9/27/2004 - BAE Systems, Celoxica Ltd and Medius Inc. announced a novel software approach to sensor integration that allows for optimized performance and dramatic cost reduction for cruise control, collision avoidance and other automotive safety systems. Aimed at automotive-electronics system designers, the technology is delivered through the successful completion of release 2.0 in the companies' 'sensor fusion' technology demonstrator series.
Release 2.0 showcases the combined efforts of the three companies in the form of a 'self-aligning intelligent sensor' that can automatically line up with the frame of reference of the vehicle it is attached to (example sensors include; radar, lidar and cameras). This translates to a system that minimizes factory alignment issues, avoiding the need for complex, expensive and time consuming manual tasks when the system is first installed. Furthermore, the system stays accurate for its lifetime, since disturbances under normal operating conditions that may misalign the sensor are automatically detected and intelligently corrected.
Automotive sensor systems are increasing in complexity as functionality becomes more demanding; radar, lidar, ultrasound and video components are typically used to provide the vehicle with a view of what is happening around it. This 'situational awareness' picture needs to be both comprehensive and accurate - take adaptive cruise control (ACC) as an example. Forward looking ranging sensors must look ahead up to 200m in order to anticipate the actions of the vehicles in front. At this range, even very small alignment errors can correlate to errors greater than the width of the lane - enough to cause massive confusion as the device may mis-read street furniture, bridges or oncoming traffic as valid signals.
What is needed is a solution that will allow sensors to align and lock-on to the axes of the vehicle, and maintain lock under software control. This powerful feature allows new levels of trust and confidence in safety systems like collision avoidance and pre-crash.
All three organizations have come together and contributed complementary skills. BAE Systems brought extensive background in avionics development, where sensor fusion techniques have been validated and deployed to great effect over many years. Medius brought specific IPR and integration skills in the translation of such techniques into the automotive context. Celoxica provided the rapid prototyping and production design environment through their DK Design Suite of system design tools. The system was built, tested and installed in a vehicle within 90 days, and now provides a readily reconfigurable engine that can be used by Tier 1s and OEMs.
"This demonstration validates the proposition that solutions developed for aerospace can solve problems that the automotive industry is just starting to experience," commented Bob Flint, director of ventures at BAE Systems. "These software techniques are well-established and proven in avionics. They offer a resilient and cost-effective way of fixing the complexity and cost issues in emergent car sensor systems. I'm really excited about the potential here."
"A key aspect of this successful partnership is Medius' role as a bridge from aerospace technologies to automotive applications," said Dan Preston, CEO of Medius. "The automotive industry is not interested in long term research projects per se, what they desire are rapid implementations for evaluation and this product underscores that understanding."
"This application demonstrates the power of software-compiled system design for the rapid prototyping and production of complex systems," said Bernard Morgan, CFO of Celoxica, Ltd. "As the level of design complexity in automotive systems increases, our third-generation design technology delivers the must-have productivity and efficiency that designers need. Combine this with increasingly low-cost reconfigurable hardware and you can accelerate product innovation and mass deployment."
About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is an international company engaged in the development, delivery, and support of advanced defence and aerospace systems in the air, on land, at sea, and in space. The company designs, manufactures, and supports military aircraft, surface ships, submarines, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, and guided weapon systems. It is a pioneer in technology with a heritage stretching back hundreds of years. It is at the forefront of innovation, working to develop the next generation of intelligent defence systems.
BAE Systems has major operations across five continents and customers in some 130 countries. The company employs more than 90,000 people and generates annual sales of more than $20 billion through its wholly owned and joint-venture operations.
BAE Systems, innovating for a safer world. For more information, visit: www.baesystems.com/ventures
About MEDIUS Inc
Medius, Inc. is a US based firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with a support office in Detroit, Michigan. Medius has developed proprietary technology solutions and numerous patents covering sensor fusion applications for the automobile industry. Medius' technology team includes experts in the areas of sensor fusion, navigation, image recognition, communications and automotive systems. In addition to the core team, Medius has assembled a world class Advisory Board that range from top defense members to Senior Executives from Fortune 100 companies. For more information: www.medius1.com
An innovator in system-level electronic design automation (EDA), Celoxica supplies the design technology, IP and services that define Software-Compiled System Design, a methodology that exploits higher levels of design abstraction to dramatically improve silicon design productivity. Celoxica's products address hardware/software partitioning, co-verification and C-based synthesis to reconfigurable hardware. Established in 1996, Celoxica offers a proven route from complex software algorithms to hardware, and provides an ideal design environment for System FPGA with significant productivity advantages for digital signal processing applications such as imaging, electronic security and communications. For more information, visit: www.celoxica.com.
Celoxica and the Celoxica logo are trademarks of Celoxica, Ltd.
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