New technology and automotive alliance to develop next-generation networking for CAVs


A group of technology and automotive industry leaders has formed the Networking for Autonomous Vehicles (NAV) Alliance, to drive the ecosystem development required for the next generation of in-vehicle network infrastructure for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV).

Connected and autonomous driving is creating a need for a new breed of in-vehicle networking solutions that can transmit data between the increasing number of high-resolution sensors, cameras and processing engines at blazing-fast speeds. CAVs have become data centers on wheels, constantly analyzing vast amounts of information to ensure the safest and most secure experience for passengers, pedestrians and other vehicles. The new alliance has been founded by leading vehicle manufacturers, technology suppliers and networking players in the automotive market, sharing the goal of developing the ecosystem that is required for next-generation Multi-Gig Automotive Ethernet networks in the vehicle.

The founding members of the NAV Alliance include Aquantia, Bosch, Continental, Nvidia, and Volkswagen, with the companies joining together in an effort to shape the future of next-generation in-vehicle Multi-Gig Ethernet networking technologies, as society prepares for the paradigm shift to autonomous driving. Similar to a very advanced nervous system, this next-generation networking architecture is based on an array of ECUs, CPUs, GPUs, high-definition cameras, sensors, gateways, and storage devices, all connected through a high-speed, Multi-Gigabit/s Ethernet network that works to seamlessly move data throughout the vehicle securely and reliably.

The NAV Alliance’s founding objectives include:

Develop the ecosystem for next generation Multi-Gig Ethernet automotive networking;

Create specifications for interoperability, security and reliability of the in-vehicle network;

Promote products and solutions that adhere to the new specifications;

Establish standards body liaisons;

Build marketing activities to build awareness and educate the market place and users.

Founding members will focus on these core objectives and expand the NAV Alliance membership roster in the coming months to include additional automotive suppliers and manufacturers.

“Redundant and diverse AI algorithms are the key to level 5 automation. However, the volume of data generated by multiple types of sensors (camera, radar, lidar, ultrasound) can reach 32TB every eight hours; that level of data transfer calls for a new breed of ultra-high-speed networks, including Multi-Gig Ethernet,” noted James Hodgson, senior analyst for autonomous driving at ABI Research. “The NAV alliance will catalyze the development of a reliable next generation of networking platform for self-driving cars.”

Gary Hicok, senior vice president of hardware development at Nvidia, commented, “Autonomous vehicles require an onboard AI supercomputer, architected for functional safety, capable of processing vast amounts of sensor data through redundant and diverse deep neural networks and algorithms. Multi-Gig Ethernet has a proven track record for interoperability and scalability, making it a natural choice for automotive connectivity, delivering critical data from the sensor suite to the vehicle’s AI brain.”

Amir Bar-Niv, VP of marketing for strategic markets at Aquantia, added, “The creation of the NAV Alliance and the focus on Multi-Gig Ethernet will help drive strong industry standards that can ultimately change the role of transportation in society.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).