EE Times Europe: Vehicle developers drive innovation under many different types of technology; Connected car, automated driving, sensor fusion – which one of these challenges interest Vector the most?
Helmut Schelling: Actually, all of them. Vector addresses all electronic functions in the car. The connected car has multiple aspects to offer, from remote access to car functions via smartphone apps to vehicle-to-x communication (V2X) which enables cars to talk to each other or to the infrastructure to increase traffic safety and driving comfort. In all of these fields we have been active for several years; our advanced development team was involved in the first pilot projects of these technologies. In the connected car, a communication module is required to handle remote access although we don’t develop this by ourselves, it still needs to be connected to the car. - Another field we have been active in for several years is automated driving functions and the required sensors needed for this technology.
However, we do not develop driving algorithms, this task has been assumed by companies like Google or the well-known OEMs. Nevertheless you need tools to implement such functions, starting with measurement technology. In this area we recently widened our portfolio through acquisitions. An example is Baselabs, a company which provides comprehensive tools for the development of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). In addition, in IT infrastructure and ECUs, powerful computers and their associated real-time operating system software are required, which includes the software for data communication across the usual data buses including Ethernet. In all of these areas we are active, offering tools and software that contribute to the big picture compiled by the automotive manufacturers.
EE Times Europe: So your tools are covering all segments relevant for developers – in a certain sense they are technology and domain agnostic?
Schelling: Yes, as far as the basic versions of these tools are concerned. But we offer specific extensions for each of the application fields you mentioned. To develop a V2X system, you need a different system than to develop a radar sensor. The basic versions of these tools can be used across the entire application bandwidth, but to cover specific application cases you need specific tool versions.