Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2018


Interview with Lars Geyer-Blaumeiser
OpenADx – xcelerate your Automated Driving development. Leveraging open collaboration and open source to accelerate development of Automated Driving

Photo of Lars Geyer-Blaumeiser

Lars Geyer-Blaumeiser will give a talk about OpenADx – xcelerate your Automated Driving development. Leveraging open collaboration and open source to accelerate development of Automated Driving at FOSDEM 2018.

Q: Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I have been a software developer for the last 20 years. 10 years ago, I started to work in an open source context by building products on top of the Eclipse IDE. This was mainly using the Eclipse IDE and enhancing it as proprietary product. During this time, I was involved in several activities within and around the Eclipse Foundation, like founding the Automotive Industrial Working Group, or being speaker of the Artop User Group, which is unfortunately not really an open source initiative. Since August I am at Bosch Software Innovations, a subsidiary of the Robert Bosch GmbH, in a unit that provides open source services ranging from open source management, over open source software development, to open ecosystem building.

Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?

I will talk about our initiative together with the Bosch Automated Driving business area to create an open ecosystem for the development of common solutions used in the creation of Automated Driving products throughout the industry. I will present how we set up the community and which approach we took for doing first collaborative work.

The initiative is a great opportunity to speed up time to market for automated driving but also an important experiment to push the idea of collaboration within the industry and, in addition, with the IT industry.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish by giving this talk? What do you expect?

I have basically two goals with the talk. First, I want to discuss our approach with other folks from the open source world to share our experience but also grab some new ideas that could fine tune the approach. Second, since I assume many people from different industries to participate at FOSDEM, perhaps the chance to find some more interested parties that could strengthen and broaden the initiative.

Q: What’s the history of the OpenADx initiative? What was the motivation to start it?

The OpenADx initiative is brand new. It started by discussions in the last year between interested companies and other organizations. We are still in the process of attracting partners, but first development results are about to get published. One important upcoming milestone for the ecosystem is the Bosch Connected Experience, a big hackathon in which we will provide the possibility to experiment with automated driving tools and methods later in February. The experience shows, that the problem statement is very valid and many companies show interest in participating in the initiative.

The motivation for the initiative is pretty simple. Many of those understanding the problem see this as the most promising approach to speed up the development and to keep the investment limited. On the other hand, the world is changing and collaboration becomes more and more important. The initiative is also targeted to understand these new models and to find ways for speeding up processes which formerly were typically executed in standardization bodies.

Q: What’s so special about tool chains for automated driving system development compared to other tool chains in the automotive industry?

Tool chains in the automotive industry have been a pain for many years. A lot of effort is going into specialized tooling and glue between tools. The tool chains are complex and many aspects need to be taken into account. Automated driving adds quite a lot to the complexity, because many new areas come into the scope of the tool chain. Examples for these areas are machine learning, extensive simulation or handling of massive data. There are lots of tools that solve certain aspects, but these tools are not well integrated. A lot of effort is needed to provide a seamless tool chain, but the uniqueness of the solution is not given and the return on invest is basically zero. So, it is a natural thing to collaborate in this domain and profit by getting better solutions for less investment.

Q: What does OpenADx’s community look like? Which types of companies are active in it? And which types of companies do you still want to get involved?

Initiators of the community are Microsoft and Bosch, which already shows a nice mixture of different industries. In the workshops, we saw companies from a wide range of industries like the IT industry, technology providers, tool vendors and of course car manufacturers and suppliers. Research organizations show interest as well. All of these organizations see the chance with OpenADx to make a difference in a better collaboration. Since this is targeted as a worldwide initiative, we would appreciate more companies from Asia and America to join. We had a good start with interested partners in the US, but since the center of the work moved to Germany lately, the focus shifted towards companies with a strong footprint in Europe.

Q: The OpenADx initiative has organized three workshops last year. What were the results of these workshops? And which results can we expect this year coming out of the OpenADx workshops?

The first two workshops held in Redmond and Stuttgart were about sharing the idea and discussing the approach with interested companies. The result was basically a group of interested organizations sharing information and preparing for the collaboration. In addition, we indentified the principle work pattern starting with experiments called testbeds which lead to open source projects later on. In the third workshop, we detailed the idea of the testbeds and identified two areas in which we will start to experiment. We are currently working on these testbeds and we will show demonstrators of our collaborative work soon this year. In parallel we are discussing with some partners to open source already existing stuff to push the initiative.

Q: Have you enjoyed previous FOSDEM editions?

This is my first visit to FOSDEM, so I am looking forward to make this a first-time experience ☺.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons License

This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Belgium License.