once again to the engineering team responsible for this prestigious award, which recognizes technology that’s helping automotive engineers tackle the real-world challenges associated with enabling the autonomous vehicles of the future.