We recently caught up with Meena Rajamani, Functional Safety Consultant at Intel Corporation Ltd, UK who is delivering a workshop on “Functional safety considerations for autonomous vehicles” at Self Driving Track Days in Milton Keynes on 10 July 2018.
You have over 17 years’ experience in the automotive industry, in various parts of the world, and during this time have you noticed any differences in geographical approaches to automotive developments?
Each OEM reflects the region’s culture in its strategy, especially in its R&D investments and new market entry strategy. Nowadays, with the increasing acquisitions across the globe and autonomous driving technology revolution, the geographical differences are narrowing.
We run a lot of initiatives that are aimed at supporting Women in Engineering, what tips would you give to a woman starting out in engineering today?
In recent times, the engineering world is more aware of incorporating diversity in its workforce. Therefore, there are less barriers and stereotypes to overcome, compared to 20 years ago. Start your career confidently without any inhibitions; do not curtail your ambitions and above all, don’t be afraid to showcase your abilities!. In many companies, like Intel, there are a number of initiatives targeting diversity and inclusion – make use of it.
You have worked in embedded control applications such as infotainment, powertrain, chassis control, body and ADAS in technical, management and process areas, what is your current focus area at Intel?
At Intel, we have diverse portfolio of products for different markets. Intel and Mobileye design autonomous driving solutions with a focus on safety and scalability.
We are leading the industry in camera-centric sensing, crowd-sourced mapping, mathematical models for safety, and compute leadership. General purpose processors such as Intel’s Core and Xeon products as well as custom accelerators like Intel’s Neural Network Processor, FPGAs, or Movidius VPU enable AI solutions across the computing spectrum. My current focus area is FPGAs and also platform solutions with CPU and FPGAs for all types of workload including AI.
Could you share some details on your work on microcontroller and FPGA solutions for use in safety applications, which applications are currently the most interesting?
While the safety considerations of using MCU and FPGA in a conventional car in infotainment, powertrain and security solutions are interesting as always, the challenges of safety in an autonomous car is the most intriguing and interesting part of my work. Designing and implementing safety as part of the architecture definition and the varied usecase considerations including electric cars poses some interesting challenges at work.
What are you looking forward to and hoping to get out of leading the functional safety workshop at Self Driving Track Days?
I am looking forward to meeting people from the automotive industry and share knowledge on functional safety between different players in the automotive value chain. I expect it also to be an interactive platform to discuss some, hitherto unanswered questions related to the fully autonomous, artificially intelligent, future car architectures.
Join Meena on 10 July 2018 at the Daytona Karting venue in Milton Keynes. Book your tickets here >>