Top seven autonomous driving innovators
Electronics car company Delphi Automotive has joined forces with software business Mobileye, with the intention of having a fully autonomous car on the market by 2019. Autonomy in the automotive industry has become an unavoidable reality: here are our picks for some of the most exciting and important autonomous driving companies around.
The world’s most valuable website creators are also pioneers of the concept of autonomous cars, and Google is closer to perfecting the recipe than anybody else thus far. However, it is content to work solely on the software, leaving the hardware market open to manufacturing competitors.
Cisco, like Google, is focussed on the data and electronics required to make autonomous cars as smart as possible. It is teaming up with one of the biggest tier 1 auto parts suppliers – Continental – to make autonomous driving a mainstream reality by 2025 as per Continental’s long-term business strategy. The focus for the pairing is to create a network that will connect cars wirelessly, something it will develop until autonomy is reached.
This Chinese web services company teamed up with BMW in 2014, and by the end of 2015, it had produced the semi-autonomous 3-Series. This year, Baidu’s CEO unveiled plans to have fully autonomous cars on the road within five years, powered by its Baidu Brain technology. It is also planning an autonomous tourist service.
As one of the world’s biggest digital companies, Nvidia’s ambitious desire is to make autonomous technology upgradeable with its Drive PX2 software. Imagine being able to upgrade your vehicle’s system with just the touch of a button; periodic updates will enable this, and ensure that the car’s technology never has the chance to become obsolete.
This bus company manufacturer has been working on autonomous buses since 2012, and it claims to have successfully navigated one of them on an inter-city road in central China. As a comforting failsafe, the driver can switch from automatic to manual at will, but the company is clearly confident – it is demonstrating the ability of these vehicles on more public roads.
A list of autonomous vehicle companies wouldn’t be complete without Tesla. CEO Elon Musk has long been promising this concept within bafflingly short timeframes, and rolled out its Autopilot beta software last year. It suffered a setback when drivers began misusing it, followed by a dramatic Autopilot-driven fatality, but the company still promises that its autonomous and semi-autonomous Model 3 – which has already had 350,000 pre-orders – will be available soon.
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Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.