Tuesday, April 8, 2014

QNX helps drive new autonomous vehicle project

Have I ever mentioned the QNX-in-Education program? Over the decades, it has supported an array of university research projects, in fields ranging from humanoid robotics to autonomous aircraft. Harvard University, for example, has been a program member for more than 20 years, using QNX technology to measure and analyze ozone depletion in the stratosphere.

So, on the one hand, QNX Software Systems supports scientific and engineering research. On the other hand, it's a leader in automotive software. You know what that means: it was only a matter of time before those two passions came together. And in fact, QNX has just announced its role in DEEVA, a new autonomous car project from the Artificial Vision and Intelligent Systems Laboratory (VisLab) of the University of Parma.

A glimpse of DEEVA (Source VisLab).

The folks at VisLab already have several autonomous projects under the belts. Last year, for example, they launched a self-driving car that can negotiate downtown rush-hour traffic and complex situations like traffic circles, traffic lights, and pedestrian crossings. DEEVA incorporates the team's latest insights into autonomous drive and features a rich set of sensors that deliver a complete 3D view of the circumference of the vehicle.

With its 30-year history in safety-critical systems, QNX OS technology offers a natural choice for a project like DEEVA. According to Professor Alberto Broggi, president and CEO of VisLab, "in the design of our vehicle, we selected building blocks offering high reliability with proven safety records; the operating system powering the vital elements of the vehicle is one of those and is why we chose the QNX OS.”

The QNX OS controls several systems in DEEVA, including path and trajectory planning, realtime fusion of laser data and visual data, and the user interface.

You can read the press release here and see photos of DEEVA here

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