Everyone involved in the autonomous vehicle technology domain freely
acknowledges its difficulties, including myriad requisite technology
disciplines and immense development complexities. From hardware to the
software and design tools, there are many moving parts that require careful
And yet, despite all the hard work still to be done, on the eve of National
Autonomous Vehicle Day (May 31) there’s a lot to celebrate. Together we
look forward to a future era of fully autonomous, L5-class vehicles that
transport passengers and cargo with the utmost safety and efficiency. There is
a lot of progress being made and NXP is proud to be at the forefront of this
Amid all the design complexities at play, all automotive OEMs and Tier One
suppliers agree on passenger and pedestrian safety as the pre-eminent goal.
There can be no compromises in this regard. Safety cannot be an afterthought
nor should it be addressed with retrofits to technologies originally targeted
for other domains.
On the hardware side, a processing platform designed for consumer and/or
datacenter-class applications is less than ideal for embedded automotive apps
for a host of reasons relating to power efficiency, thermal management,
cost—and most importantly, safety. Conformance with automotive safety
standards should be baked into the processing solution from day one.
the processing platform is just one of the many technologies at play during
system testing, validation and production processes. Among the many other key
enabling technologies, you need massive processing acceleration,
safety-certified real time operating systems (RTOS), advanced motion control
and pathfinding capabilities and precision traffic and sensor simulation.
Ideally, you’d also leverage an open source software development
platform that liberates you from proprietary vendor tools locking you into a
fixed set of features and functions, limiting your ability to differentiate in
Today there is no single technology vendor that offers all of these
capabilities. These technology functions can’t be single-sourced and
automotive OEMs and Tier One suppliers can’t go it alone. The good news
is that they don’t have to. NXP is helping to build the requisite
vendor ecosystem to address all of the aforementioned design
publicly demonstrated these capabilities. These are the core elements of NXP’s Safe Central Compute
Automotive OEMs and Tier One suppliers are counting on this growing ecosystem
of technology providers to converge on a common framework that prioritizes
safety above all else on the pathway to L5 vehicle autonomy. Ultimately, they
need a clear, consistent development path from L2 onward that leverages
scalable embedded processing capacity and software resources that are proven
compatible and help to minimize major system re-designs in the years ahead.
Together with technology leaders like Kalray, Green Hills Software, Embotech,
dSPACE and others—in coordination with non-profit organizations like
the Autoware Foundation promoting open source development
initiatives—NXP is harnessing our efforts into a unified framework that
ADAS and automotive AI system designers can trust for ASIL-grade quality and
reliability, even as their designs evolve. The end goal is to help OEMs and
Tier Ones minimize workflow and interoperability complexities—and
associated costs—to help them innovate the future of autonomous vehicle
The road ahead to full L5-class autonomous vehicles will be difficult, but the
destination holds tremendous promise. On National Autonomous Vehicle Day,
alongside our trusted technology partners, we celebrate what’s to come.
Learn more about NXP’s
Safe Central Compute initiative.