Tier IV, Inc. (HQ: Nagoya, Aichi Pref.; representative director and president: Kazuya Takeda; hereinafter “Tier IV”), together with Apex.AI (United States of America) and Linaro (United Kingdom), establish the international industrial group the Autoware Foundation (AWF), which aims to create an industrial standard for autonomous driving software. Autoware, a domestic product of Japan, is being increasingly implemented internationally as autonomous driving software that anyone can use for free. The companies involved with AWF have come together to spread the global implementation of Autoware further so as to promote the early realization of autonomous driving, be it on the national or industrial scale.
AWF is a non-profit organization for establishing and developing various projects related to Autoware. These are divided into three categories: Autoware.AI, Autoware.Auto, and Autoware.IO. Autoware.AI continues the existing Autoware Project, started in 2015, and has already been used by over 100 companies and in over 30 varieties of autonomous vehicle, mainly for research and development. Autoware.Auto reimplements Autoware.AI from the viewpoint of functional safety. This category involves the development of new in-vehicle Autoware, redesigned using the next-generation Robot Operating System (ROS) framework, ROS 2. Autoware.IO is comprised of the various ECU, architectures, vehicle control infrastructures, third-party software, and tools made for Autoware.
Shimpei Kato will serve as the representative of AWF’s Board of Directors, with Apex.AI’s Jan Becker and Linaro’s Yang Zhang also serving as directors. The Technical Steering Committee, which will guide the technological development of each project, will be composed of representatives selected from the participating businesses and organizations. In addition, because Autoware uses ROS and ROS 2 as frameworks, the Open Source Robotics Foundation’s (OSRF)’s Brian Gerkey will serve as AWF’s advisor. Along with Tier IV, Apex.AI, and Linaro, the other businesses and organizations involved at the time of AWF’s establishment are as follows (in alphabetical order):
ARM, AutoCore, AutonomouStuff, eSOL, Huawei/HiSilicon, Intel Labs, Kalray, LG Electronics, Nagoya University, Open Robotics (OSRF), Parkopedia, RoboSense, SEMI Japan, SiFive/RISC-V Foundation, StreetDrone, Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD), Velodyne LiDAR, Xilinx
All businesses and organizations who wish to contribute to the development of autonomous driving technology are welcome to participate in AWF. Please contact below for details on getting involved.
Comments from AWF’s directors:
“Thank all of you involved in making this crucial launch of the Autoware Foundation. Autoware will drive innovation for everyone who loves open-source software and autonomous driving technology. We can never make it alone. We are all here to open the way to the future together. Tier IV’s vision is to democratize an ecosystem of intelligent vehicles. As part of the Autoware Foundation, Tier IV provides mobility service platforms and software toolchains that enable Autoware to be deployed in the emerging market.”
—— Shinpei Kato, Founder and CTO, Tier IV
“Apex.AI is thrilled to be part of the Autoware Foundation. An open source project of this scope needs to be independent from a single company and must embrace the community supporting it. Therefore we are following the example of the Linux Foundation and Open Robotics by putting all Autoware projects under the roof of this foundation.”
—— Jan Becker, Co-Founder and CEO, Apex.AI
“Autoware has recognized momentum in the industry and we are excited to be able to build on its success to offer open source projects supporting the deployment of the world’s leading autonomous vehicle technology. Linaro’s 96Boards program will help define the standardized hardware platforms on which to maintain and grow the Autoware code base and extend support for it across a broader range of SoC solutions.”
—— Yang Zhang, Director of 96Boards, Linaro
Comments from participating companies and organizations:
”As we work towards the mass deployment of safe, fully autonomous vehicles, we need to ensure that automotive players have the ability to influence technical direction and implement platform support for their solutions. This partnership will allow the Autoware ecosystem to further collaborate on certifiable software stacks for secure, safe, and efficient next-generation vehicles.”
—— Mark Hambleton, Vice President Open Source Software, Arm
“The AutonomouStuff team leads the industry in implementing, supporting and deploying Autoware applications in automated vehicles and fleets. As part of the Autoware Foundation, we look forward to enabling further rapid development of autonomous driving solutions that will utilize our combined solutions.”
—— Bobby Hambrick, Founder and CEO, AutonomouStuff
“We are excited to join this new venture to further accelerate the realization of autonomous driving technologies. eSOL already supports Autoware with its eMCOS, the scalable and safe RTOS, and welcomes the idea of safety-certifiable Autoware. “
—— Masaki Gondo, CTO and Vice President, eSOL
“We are thrilled to be joining the Autoware Foundation. Huawei is a leading global ICT solutions provider. We advocate customer-centricity, dedication, and continuous innovation based on customer needs. Collaboration with Autoware enables us to work with the community to develop the self-driving vehicle software that accelerates the industry growth and benefits our customers.”
—— Jerry Su, Chief Architect of Huawei Autonomous Driving, Huawei
“We are very excited of participating to the Autoware Foundation creation. The Autoware open software stack is one of the most advanced software available today for autonomous and intelligent systems. We will work with the other members of the foundation to open, extend and industrialize this software solution and make it run with optimum efficiency on Kalray MPPA intelligent processor family”
—— Eric Baissus, CEO, Kalray
“We are excited to join the Autoware Foundation and to offer LG’s autonomous driving simulator with built-in support for Autoware to facilitate research, development, and testing of autonomous software. We look forward to collaborating with foundation members and the community at large as we drive towards an autonomous future together.”
—— Seonman Kim, Vice President of Advanced Platform Lab, LG Electronics.
“We’re excited to be part of the Autoware Foundation. We share a common vision of building new industries on open platforms. It’s exciting to see Autoware committing to using and contributing to ROS 2, and we look forward to further collaboration between our communities.”
—— Brian Gerkey, CEO, Open Robotics (OSRF)
“We are thrilled to be joining the Autoware Foundation at such an early stage following our involvement and contributions to the Autoware open source self-driving car project. Parkopedia is committed to building high quality automotive-grade maps to support Autonomous Valet Parking and our collaboration with Autoware enables us to work with the community to develop the self-driving car software on which we will demonstrate these maps.”
——Brian Holt, Head of Autonomous Driving, Parkopedia
“Autoware”as an open-source software platform has widespread influence in the autonomous driving ecosystem. That it has already established deep cooperation with numerous world’s top autonomous driving players and that it has never ceased in promoting the development of autonomous driving technology is highly in alignment with the vision of RoboSense. It’s our greatest honor to become the Founding Member of the Autoware Foundation. Through providing the best LiDAR system solutions comprised of LiDAR hardware and software, we wish to share our interpretation and accumulation of technology in the LiDAR and the autonomous driving industry, and to make our share of contribution to the Foundation.”
—— Mark Qiu, CO-founder and COO, RoboSense
”Through participation to the Autoware Foundation, TRI-AD would like to help build a large, engaged, and self-governed open source community around Autonomous Driving Technology by contributing and providing support for code that it will be using internally.”
—— James Kuffner, CEO, Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD)
“We are very proud to be Autoware Foundation members. Xilinx’s flexible and adaptive processing platforms will contribute to define projects towards the development of semi-autonomous and autonomous platforms with Autoware Foundation members.”
—— Dan Isaacs, Director of Automotive Strategy & Market Development, Xilinx Inc.