Real-Time Innovations' Connext DDS selected as connectivity framework for NextDroid's self-driving vehicles



Real-Time Innovations (RTI) has announced that its RTI Connext DDS has been selected as the connectivity framework for NextDroid's self-driving vehicles.

NextDroid, which is an autonomous vehicle and robotics company, is developing a variety of autonomous systems across both the automotive and maritime space, and the company is utilizing RTI's technology as part of a “modular software architecture” that enables real-time processing of different sensor data across a distributed computing platform.

“Intelligent, autonomous systems are driving the largest market transition in history,” says Bob Leigh, senior market development director, autonomous systems, at RTI.

“Connectivity is the driving technology of this market evolution and we are thrilled to work with innovative companies like NextDroid to accelerate adoption. As the autonomous vehicle market evolves, RTI Connext DDS continues to play a crucial role in accelerating the design, development and safety of these autonomous systems by providing an efficient, cost-effective and customized path for each of our customers.”

​It is imperative that autonomous vehicles meet demanding requirements such as safety, security and fast data processing. With this in mind, Connext DDS provides the “essential framework needed to reliably communicate between nodes” within the autonomous car.

The companies point out that balancing the communication requirements of several subsystems is important to ensuring that information moves seamlessly throughout the vehicle, and Connext DDS provides the tools needed to make such a complex system practical.

NextDroid relies on RTI to manage the full scope of messaging in its autonomous systems. The company’s “distributed computing architecture” requires a “form of seamless connectivity where software modules can freely move around computational resources as the system evolves.”

The data passing between NextDroid's modules is highly varied. Sensor data within NextDroid's systems is often high bandwidth, and requires “timely delivery” to multiple nodes. This is “intermingled with control signals and event-based messages,” which have differing requirements on bandwidth, latency and reliability. They need a guarantee that messages will be delivered quickly and efficiently, from sensors, through software modules, to controllers, with minimal overhead. 

“Fielding autonomous vehicles to consumers requires not only performance and flexibility today, but the safety, security and reliability to deploy at scale,” says Daniel Gandhi, director of autonomous vehicles at NextDroid.

“For systems that need to operate for billions of miles over decades, we rely on the proven pedigree of RTI's Connext DDS.”

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