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5 things you should know about OpenADx

3 min

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  • OpenADx is an open source autonomous driving accelerator. The goals here are the creation of an autonomous toolchain specification that is accepted industry-wide, a reference architecture, and the interoperability between tools based on open interfaces. The initiative strives to become the leading autonomous driving ecosystem.

OpenADx is centered around the autonomous driving toolchain and aims to bring transparency and better integration capabilities into the highly heterogeneous autonomous driving tool space. This initiative is open to OEMs, Tier 1s, and tool and technology vendors. OpenADx was launched by Bosch and Microsoft and now comprises contributors from the industrial, research, and start-up worlds. It is an industry-wide initiative with the goal of accelerating the development of autonomous driving.

Why was OpenADx created?

For OEMs and Tier 1s, the development of autonomous functionalities is extremely complicated. A high number of complex software tools are required to reach the desired level of functionalities. If you look at the development, test, and validation tools needed to cover the entire autonomous driving development chain, you can see that it’s a jungle out there. Only few of these developer tools interact with each other in an efficient manner. A seamlessly integrated set of tools from different vendors could enable developers from various companies to structure the development process to be more swift and efficient.

Individual parts of the autonomous driving toolchain Source: Bosch

What advantages does OpenADx offer?

The autonomous driving toolchain enables developers at OEMs and Tier 1s to collaborate better and faster through a series of highly integrated tools. For example, they can seamlessly transfer data and code for each step of the autonomous driving application development process.

The advantages for the manufacturers of tools and technology lies in the seamless integration of their software tools and technologies in the autonomous driving toolchain. This increases the likelihood of their tools being implemented within a broader industrial context. The respective tools and technologies will then be used by more developers, yielding higher market penetration and revenue.

Target groups of the autonomous driving toolchain initiative OpenADx Source: Bosch

What does OpenADx stand for?

With the open approach involving stakeholders from the widest variety of fields in an open source community within the Eclipse Foundation, OpenADx is not creating competition. Rather, it is inviting companies to collaborate on the toolchain’s reference architecture. The “x” in OpenADx stands for acceleration: testbeds are a key driver, allowing participants to focus on concrete use cases and quickly deliver integrated tools for support with a particular problem. Testbeds are ideal vehicles for validating solution blueprints. They often combine technologies and tools that are available today and quickly put the interaction between technologies to the test. A strong go-to-market focus usually leads to pilots and/or minimum viable products in around six to twelve months. Currently, there are two OpenADx testbeds, “Simulation” and “Massive Data Ingest and Management,” which are both fundamental in character when it comes to the development of autonomous driving applications. These testbeds are prototypes for potential open source projects.

Which role does the Eclipse Foundation play for OpenADx?

Participating companies and organizations are initially working on OpenADx in testbeds within the scope of the Eclipse Foundation, which is serving as the OpenADx community host. The legal framework of the open source association enables companies to collaborate in small, loosely coupled ecosystems free from complex contracts and official partnerships. However, collaboration on such a large scale in a classic industry requires a proven and trusted environment. The Eclipse Foundation provides exactly that through industrial working groups, open source contribution management and legal support, the Eclipse Public License, experience in ecosystem set-up and management as well as solid representation in Europe and North America to support transatlantic collaboration.

Will autonomous driving IP be freely shared?

Within OpenADx, the commercial tools and their data are not disclosed, only the interfaces that permit seamless tool interaction and tools that are already freely available today and/or are freely developed within the scope of OpenADx. Nothing is made available that contains marketable IP. As an open initiative, OpenADx only operates demonstrators in order to be able to run test data in the testbeds. This will be a free test data pool for experimentation.

Want to know more about OpenADx or to join the initiative? Here is some house-keeping:

OpenADx includes several industrial players, research organizations, universities, and start-ups

Receive all information on OpenADx, current workshops and hackdays as well as updates on the two testbeds

What is an autonomous driving toolchain?

Autonomous driving accelerator "OpenADx" launched