We caught up with Intrepid ahead of the Self Driving Track Day series on 10 July. Intrepid are sponsoring the event, they told us all about their thoughts on why ADAS and autonomous vehicle developments represent such good opportunities and what can we expect to see in the automotive Ethernet space in the next 5 years.
How do you describe your company to a new connection?
Intrepid’s main role is providing professional development tools for OEMs and Suppliers in the automotive electronics development area. The professional tools make the engineers and technicians productive meaning that they do their job faster. So find and solve problems faster or verify everything works faster, etc. Intrepid has always been able to come up with great software, hardware and direct support that has made a big difference for our customers.
Why does ADAS and autonomous vehicle development represent such a good opportunity?
ADAS/Autonomy is as big of opportunity as when the Internet was created or the mobile smart phone. It will change life as we know it. This means there will be a huge amount of investment in the industry. This presents a great opportunity for companies to grow and people to learn and do amazing things – change the world. Level 5 autonomy is a great challenge, but the good news is that even if level 5 autonomy doesn’t happen ever or a long time cars will get a lot safer and convenient.
What challenges need to be overcome in handling data for the cars of tomorrow, and how can Intrepid help?
With our data loggers we make collecting data almost too easy. The amount of data is tremendous. One problem we already solved is using the cloud to store data and then a web app called DataSpy to search, analyse, and view the data. This avoids the need to move around big data sets (Floppy Net). Another challenge will be deciding what data to keep and what to throw away. Finally, I think AI training data that requires the cameras to be in the same spot (calibrated) has to be solved to make reuse of data collected.
What can we expect to see in the automotive Ethernet space in the next 5 years?
The exciting future is a IP everywhere strategy. This means replacing lower speed CAN links with bus topology Ethernet (10BaseT1S). If they can do this everything on the vehicle can run IP stacks allowing simple network architectures and reuse of internet protocols including things like security.
Multi-gigabit links are coming to absorb a lot of the bandwidth needed by high resolution sensors like LiDAR and cameras. These will compete with SerDes technologies like GMSL and FPDLink3 because of their relative simplicity. A lot of specific hardware will be needed to handle mult-gigabit because a CPU is not useful at these speeds.
How do you feel the industry can help resolve the shortage in training and recruitment?
The is no shortage of interest in this field but a shortage of qualified candidates. A great way to increase qualified candidates is accessibility to the technology. Almost no company is talking about what they are doing because it’s very competitive right now. Udacity is doing some great things. Dave Robins, Intrepid’s CEO, is running a meetup in Detroit. Student competitions are great as well. Comma.ai’s open source approach to self driving cars is really interesting.
How does your organisation fit into the testing and validation ecosystem, and how do you stand out?
Intrepid’s role is to build professional productivity tools. Most working on autonomous programs are using a lot of off-the-shelf consumer PCs in their back seat or trunk. A lot of this stuff needs a lot of power, doesn’t handle temperature well, doesn’t power down automatically or very fast, or just is plain too big or expensive for a fleet of hundreds of cars. Intrepid is solving all these issues with our RADGigalog.
What will attendees at Self Driving Track Days learn about when they meet you?
Intrepid is already a big supplier in the UK, they will learn that Intrepid also has big plans for supporting autonomous vehicle development.
What are you hoping to achieve as a business this year?
We are working close with a number of autonomous groups. We are hoping to be an indispensable part of their group. This means that Intrepid makes things go faster for them and its a great value to work with us. We are developing some awesome other products for Autonomy that we will be announcing at CES in January 2019.
Is there anything you’d like to achieve personally this year?
My daughter and I are learning to play the Ukulele together. Its really fun. Technically I would like to learn more about neural networks.
Come and meet Intrepid in Milton Keynes, UK on 10 July at Self Driving Track Days. Book your tickets here >>