Wind River, state of Ohio collaborate on testing self-driving cars

June 08, 2017 // By Julien Happich
A subsidiary of Intel, Wind River (Alameda, CA) has engaged with the Transportation Research Center (TRC), Ohio State University (OSU), and the City of Dublin, OH to advance smart, connected, and autonomous technologies. The planned collaboration - focused around the Columbus region in central Ohio - aims to accelerate learning in the automotive community.

The group looks to develop strategies and technologies that safely and securely increase the pace, quality, development, testing, and deployment of self-driving and other connected vehicle technologies.

“The Central Ohio region is an emerging hub for smart city and smart vehicle technologies, and our unique ensemble approach - uniting minds from academia, the public sector, and the tech industry - can set a standard for how communities can innovate mobility and use the learnings to impact vehicle development and deployment best practices,” said Marques McCammon, general manager of Connected Vehicle Solutions at Wind River.

“To realize autonomous driving for the masses, a variety of players must come together with an aligned understanding.”

“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 research. This makes a city like Dublin—which embraces technology and is already one of the most connected smart cities in the U.S.—such a natural partner,” adds McCammon.

The group is planning to test emerging technologies to discover how a symbiotic relationship between vehicles and infrastructure can improve the lives of community residents. In addition to the self-driving cars themselves, the group plans to test technologies such as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, connected vehicle cockpit software, smart sensing and mapping, and the associated data collection. With Ohio State students, researchers, and faculty to play a key role, the collaboration is also intended to further develop the next generation of expert automotive minds.

The key objective for the project’s initial phase includes joint development and testing of autonomous vehicles or “rolling laboratories.” Applying its expertise from the aerospace and defense, industrial, and automotive industries, Wind River plans to spearhead the project development and contribute its proven software for safety-critical systems.

TRC is the largest independent proving ground and vehicle testing organization in the Americas. It is home to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Vehicle Research and Test Center and acts as a one-stop research and development source for the entire auto industry. With expertise in areas such as crash, emissions, and durability testing, TRC can lead the validation process for the collaboration’s vehicles and be the hub for build and rigorous testing on its 4,500 acres of road courses and 7.5-mile high-speed oval.

“The first autonomous vehicle will be on the highway before the last driver vehicle comes off. So, really, part of the challenge is how you mix the two. We can mix the two, on purpose in a safe and controlled environment here,” said Mark-Tami Hotta, TRC CEO and president.