Linaro Ltd, the open source collaborative engineering organization, Japan-based intelligent vehicle technology company Tier IV, Inc., and US-based autonomous mobility systems software company Apex.AI announced today the formation of the Autoware Foundation.
The Autoware Foundation is a non-profit organisation created to initiate, grow, and fund open source collaborative engineering Autoware projects, starting with Autoware.AI, Autoware.Auto, and Autoware.IO. Autoware.AI is the original Autoware project started in 2015 by Shinpei Kato at Nagoya University that is being used globally by more than 100 companies in more than 30 vehicles today. Autoware.Auto is a rewrite of Autoware using ROS 2.0 for certifiable software stacks used in vehicles. Autoware.IO focuses on heterogeneous platform support based on 96Boards products, vehicle control interfaces as well as a collection of third-party software and hardware tools to help deliver the core values of Autoware. Examples of Autoware.IO projects include simulators, device drivers for sensors, by-wire controllers for vehicles, and hardware-independent programs for SoC boards.
Shinpei Kato from Tier IV and the University of Tokyo, Jan Becker from Apex.AI and Stanford University and Yang Zhang from Linaro 96Boards and the Chinese Academy of Sciences AI Institute have together formed the founding Board of Directors for the Autoware Foundation. The Board is responsible for the operation of the Autoware Foundation, while a Technical Steering Committee is being formed from representatives of the Premium Members to drive the technical direction of the projects. Founding Premium Members include Apex.AI, Arm, AutoCore, AutonomouStuff, Huawei, Kalray, Linaro 96Boards, LG, Parkopedia, StreetDrone, Tier IV, TRI-AD (Toyota Research Institute Advanced Development, Inc), and Velodyne. The Premium Members are supported by founding Industrial and Academic & Non-Profit Members including eSOL, Intel, Nagoya University, OSRF (Open Source Robotics Foundation), RoboSense, Semi Japan, SiFive, and Xilinx.
Member and Board quotes
“As we work towards the mass deployment of safe, fully autonomous vehicles, we need to ensure that automotive players have the ability to influence technical direction and implement platform support for their solutions,” said Mark Hambleton, vice president open source software, Arm. “This partnership will allow the Autoware ecosystem to further collaborate on certifiable software stacks for secure, safe, and efficient next-generation vehicles.”
“The AutonomouStuff team leads the industry in implementing, supporting and deploying Autoware applications in automated vehicles and fleets,” said Bobby Hambrick, AutonomouStuff founder and CEO. “As part of the Autoware Foundation, we look forward to enabling further rapid development of autonomous driving solutions that will utilize our combined solutions.”
“We are thrilled to be joining the Autoware Foundation. Huawei is a leading global ICT solutions provider. We advocate customer-centricity, dedication, and continuous innovation based on customer needs,” said Jerry Su, Chief Architect of Huawei Autonomous Driving. “collaboration with Autoware enables us to work with the community to develop the self-driving vehicle software that accelerates the industry growth and benefits our customers.”
“We are very excited to be participating in the Autoware Foundation creation” said Eric Baissus, CEO of Kalray. “The Autoware open software stack is one of the most advanced software options available today for autonomous and intelligent systems. We will work with the other members of the foundation to open, extend and industrialize this software solution and make it run with optimum efficiency on Kalray’s MPPA intelligent processor family.”
“We are excited to join the Autoware Foundation and to offer LG’s autonomous driving simulator with built-in support for Autoware to facilitate research, development, and testing of autonomous software. We look forward to collaborating with foundation members and the community at large as we drive towards an autonomous future together.” said Seonman Kim, Head of Advanced Platform Lab, VP from LG Electronics.
Parkopedia’s Head of Autonomous Driving Brian Holt said, “We are thrilled to be joining the Autoware Foundation at such an early stage following our involvement and contributions to the Autoware open source self-driving car project. Parkopedia is committed to building high quality automotive-grade maps to support Autonomous Valet Parking and our collaboration with Autoware enables us to work with the community to develop the self-driving car software on which we will demonstrate these maps.”
Dr. James Kuffner, TRI-AD CEO & TRI Executive Advisor, said “Through participation in the Autoware Foundation, TRI-AD would like to help build a large, engaged, and self-governed open source community around Autonomous Driving Technology by contributing and providing support for code that it will be using internally.”
eSOL CTO Masaki Gondo said, “We are excited to join this new venture to further accelerate the realization of autonomous driving technologies. eSOL already supports Autoware with its eMCOS, the scalable and safe RTOS, and welcomes the idea of safety-certifiable Autoware.”
“We’re excited to be part of the Autoware Foundation. We share a common vision of building new industries on open platforms. It’s exciting to see Autoware committing to using and contributing to ROS 2, and we look forward to further collaboration between our communities,” said Brian Gerkey, CEO, Open Robotics (OSRF).
“SiFive welcomes the Autoware initiative, as an open-source self-driving software stack is a natural fit to high-performance AI hardware based on the free and open RISC-V architecture.” said Krste Asanovic, Chief Architect at SiFive.
“We are very proud to be Autoware Foundation members. Xilinx’s flexible and adaptive processing platforms will contribute to define projects towards the development of semi-autonomous and autonomous platforms with Autoware Foundation members,” said Dan Isaacs, Director of Automotive Strategy & Market Development, Xilinx Inc.
“Apex.AI is thrilled to be part of the Autoware Foundation. An open source project of this scope needs to be independent from a single company and must embrace the community supporting it. Therefore we are following the example of the Linux Foundation and Open Robotics by putting all Autoware projects under the roof of this foundation” said Jan Becker, Director on the Board of the Autoware Foundation and Co-Founder and CEO of Apex.AI, Inc.
“Autoware has recognized momentum in the industry and we are excited to be able to build on its success to offer open source projects supporting the deployment of the world’s leading autonomous vehicle technology” said Yang Zhang, Board Director of the Autoware Foundation and Director of 96Boards. “Linaro 96Boards program will help define the standardized hardware platforms on which to maintain and grow the Autoware code base and extend support for it across a broader range of SoC solutions.”
“Thanks to everyone involved for making this a memorable launch for the Autoware Foundation. Autoware drives innovations for everyone who loves open-source software and autonomous driving technology. We can never make it alone. We are all here to open the way to the future together,” said Shinpei Kato, Board of Directors of the Autoware Foundation and Founder of Tier IV, Inc. “Tier IV’s vision is to democratize an ecosystem for intelligent vehicles. To this end, Tier IV provides mobility service platforms and software toolchains that enable Autoware to be deployed in the emerging market.”
The Autoware board invites companies in the automotive industry to collaborate on building and optimizing Autoware. To find out more, please visit https://autoware.org/.
About Linaro and 96Boards
Linaro is leading collaboration on open source development in the Arm ecosystem. The company has over 300 engineers working on consolidating and optimizing open source software for the Arm architecture, including developer tools, the Linux kernel, Arm power management, and other software infrastructure. Linaro is distribution neutral: it wants to provide the best software foundations to everyone by working upstream, and to reduce non-differentiating and costly low level fragmentation. The effectiveness of the Linaro approach has been demonstrated by Linaro’s growing membership, and by Linaro consistently being listed as one of the top five company contributors, worldwide, to Linux kernels since 3.10.
To ensure commercial quality software, Linaro’s work includes comprehensive test and validation on member hardware platforms. The full scope of Linaro engineering work is open to all online. 96Boards is Linaro’s initiative to build a single worldwide software and hardware community across low-cost development boards based on Arm technology. A large range of products compliant with the 96Boards specifications are already available worldwide and this range is supplemented with additional hardware functionality provided through standardized mezzanine boards.