By William Wong, Technical Editor
NXP and worked with AutonomousStuff to deliver the NXP Automated Drive Kit.
Building a system to control an autonomous vehicle requires combining a wide range of technologies. Getting it into a compact form factor is now as easy as buying the NXP Automated Drive Kit (Fig. 1). This is the result of a collaboration between NXP and AutonomousStuff.
“The next wave of mobility requires an automated application development platform that’s quick to implement, open and flexible,” says Kamal Khouri, general manager and vice president of ADAS, NXP Semiconductors. “By partnering with AutonomousStuff, we are making the NXP Automated Drive Kit available to a broad and growing ecosystem that will enable a rapid development of the future of autonomy.”
The little blue box contains NXP’s S32V234 Vision Processor that can handle front and surround-view cameras while running machine learning and sensor fusion applications. There is also an LS2084A QorIQ Layerscape 2084A and 2044A Multicore Communications processor and an S32R27 Radar Microcontroller. It has 16 Gbytes of DDR4 memory and a 256 Gbyte solid-state disk (SSD) drive. The dedicated interfaces meet ASIL-D requirements while the automotive interfaces with vision acceleration support meets ASIL-B requirements. The system will run off of 12 V or 24 V DC power.
The system supports eight camera inputs. It can be hooked into existing automotive systems using the CAN-FD and FlexRay interfaces. The system has a 10 Gbit/s Ethernet connection with SPF+ support along with eight 100BASE-T1 automotive Ethernet ports. Automotive Ethernet is the backbone for new cars. It uses a single, balanced twisted-pair (copper) cable while providing high immunity to external electromagnetic interference (EMI). It simplifies wiring.
The box is an excellent starting point for the hardware but autonomous driving software can be particularly challenging. The system will run the Robot Operating System (ROS) but it will be software from AutonomousStuff that makes the system shine. AutonomousStuff has been delivering a range of automotive software support for everything from drive-by-wire to advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) solutions. Its partnership with NXP makes the hardware support stand out. It also addresses the challenging hardware/software integration issue that should not be overlooked.
“Our partnership with NXP will make major strides in shaping the future of the transportation industry,” says AutonomouStuff CEO, Bobby Hambrick. “Our integrated hardware-software solution, combined with a global deployment infrastructure, provides an easy and highly cost-effective way for the mobility industry to build complex automated driving features.”