Real-Time Innovations today said that it has joined the partner ecosystem for Baidu Inc.’s Apollo open-source, full-stack software for autonomous vehicles. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based RTI said it has joined with OEMs, Tier 1 automotive suppliers, and startups in an effort to accelerate the development and adoption of self-driving cars using the Apollo platform.
Beijing-based Baidu started working on driverless vehicle technology in 2013, and it said Apollo has become the world’s largest open-source autonomous driving platform. Apollo has an ecosystem of nearly 200 partners worldwde and 1,598 patents, and it has completed more than 6 million km (3.7 million mi.) of road tests. In March 2020, global research firm NR listed Apollo as one of the top four global leaders in autonomous driving.
RTI claimed that it is the largest software framework provider for smart machines and real-world systems. The company said its RTI Connext product enables the sharing of information in real time to make large applications work together as one. With over 1,500 deployments, RTI said its software runs the largest power plants in North America, connects perception to control in vehicles, coordinates combat management on U.S. Navy ships, drives medical robotics, controls Hyperloop and flying cars, and provides round-the-clock medical intelligence for hospital patients and emergency victims.
RTI, Baidu Apollo work on autonomy features
Apollo Valet Parking (AVP) is designed for the private car industry, as well as car-sharing companies. Baidu said it enables vehicles to be remotely retrieved and parked, autonomously cruise at low speed, and improve the parking experience. The company said AVP includes software for sensing, perception, planning, and control.
The initiative has also developed a domain controller called Apollo Computing Unit (ACU), which is already integrated with the RTI Connext Drive software and is aimed at mass-production projects to provide the full-stack capability for car OEMs.
RTI Connext Drive is based upon the open Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard. It is a software framework intended to provide reliable communications, which RTI said is a critical factor in the development and operation of autonomous vehicles.
With Connext Drive, manufacturers can use a data-centric framework that supports their needs, claimed RTI. Connext Drive builds on RTI technology already used in over 250 autonomous vehicle programs around the world, as well as over 1,500 other demanding, real-time, intelligent distributed systems.
“The autonomous vehicle market has experienced rapid growth in the last several years,” stated Bob Leigh, senior commercial market development director at RTI. “We developed RTI Connext Drive to give our customers and partners the tools to solve complex autonomy challenges. In joining the Apollo ecosystem, we are looking forward to conquering the challenges hindering autonomous vehicle deployment and adoption and moving into the next phase of autonomy.”