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Volkswagen Group of America has joined Aquantia, Robert Bosch, Continental and Nvidia to form the Networking for Autonomous Vehicles (NAV) Alliance. The group intends to support the development of multi-gigabit ethernet networking in vehicles, and of its related ecosystem of cameras, sensors, gateways, data storage devices, control systems, other data transfer technologies and network architecture.

The NAV Alliance has set out further objectives including the development of new specifications; creating procedures and testing requirements to ensure interoperability, security and reliability; liaison with regulators and promotion of standardization; and the building of awareness and education of the marketplace and users on the requirements for autonomous vehicle networks. Membership of the Alliance is expected to expand to include more OEMs and suppliers.

Amir Bar-Niv, VP of marketing, Aquantia Corp., said in a statement: “Aquantia has been driving the multi-gig ethernet revolution in other markets for several years. Now, the in-vehicle network for autonomous driving requires a level of high-bandwidth functionality that was previously the domain of the most demanding data center applications. The creation of the NAV Alliance and the focus on multi-gig ethernet will help drive strong industry standards that can ultimately change the role of transportation in society.”

Nvidia's Gary Hicok, senior VP of hardware development, explained further: “Autonomous vehicles require an onboard supercomputer, architected for functional safety, capable of processing vast amounts of sensor data through redundant and diverse deep neural networks and algorithms. Multi-gig ethernet has a proven track record for interoperability and scalability, delivering critical data from the sensor suite to the vehicle’s AI brain.”

-Farah Alkhalisi