Aptiv’s latest investment shows software-defined vehicles are here to stay – TechCrunch
Automakers eager to sell vehicles with software features and services — in an effort to generate more revenue — face a challenge of information overload.
These so-called software-defined vehicles contain a myriad of systems on a chip (SoC) running everything from electric powertrains to driver assistance features to infotainment. The bottom line is that they all have to work together.
Car sensors such as cameras and radars capture data, translate it and send it to the powertrain to activate features such as emergency braking. Everything must happen in real time, within milliseconds, while not interfering with the Spotify that a driver is streaming through the vehicle.
A wave of startups has sprung up in recent years to manage these critical information flows. TTTech Auto, a Vienna-based car safety software provider, is one such company. Its flagship product, MotionWise, is a security software platform that allows data to flow between a car’s various control systems and ensures that they operate safely, securely and in real time without interfering with with each other, according to Georg Kopetz, CEO and co-founder. from TTTech Auto.
TTTech Auto has just secured backing from leading Tier 1 automotive technology provider Aptiv, a sign of the vendor’s growing interest in technology that facilitates Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). TTTech Auto – which spun off from the TTTech Group, a provider of secure networked computing platforms in the automotive, aerospace, mobile machinery and automation industries – announced its $285 million increase on Thursday. of Series C dollars, led by Aptiv and backed by existing investor Audi. (Series C is expected to close within the next two months, the company said.)
Aptiv emerges as a strategic investor at a time when the company is working to accelerate the transition to the software-defined car by offering a full stack to automakers that includes high-performance hardware, cloud connectivity and open software architecture. , scalable and containerized.
Last month, Aptiv also acquired Wind River for $4.3 billion to integrate the company’s edge-to-cloud technology that develops, runs and manages mission-critical intelligent systems. TTTech Auto is not for sale. Kopetz says the company wants to continue operating independently so it can work with multiple industry players, but is pleased that MotionWise complements Aptiv’s strategy of delivering intelligent vehicle architecture on its path to becoming a leading player in the software-defined field. .
“The combined expertise and complementary technologies of Aptiv and Wind River – enhanced by TTTech’s deterministic framework, which enhances active safety software applications – are uniquely positioned to help OEMs cost-effectively accelerate development and deployment of the software-defined vehicle,” said Kevin Clark, President and CEO of Aptiv, during the fourth quarter 2021 and full year earnings call on Thursday.
TTTech and Aptiv have worked together in the past on Audi’s central driver assistance controller for automated driving, with Aptiv serving as the system vendor on the hardware side and TTTech supporting the architecture design and platform. -safety software form to ensure operations across ADAS.
While MotionWise has so far been primarily applied to ADAS and other automated driving features, the goal is to support the software as it moves towards Level 4 autonomy and level 5, which SAE sets as an autonomous system managing all driving within limited operational design domains or under all conditions, respectively.
With that in mind, Aptiv might have a longer-term reason to strategically invest in a scalable system architecture that works under the hood of autonomous vehicles. In 2017, Aptiv, formerly Delphi, bought autonomous vehicle technology company nuTonomy, which it then split into a separate joint venture with Hyundai, called Motional. Motional is currently preparing for thelaunch commercial robotaxi operations in partnership with Lyft in Las Vegas next year with a self-driving Hyundai Ioniq, as well as a self-delivery pilot with Uber in Santa Monica this year.
Neither Aptiv nor Kopetz have confirmed whether MotionWise will be applied to Motional vehicles in the future. The technology, which was originally launched in 2017, is already present in more than 2 million passenger vehicles worldwide, including Hyundai vehicles. MotionWise is also integrated into the software stacks of vehicles made by Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, Kia and SAIC Motor Corporation, Kopetz says.
For its part, TTTech intends to use its latest round of funding to grow its team internationally, with a strong focus on Asia, according to the company. TTTech Auto already operates a JV (Technomous) with SAIC Motor Corporation. The company announced plans to hire in software and security engineering, strategic product management, and business development in Asia, Europe, and North America.
Additionally, TTTech is on the lookout for potential mergers and acquisitions. While the company itself wants to remain an independent player so it can work with a range of ecosystem partners, it wants to acquire complementary products, technologies and services to continue to meet the ongoing security needs of builders. automobiles.
“We believe there is a lot of room for cooperation in this space, and this funding gives us the opportunity to grow on an independent path and also work with companies that need co-financing or co-innovation and are not able to do it on their own,” Kopetz said.