Sensor fusion and processing demonstration – NXP interview

Mark O’Donnell is Senior Product Manager for BlueBox at NXP

Mark O’Donnell is Senior Product Manager for the Blue Box at NXP, the Dutch semiconductor company, with Mark himself specialising in automotive micro-controller systems.

NXP have supported the inaugural Self Driving Track Days series and will be presenting a short technology session and demonstration on 28 July at OAMTC Teesdorf.

Tell us about this version of the Blue Box – what’s it for and how is it different from the first version?

The main things that changed were the form factor and connectivity options – so it is configured to be deployed in development vehicles.

How are these systems different from offerings from companies like NVidia, with their behemoth $20,000 PX2?

The basic configuration of BlueBox2 is a platform for developing up to L3 applications.

NXP provides solutions that can be taken into production vehicles today, that satisfy automotive application requirements – functional safety, auto qualification, automotive reliability. BlueBox2 can be expanded, in terms of its hardware (via pcie slot) enabling it to support more autonomy use cases.

NXP BlueBox deployed in a 3D printed Local Motors Olli bus at sister event AutoSens, with a variety of sensor outputs on the screens behind. The NXP team are shown here explaining the technology to the British Ambassador to Belgium, Alison Rose.

You’re doing a special joint demonstration with Intempora at our event on 28 July – tell us about that?

The demonstration integrates Intempora’s Real Time Multisensor Applications (RTMaps) software onto the NXP BlueBox. This highlights Multi-Sensor synchronization and fusion technology, which is required for Autonomous driving development and testing. The demo has Radar, Vision, and LiDAR sensors.

Who else are you working with at the moment?

So far we have announced our partnership with Elektrobit, in that RobinOS now supports BlueBox.

What other products does NXP produce for driverless vehicles and problems like computer vision and AI?

NXP provides products for front camera and surround view applications. Hardware accelerators that are used by NXP today have been used to demonstrate their capabilities in the field of AI. NXP is the market leader in Radar processors and a leading provider of V2X products for beyond line of sight sensing – all of which are required for driverless vehicles.

Mark will be presenting during the afternoon introductory session “Introduction to self driving car technologies” coming up on 28 July.