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Faith no moreIt is 2021 and my faith in nearly all of the autonomous driving companies has gone. Writing on Twitter recently Kyle Vogt, co-founder, president and CTO of Cruise boasted:

SG73S2ETTD1603F_Datasheet PDF

Faith no moreIt is 2021 and my faith in nearly all of the autonomous driving companies has gone. Writing on Twitter recently Kyle Vogt, co-founder, president and CTO of Cruise boasted:

To be successful, open-source intellectual property needs a strong, diverse community behind it. Also needed is an open ecosystem that values contributions to the architecture while providing a clearinghouse for new developments. In this way, open-source IP projects can finally compete with licensed cores and proprietary architectures.

RISC-V projects exhibit most of these requirements, and are therefore most promising. OpenPOWER, too, has potential, but needs wider support to reach critical mass for market acceptance.

SG73S2ETTD1603F_Datasheet PDF

Still, the long-term success of RISC-V is not a given, and the world’s leading IP provider, Arm, is not going away anytime soon. Arm could undergo significant business model changes if its acquisition by Nvidia survives antitrust scrutiny. Nvidia has so far pledged to leave Arm’s business model intact.

It may still be possible for Arm to adopt a mixed IP licensing model, but extensions will likely be limited to the big architecture licensees like Apple.

Meantime, RISC-V will continue to attract more investment and talent. Much of the open-source architecture’s initial success has been in microcontrollers. As it moves up the performance stack to applications and data center processors, it will have to compete with an entrenched and extensive Arm ecosystem.

SG73S2ETTD1603F_Datasheet PDF

Editor’s Note: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an agency of the Department of Transportation (DoT), released last November its advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) for autonomous vehicles. We asked Egil Juliussen, a veteran automotive industry analyst and EE Times’ resident columnist (Egil’s Eye”), to break it down for us. In the following article, he spells out how NHTSA defines autonomous vehicles, what the agency has included in its safety framework,” and what questions NHTSA wants the AV industry to answer to improve its ANPRM.


SG73S2ETTD1603F_Datasheet PDF

On November 19, 2020, NHTSA released its advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) for autonomous vehicles. Written comments are due by February 1, 2021. This is the beginning of the process of creating rules that will dictate how autonomous vehicles should perform. These will be some of the most important guidelines for the entire vehicle industry for years to come. What is NHTSA looking for, and what might we expect to come out of this process?

The name of the ANPRM is Framework for Automated Driving System Safety.” The official version of the 60+ page document was included in the Federal Register on December 3, 2020 (an 18-page section in small print). There is also a link where public comments can be read; comments can be filed here.

In the next table I have listed a few recent activities that I think are interesting and I will give my perspectives. The table covers multiple automotive segment from batteries and battery-electric-vehicles (BEVs) to autonomous vehicles (AVs) and mobility as a service (MaaS). The table summarizes the key aspects of each topic with more detail below the table by topic.

Rand AV ReportRand Corporation released an important AV report on October 29, 2020 called: Safe Enough: Approaches to Assessing Acceptable Safety for Automated Vehicles.” The report was requested by Uber Advanced Technology Group in 2017 with Rand being responsible for the content. The report is 140+ pages long and available from Rand at here.

It is impossible to summarize the report in a few paragraphs, but I offer my comments below. In its press release on October 29, 2020, Rand summarized the report, which I have also included below.

It is likely that there will be criticism of the report because it is focused on being safe-enough. Safe-enough will require a definition and cooperation of key stakeholders. The key is that the safe-enough definition must improve over time as AV technology advances. Rand did extensive surveys with leading AV developers to gather expert knowledge for the AV safety report.

Rand developed three different approaches to assessing AV safety—measurement, process, and thresholds. The three approaches complement each other, with no one classified as the best approach.


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