Real-Time Innovations (RTI), introduces the newest release of its Connext product suite, Connext 6 that includes the first connectivity software designed to accelerate the development and deployment of highly autonomous systems. It provides autonomous vehicle developers with the technology they need to address the challenges of Level 4 and Level 5 autonomy. Reportedly, Connext 6 offers the only standards-based framework to support autonomous vehicle development, from research to production.
Added features are compatible and interoperable across RTI’s Connext product suite: Connext DDS Secure and Connext DDS Professional for standard processors and microcontrollers, Connext DDS Micro for highly resource-constrained microcontrollers and Connext DDS Cert for the most safety-critical applications.
High Bandwidth Data Distribution
Highly autonomous systems pose an unprecedented challenge of assimilating large volumes of streaming data from LiDAR, high-definition cameras and radar sensors; distributing it to many destinations; and simultaneously analyzing and responding to it in real-time. In order to meet these requirements, autonomous vehicle developers would otherwise be forced to develop time-intensive, in-house data distribution solutions. However, with Connext 6, developers can now efficiently distribute high bandwidth sensor data to autonomous system applications, including for sensing, perception, visualization, mapping and display.
To support high-volume data, Connext 6 offers new mechanisms that are optimized for sending and receiving large data samples. These enhancements significantly enhance throughput and latency. With typical HD camera data, they reduce end-to-end latency by up to 67% when distributing data over an Ethernet network and up to 99% when distributing data over shared memory, between two applications running on the same processor. Connext 6 enhancements preserve traditional Connext DDS strengths. These include the ability to evolve data models over time while retaining interoperability with already deployed components, content-aware filtering and data introspection and DDS-compliant network interoperability.
Integration with Common Platforms and Frameworks
Complex technical challenges are compounded by a complex automotive supply chain. Automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) incorporate components provided by Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, which can lead to integration and security challenges. Connext 6 provides a data-centric, interoperable framework that supports all of the operating systems and processor families commonly used by OEMs and their suppliers—tested on nearly 100 different platforms. RTI’s software also supports use of the DDS standard in both the AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform and the Robotic Operating System (ROS2). The Connext Databus integrates AUTOSAR Adaptive, ROS2 and native DDS components together for optimized end-to-end data sharing with little or no custom integration required.
Vehicle manufacturers face the challenge of eventually needing to certify high-level autonomous systems to meet stringent safety standards, which can be expensive and highly complex. RTI’s Connext DDS Micro has been proven effective in safety-critical environments and provides a pathway to certification for ISO 26262 ASIL-D, the automotive functional safety standard. By leveraging Connext 6 capabilities, developers can eliminate the need for custom networking code and accompanying certification artifacts, avoiding years of development and certification effort and millions of dollars in cost. Additionally, Connext 6 includes RTI Connext DDS Secure, the only security standard designed for real-time control and autonomous applications. With this technology, manufacturers can apply fine-grain, data-centric flow control over security policies, such as access control and encryption.
The Connext 6 will be generally available in Q1 2019. Free licensing is available for evaluation, research and academic use; commercial subscriptions begin at $10,450 per year. For more details, checkout the Connext DDS product page. For inquiries, contact [email protected]