Self Driving Cars, Arm, Google

Britain based Arm Holdings is joining hands with automobile giants General Motors and Toyota to build a new computing architecture for operating self-driving cars. The focus of the alliance is to accelerate technological advancements in this direction.

Arm Holding’s products are currently utilized in millions of smartphones round the world, but the Cambridge-based chip creator has been batting for a new industry after Japan’s Softbank acquired it for 24 Billion Euros in 2016.

The company stated this Tuesday that it is working on the Autonomous Vehicle Computing Consortium, or AVCC in collaboration with Bosch Corp, Denso Corp and Continental AG. Other members helping this alliance are semiconductor makers Nvidia Corp and NXP Semiconductors.

With an increased number of automobile and tech companies coming together to work on driver-less cars, analysts are speculating on an increased number of chips to be implemented. But the prototype vehicles being used to test the self driving software still deploy the large and power consuming chips introduced in data centers. Both chip/automobile developers have agreed to work together to bring down this heavy power consumption to around one tenth of the current value, so that the cars can be easily maintained by general consumers.

Speaking with Reuters, Chet Babla, Arm’s vice president of automotive said;

I just came back from trips in the U.S. and China and had the opportunity to ride in four different types of autonomous vehicles. They were great prototype platforms for proving the software, but when I asked to look at the electronics powering these vehicles, it literally was servers in trunks. We’ve got a long way to go.

AVCC will be a separate group, funded by the membership fees of the companies which become a part of it. However, Arm has stated that its codes will remain open for non-members too.

Currently, the prime focus of the group is to forge an computer architecture with the help of which the car companies can easily write codes on the software, which later will work for all the chips from different vendors.

The chairman of the new group’s board and a lab group manager for research and development at GM, Massimo Osella said;

The massive amount of technological innovation required to power fully self-driving vehicles at scale requires collaboration at an industry level

And with AVCC, this is exactly what member companies are hoping to achieve!