Mentor system enables Level 5 autonomous driving
Mentor, a Siemens business, introduced the DRS360 platform—an automated driving solution the company says features technology that captures, fuses, and uses raw data in real time from a wide range of sensing modalities, including radar, LIDAR, vision, and other sensors. The system is said to deliver improvements in latency reduction, sensing accuracy, and overall system efficiency required for SAE Level 5 autonomous vehicles.
In what the company claims is a first for autonomous driving platforms, DRS360 directly transmits unfiltered information from all system sensors to a central processing unit where raw sensor data is fused in real time at all levels. The platform employs “raw data sensors,” which are reportedly unburdened by the power, cost, and size penalties of microcontrollers and related processing in the sensor nodes. Eliminating pre-processing microcontrollers from all system sensor nodes enables advantages including real-time performance, reductions in system cost and complexity, and access to all captured sensor data for the highest resolution model of the vehicle’s environment and driving conditions.
The platform’s streamlined data transport architecture is designed to further lower system latency by minimizing physical bus structures; hardware interfaces; and complex, time-triggered Ethernet backbones. This architecture also enables situation-adaptive redundancy and dynamic resolution by using centralized, unfiltered sensor data to ensure enhanced accuracy and reliability. The solution’s signal processing software, algorithms, and neural networks for machine learning run on an integrated, automotive-grade platform.
"For more than 25 years, Mentor has worked with the world’s top automotive OEMs and suppliers to establish a leadership position in delivering solutions that drive innovation while meeting the industry’s unyielding requirements relative to safety, efficiency, and quality,” said Wally Rhines, CEO and Chairman of Mentor. “With the introduction of the compelling DRS360 solution, Mentor extends this leadership and investment to the automated driving technology sector. We look forward to playing a major role in helping the industry realize the massive potential and benefits of the autonomous vehicles era.”
Mentor says the DRS360 platform is engineered for production to meet the safety, cost, power, thermal, and emissions requirements for deployment in ISO 26262 ASIL D-compliant systems. DRS360 leverages the flexibility and signal processing efficiency of FPGAs, deploying a Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC device in the first generation while accommodating SoCs and safety controllers based on either X86- or ARM-based architectures. The result is a solution designed to support fully automated driving within a 100 W power envelope.