One challenge the Bosch Autonomous Driving division faces is the toolchain for developing autonomous driving solutions becoming more complex by every level of automation. Well established tools are not well integrated for the use cases and it is easy to detect gaps in the overall toolchain. Instead of solving these challenges alone, wasting lots of money on the path, the Bosch division together with partners from the industry and related domains build up a community to solve the toolchain challenge together in the OpenADx ecosystem.
Autonomous driving solutions introduce a new complexity into the development of embedded systems in a car. New tool categories have to be added like machine learning, but also existing technologies, like simulation, are stretched to their current limits. E.g., it is expected that the validation of a fully autonomous driving solution requires test drives in the amount of billions of kilometers. This results in the need for very complex simulation as part of the validation as well as the handling of extensive amounts of data in order to ensure quality at a realizable effort.
The toolchain for such challenges is complex and the integration of all the tools coming from different domains cost a lot of effort for each market participant without a real competitive advantage towards the solution. Therefore, the Bosch Autonomous Driving division, together with many partners, is currently building up the OpenADx ecosystem including OEMs, tier 1 suppliers, tool vendors, research organizations but also companies from related industries like the IT industry.
The goal of this endeavor is to stop wasting money on the introduction of a proprietary toolchain in each of the companies and to share the development costs for the toolchain. Besides the benefit of sharing the costs, the expected result is a better integration of the toolchain within the organizations, but especially also at the interface between cooperating organizations. For tool vendors and research organizations, the advantage of the approach is in the existence of an integration backbone which allows the provider to easily integrate new technologies or tools into a working environment that runs in a multitude of customer organizations, instead of providing proprietary solutions for single customers.
In the current state the initiative follows several paths to bring the community to live. E.g., a group of companies is building up a demonstrator combining several tools from the simulation/modelling domain using DDS as a communication technology. In parallel, companies initiate or support open source projects, like Bosch investing several developers into the migration of functionality from ROS to ROS2. On the community level, the group targets to form an Eclipse Industrial Working Group to support the activities with a legal framework that enables open collaboration.
OpenADx is an industry approach to collaborate in non competitive areas like toolchains for developing Autonomous Driving solutions. The goal is to set up toolchains with less effort to accelerate the development of Autonomous Driving solutions. All interested parties are invited to join and support all of us in getting the right toolchains for Autonomous Driving development.