The Ohio project aims to speed up development of key autonomous-driving technologies (Photo: Wind River)

Wind River will lead a project to test connected and autonomous vehicle technologies and speed up development in a key focus area for the auto industry.

The embedded-software unit of chipmaker Intel said it will work with the Transportation Research Center (TRC), Ohio State University and the City of Dublin, Ohio, to  increase the pace, quality, development, testing, and deployment of self-driving and other connected vehicle technologies.

“This is a union of diverse parties all aligned to a singular objective,” Marques McCammon, general manager of connected vehicle solutions at Wind River, said in a phone interview. “We want to accelerate development without accelerating risk.”

The collaboration will assess car-to-X communication, connected vehicle cockpit software, smart sensing and mapping and associated data collection.

The initial stage of the project will see the joint development of so-called “rolling laboratories,” which will test systems in driverless cars. Wind River is contributing software for safety-critical systems to the project.

The company’s VXWorks real-time operating software will be used in the cars, as well as its Helix Chassis product portfolio, which is designed to unite the internal network of a car with the external IoT.

McCammon said the Ohio project kicked off earlier this year and “tangible results” will become available by year-end or, possibly, earlier.

The OSU Center for Automotive Research, which has extensive experience in autonomous vehicle research, will make available faculty and students to handle algorithm development and integration in the cars.

TRC, the largest vehicle testing organization in the US, will lead the validation process for the autonomous cars taking part in the test. The center is  home to the country’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Vehicle Research and Test Center.

The City of Dublin was chosen because of its high level of connectivity. “Software is core to today’s automobile, and the automobile is a central part of our communities, so it is essential to be highly inclusive and collaborative when undertaking autonomous vehicle research,” McCammon said.

Dublin has laid 125 miles of underground fiber optic cable to provide high-speed connectivity to its citizens. It is part of the so-called “33 Smart Mobility Corridor,” 35  miles of highway between Dublin and East Liberty, northwest of Columbus, Ohio.

Researchers can use the highway to gather data from live tests of new transportation technologies. The data is derived from sensors along the road. It is transmitted by way of high-capacity optic cable.

By Arjen Bongard