Ericsson developing autonomous vehicle software cloud platform

Ericsson has partnered with Zenuity to develop a cloud-based platform for autonomous driving software, connected vehicle safety, and advanced driver assistance support.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Ericsson has announced partnering with automotive software developer Zenuity to develop an end-to-end platform for connected safety, advanced driver assistance support (ADAS), and autonomous driving software and functions.

Zenuity, a joint venture between Volvo and automotive safety system company Autoliv, will use Ericsson's mobile connectivity management Internet of Things (IoT) solution, IoT Accelerator, with its own connected cloud solution for data management and security.

According to Ericsson, the Zenuity Connected Cloud will integrate vehicle software and systems with connected safety data gathered from surrounding infrastructure and vehicles.

"The end-to-end offering will consist of in-vehicle software integrated with other vehicle functions, onboard sensors, and cloud support functions that will provide external data from other vehicles and cloud infrastructure," Ericsson explained.

"This will enable real-time visibility to guide vehicles with information and events in transit."

Zenuity CEO Dennis Nobelius said the platform would also provide equipment manufacturers with scalable cloud-based solutions to speed up time to market for their own connected car applications.

Once complete, the Zenuity-Ericsson offering will be sold and marketed by Autoliv to automotive companies across the globe.

Ericsson last month also announced joining a new auto consortium alongside Intel, NTT, NTT DoCoMo, Toyota, and Denso aimed at harnessing the big data being generated by the connected car industry.

The Automotive Edge Computing Consortium said it would be concentrating on developing new architectures to support the expected 10 exabytes a month that will be generated from smart cars, with plans to also propose industry standards and best practices.

Ericsson launched its Connected Vehicle Marketplace back in February, with the cloud-based service aimed at allowing equipment manufacturers to share data and applications with third parties.

Ericsson's Connected Vehicle Marketplace provides a single digital marketplace for open APIs for telematics data, regulated data sharing, partner management, and charging and billing solutions, the networking giant said.

According to Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm, the Connected Vehicle Marketplace is an essential part of Ericsson's strategy for enabling connectivity, security, and innovation across the automotive industry into the future.

The marketplace is also powered by Ericsson's IoT Accelerator.

Ericsson has been actively working on connected cars trials, earlier this year attaining data transfer speeds of 3.6Gbps on connected cars travelling at 170km/h in partnership with SK Telecom and BMW across a test 5G network.

In May, it also trialled 5G network technology across connected cars during the lead-up to the Indianapolis 500 motor race in partnership with Intel and telecommunications carrier Verizon.

The companies made use of 5G technologies such as beam forming and beam tracking, wherein antenna arrays steer a beam to where a user is with less radio interference, attaining speeds in excess of 6Gbps across Verizon's 5G trial network.

More than 180 beams were targeted at the car on the Indy 500 racetrack, with a prototype 5G antenna installed on the roof of the vehicle.

Ericsson unveils MediaFirst Content Processing

Ericsson has also announced its new software-based MediaFirst Content Processing platform using an ultra high-definition (UHD) TV decoder and common off-the-shelf (COTS) servers.

The UHD decoder offers high-bitrate, low-latency, 4K high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) decoding in High Dynamic Range (HDR) and video over IP, Ericsson said, while the COTS servers allow for cloud operation without disrupting latency or data speeds.

"The first application designed by Ericsson for the platform is UHDTV HEVC contribution decoding. By combining the flexibilities of COTS servers with Ericsson hardware acceleration, service providers can efficiently future proof media processing applications," Ericsson said.

"The solution supports today's connectivity needs, with either ASI or IP inputs and 4:2:0 or 4:2:2, 8-bit or 10-bit uncompressed outputs via a range of industry standard connections."

Ericsson's head of Media Processing and Delivery for its Media Solutions business Arpad Jordan said MediaFirst Content Processing is "the industry's first software-based, multi-application media processing platform" aimed at the contribution market.

"This innovation will offer a way for contribution service providers to deliver revenue-generating, immersive viewing experiences like UHDTV at an affordable cost," Jordan added.

"They will be able to repurpose media-processing applications and optimise cloud architectures."

Ericsson in April similarly said Australian carrier Telstra would be deploying its virtualised video-processing system in order to offer broadcasters cloud-based processing, transcoding, streaming, and distribution of media workloads via micro-services across its network.

Ericsson said its MediaFirst Video Processing portfolio would allow the telecommunications provider to process and deliver broadcast-ready content in near-real time.

Its video-processing suite utilises HEVC compression technology and is made up of MediaFirst Encoding Live, MediaFirst Encoding On Demand, MediaFirst Packaging, and MediaFirst Management Controller.

Telstra and Ericsson also announced their media content-delivery solution with 21st Century Fox in February, with the solution making use of Ericsson's cloud-based MediaFirst store for processing and origin of the content; Ericsson MediaFirst TV platform for personalisation of the content; and Ericsson Unified Delivery Network for global content delivery.

They will also be launching an LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B) network across the country to be progressively deployed between 2017 and 2018.

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