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Meeting review

Review: 9th Open AutoDrive Forum on March 6, 2018

The 9th Open Auto Drive Forum (OADF) meeting was hosted by NNG in Budapest, Hungary. After the last meetings in the USA in May and in Japan in November 2017, it was the first meeting in Europe again. As such it focused on the alignment with Standardization activities in Europe.

The speaker of OADF, Dr. Volker Sasse introduced to OADF which is focusing on the use of maps for automated driving. He stated that implementing automated driving will require a fundamental shift of the paradigm of traffic systems from individualism to collectivism. The individual vehicle will become part of the data collecting and sharing crowd. Maps will play an important role as the reference for storing and sharing information. The cooperation in automated driving would save millions of lives.

In its keynote speech, Prof. Zsolt Szalay from the University of Budapest introduced to the research history in autonomous driving projects in Hungary and ‘RECAR’, being a multidisciplinary cooperation for autonomous road vehicles in Hungary. The RECAR program comes with own education and research programs. One focus is testing and validation, ranging from computer simulations up to real traffic system tests on public roads. Hungary is presently constructing a unique proving ground dedicated for testing autonomously driving cars. The RECAR program is embedded in the Smart Mobility Platform in Hungary, targeting also non-technical prerequisites for automated driving such as legislation, standardization and economical aspects.

The remainder of the morning sessions was dedicated to introductions and updates from the standardization bodies. Michael Klingsoehr from Bosch SoftTec reported on ADASIS, Dr. Volker Sasse from NavInfo on the Navigation Data Standard (NDS) Association, Prokop Jehlicka from HERE on SENSORIS, Dr. Matthias Unbehaun from TISA on TPEG3, Hiroki Sakai from the Mitsubishi Research Institute on SIP-adus, Stephen T’Siobbel from TomTom on TN-ITS and Michael Scholz from DLR on OpenDRIVE. All organizations were very active in preparing their formats for automated driving and reported on significant progress since the last OADF meetings.

The afternoon session was again dedicated to updates from the cross-organizational working areas in OADF: the evolvement of the OADF Reference Ecosystem, the preparation of highly reliable maps for automated driving as well as the preparation of interfaces between the different standardized formats by implementing a directory of attribute descriptions.

Since its first meeting end of 2015, the OADF meetings attracted a continuously high number of participants. OADF and its three meetings per year across the continents have proven to ensure a continuous information exchange and alignment of all stakeholders dealing with maps in the context of automated driving. Continuing in this spirit, the 10th meeting is scheduled in July 2018 in China. The focus of this second meeting in China is to align again with the rapidly evolving activities in China regarding autonomous driving.

The OADF Steering Committee with the host of the 9th Meeting
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Meeting review

Review: 8th Open AutoDrive Forum on November 13, 2017

The 8th meeting of the Open Auto Drive Forum (OADF) took place on November 13, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. The meeting was used to harmonize the activities between OADF and SIP-adus in Japan. One major insight was that the OADF member NDS is the only known organization which provides an already available standard for high-definition maps as they are required for autonomous driving.

The meeting was opened by M. Fukushima, SIP-adus sub program Director and by Dr. V. Sasse, the spokesman of OADF. Keynote speaker of the event was T. Ozawa, Vice President of the Dynamic Map Platform (DMP) Cooperation. Mr. Ozawa introduced to DMP, which was founded by relevant stakeholders in the area of automated driving in Japan. He introduced to the objectives of DMP, namely to cooperatively create, maintain and provide dynamic maps and high-precision 3D map data for automated driving. Also, fostering of the related businesses in and outside of Japan is in the scope of DMP.

Next, Prof. S. Nakajo from the University of Tokyo and member of research cooperation SIP-adus presented the Field Operational Tests ongoing in SIP-adus and the corresponding sample data. SIP-adus is interested to harmonize its activities with the OADF member organizations ADASIS, NDS, TISA and SENSORIS.

The next session was dedicated to presentations by the OADF standardization initiatives and cooperations regarding digital maps and automated driving. M. Klingsoehr from Bosch SoftTec reported on ADASIS, Dr. V. Sasse from NavInfo on the Navigation Data Standard Association (NDS), P. Jehlicka from HERE on SENSORIS and Dr. M. Unbehaun from TISA on TPEG3. All four organizations are preparing their formats for tackling the challenges coming with automated driving.

R. Jurk from BMW presented the advancements on the OADF Reference Architecture, followed by A. Csepinszky from NNG focusing on the live map delivery chain. The discussion showed that location referencing is a very important topic for automated driving and thus need to be considered carefully in this context. Furthermore, S. Kuhn from Elektrobit reported on the OADF work in ‘Highly Reliable Maps’. He was assisted by A. Richter from DLR reporting on the latest OADF activities on ‘Metadata for map quality’ and D. Ziarniak from TomTom elaborating on the ‘Map Backend Integrity Levels’. At the end of this session, F. Klebert from NDS introduced the planned preparation of an Open Attribute Metadata Catalogue (OAMC) for harmonizing attribute names and definitions in the participating standardization organizations.

After a series of meetings in Europe, the USA and China, the 8th OADF meeting was the first meeting in Japan. The meeting was an excellent opportunity to coordinate the OADF activities in the field of automated driving with the corresponding Japanese activities in SIP-adus. The next meeting will be held in Europe.

At the 8th OADF Meeting
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Meeting review

Review: 7th Open AutoDrive Forum on May 22, 2017

The 7th meeting of the Open Auto Drive Forum (OADF) took place on May 22, 2017 in Lincolnshire (Chicago), IL, USA. The meeting was opened by L. Mbekeani from Harman hosting the meeting and by Dr. V. Sasse, the spokesman of OADF.

The first session was dedicated to presentations by standardization initiatives and cooperations. They presented their work and plans regarding digital maps and autonomous driving. Dr. V. Sasse from NavInfo reported on the Navigation Data Standard Association (NDS) and on ADASIS, P. Jehlicka from HERE on SENSORIS, Dr. M. Unbehaun from TISA on TISA and Prof. S. Nakajo from the Tokyo University on ISO TC204 as well as on SIP-adus.

Next, the status of the working areas and task forces was presented. P. Jehlicka presented an update on the jointly developed ‘OADF Reference System Architecture’. A number of extensions were proposed since the last OADF meeting. The ‘Live map delivery chain’ in the reference system architecture is investigated in an own task force. A. Csepinszky from NNG reported that this task force successfully managed to coordinate NDS volatile data and related representations in TISA’s TPEG format. The next challenge in the task force is the harmonization of lane identifiers across the standardization consortia. D. Ziarniak from TomTom reported on the latest activities and progress in the second major working area of OADF, ‘Highly Reliable Maps’. Two task forces were active within this working area and are closely working together: the ‘MBIL’ task force focusing on the map making process and the ‘Metadata’ task force focusing on the specification of necessary map metadata. At the end of this session, F. Klebert from NDS presented a new activity started after the 6th OADF meeting: the development of an Open Attribute Metadata Catalogue (OAMC). This work addresses the harmonization of the attribute names and definitions in the participation standardization organizations.

The guest speaker of the event was Dr. S. Heck, CEO at Nauto. He gave an inspiring speech with the title ‘Data Driving to Autonomy’. In his presentation, he introduced to the economical and safety aspects of autonomous driving and provided interesting insights to the findings made by Nauto with a dashboard camera that is analyzing and learning from the driving behavior of a large number of vehicles.

As always, the last part of the meeting was reserved for breakout sessions on the major working areas in OADF. A concluding feedback round demonstrated that also this 7th OADF meeting was seen by all participants as a useful measure to bring forward all stakeholders in the field of autonomous driving and maps.

The 8th OADF meeting will be hosted by SIP-adus on November 13, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.

Q&A session at the 7th OADF Meeting
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Meeting review

Review: 6th Open AutoDrive Forum on February 16, 2017

More than 100 international stakeholders met at the 6th Open Auto Drive Forum to discuss the latest cross-domain topics in the area of automated driving. This time, the meeting on February 16, 2017 was hosted by TISA in Brussels, Belgium. Featuring a number of interesting presentations by speakers from industry and academia as well as four afternoon discussions, the forum attracted numerous participants representing different sectors such as OEMS, automated driving experts, map providers, system suppliers, ADAS experts, sensor system experts and others.

During the morning session the forum saw presentations from automated driving projects focusing on standardisation, tests on public roads and high precision maps and discussed the legal implications of vehicle automation. The second part of the meeting was reserved for the breakout sessions on standardisation requirements for environmental model interfaces and HD Maps, on live map delivery chain and backend integrity levels and on metadata for map quality.

The meeting was wrapped up concluding that the conference was a successful step forward for the development of automated driving.

Chairmen of TISA (Dr. M. Unbehaun) NDS (Dr. V. Sasse) and ADASIS (M. Klingsoehr) at the 6th OADF Meeting
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Meeting review

Review: 5th Open AutoDrive Forum on October 14, 2016

The 5th meeting of the Open Auto Drive Forum (OADF) on October 14, 2016 in Beijing, China was the first meeting on the Asian continent and with more than 100 participants the best-visited OADF meeting ever.

The keynote speech was presented by Donghai Dai, CTO of NavInfo. He provided insights into the way NavInfo is addressing the challenges of HD maps and Autonomous Driving. Next on the agenda was Volker Sasse, the OADF speaker and Chairman of the Navigation Data Standard (NDS) Association. He introduced to the history of the OADF and its mission, namely to develop industry wide accepted state-of-the-art solutions for autonomous driving which are compatible and work in the defined ecosystem. Hao Liu from the Traffic Information Center China and Spring Liu from the law firm Duan & Duan focused on Autonomous Driving in China. While Hao Liu introduced to ongoing and planned implementations of autonomously driving cars in China, Spring Liu’s focus was on liability and legal aspects. Another interesting talk in the morning session was given by Marius Dupuis from the company ‘Vires Systemtechnologie’. Marius Dupius presented the OpenDRIVE format which is used for simulating, e.g. autonomously driving cars.

The time after the lunch break was dedicated to the presentations of the OADF task forces: the task force on the reference architecture / ecosystem for autonomous driving, the task force on highly reliable maps for autonomous driving and the task force investigating the need for harmonization of localization approaches. The last part of the meeting was reserved for the breakout sessions on the reference architecture, on the process model for highly reliable maps and on the roadmap for OADF as a whole. In the breakout sessions, preliminary results were discussed and further tasks were identified.

With the 5th meeting, the OADF has now also been established in Asia. The 6th Open Autodrive Forum meeting is scheduled for February 16 in Brussels, Belgium.

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Meeting review

Review: 4th Open AutoDrive Forum on June 29, 2016

On June 29, the 4th Open AutoDrive Forum (OADF) meeting was held at Club Auto Sport in San Jose, CA, USA. As the first non-European OADF meeting, the objective was to reach companies working on autonomous driving in Silicon Valley along with the rest of the USA. The meeting garnered 85 participants – the highest number since the founding of OADF in December 2015.

The keynote speech was presented by Professor Amnon Shashua, Co-founder and CTO of Mobileye. He provided insights into the way Mobileye is using camera-based ADAS to automate HD maps. This was followed by a presentation by Daniel Bartz from SAE on the SAE J3131 Automated Driving Reference Architecture. Both presentations complemented the work to-date and were an inspiration towards defining the forum’s roadmap.

As many of the attendees were new to the forum, Dr. Volker Sasse of NavInfo, OADF speaker and Chairman of the Navigation Data Standard Association (NDS), introduced the history and organization of OADF. The OADF’s mission is to develop industry-wide accepted state-of-the-art solutions for autonomous driving that are compatible and work in the defined ecosystem. This mission brings together the consortia of ADASIS, NDS, SENSORIS and TISA. All stakeholders active in the field of autonomous driving are welcome to join. Dr. Volker Sasse also took the opportunity to announce that the NDS Association has recently released its Highly Automated Driving (HAD) Lane Model to the public for evaluation purposes. The package is available for download at www.openlanemodel.org.

Prior to lunch, time was dedicated for reports from the OADF task force. Results from previous meetings included agreement on the reference architecture / ecosystem for autonomous driving, as well as the consensus on the process model describing elements needed for creating and using highly reliable maps in autonomous vehicles. An additional report featured a task force by car manufacturers which identified the need for a standardization of the objects represented required for localization. This will be reviewed further within the NDS Association.

The afternoon included breakout sessions on reference architecture, the process model for highly reliable maps, and the roadmap for OADF as a whole. Preliminary results were discussed and further tasks were identified in these sessions.

The 4th OADF meeting was sponsored by the NDS Association and Elektrobit. It was an important step towards establishing the forum in the USA and, in particular, Silicon Valley, with various companies working towards autonomous driving.

The next meeting is scheduled (5th Open AutoDrive Forum) for October 14 at NavInfo in Beijing, China.

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Meeting review

Review 3rd Open AutoDrive Forum on April 12, 2016

The 3rd meeting of the Open AutoDrive Forum (OADF) took place on April 12, 2016, at TomTom in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The forum is a platform for stakeholders that are active in the area of digital maps and autonomous driving. It currently includes the consortia ADASIS, NDS, SENSORIS and TISA. The forum’s third meeting since December 2015 attracted even more participants than the previous ones. In total about 50 companies were represented by more than 70 attendees. The increasing participation from major car manufacturers, system providers as well as map and service providers underlines the importance of the forum as a platform for advancing the topic of autonomous driving in a collaborative way.

The welcome speech was given by Harald Goddijn (CEO of TomTom). It was followed by an inspiring keynote speech by a major player in the field. Yang Yan (Baidu) illustrated their approaches for creating maps for autonomous driving and their use in autonomous cars.

After the keynote speech, the results from the task forces initiated during the last forum meeting were presented:

  • the representation of dynamic map data in the ADASIS format,
  • the role of TPEG and the NDS format for delivering dynamic content in the live map delivery chain,
  • recommendations for data protection and security in the transmission chain,
  • the enrichment of maps by attributes describing the quality of data in context with autonomous driving algorithms.

The results of the task forces were then discussed in breakout sessions with relevant experts. The experts agreed on follow-up activities for the corresponding task forces. This includes, e.g., a task force for elaborating challenging use cases based on the autonomous driving ecosystem architecture as it was developed and agreed in the previous meetings. Next, a gap-and-overlap analysis for TPEG and NDS volatile data in the live map delivery chain for highly dynamic data will be subject of further investigations across the consortia. The third thread of follow-up activities is on safety. One issue considered there is the fact that for autonomous driving, algorithms in the cloud backend have to be integrated with algorithms in the vehicle. In order to assure functional safety in such a complex distributed system, a task force will investigate approaches for assessing their safety. The results from all follow-up activities will be presented on the next Open AutoDrive Forum meeting.

The OADF participants also took some time to discuss how to best organise future activities and the OADF structure. The following meetings are scheduled for June 29 in California (venue to be announced) and for October in Beijing, China. The OADF will stay a sponsored organisation without membership fees. It is also planned disseminate results and activities via a dedicated website at www.openautodrive.org. This third meeting of the OADF truly established the forum as THE CROSS DOMAIN PLATFORM for all matters relating to digital maps and autonomous driving.

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Meeting summary

Review: 2nd Open AutoDrive Forum on February 23, 2016

On February 23, 2016, the 2nd Open AutoDrive forum took place at HERE (Germany) with participants from 35 international companies, including car manufacturers, system providers, map and service providers. The unique composition of the participants representing the stakeholders of all relevant fields for autonomous driving was a major factor for the success of the meeting.

This time, the keynote speech was given by Volvo Cars. As BMW in the meeting before, Volvo Cars motivated the need for collaboration in the field of autonomous driving. After an update of the activities in the ADASIS, NDS and SENSORIS consortia, the results of the follow-up activities of the 1st Open AutoDrive meeting on December 15, 2015 were presented: Major progress was achieved towards an agreed ecosystem architecture allowing each stakeholder to position himself and his business. The ecosystem architecture was also used to clarify the role of the existing standardisation initiatives (including TISA TPEG), to identify room for improvements of the standards and to elaborate combinations/extensions to the benefit of a future ecosystem. Furthermore, the results of a task force initiated at the 1st meeting on functional safety requirements for HAD maps was presented. The aspects of the maps to be considered and the validation measures are now better understood, allowing the dedicated experts to propose solutions.

As in the first meeting, the most interesting topics were subject of parallel breakout sessions. In one of the sessions, the ecosystem architecture was confirmed again and two interfaces were identified that will jointly be worked out in the next step. The session on functional safety and maps identified, based in the results as presented previously, three major topics to further work on until the next Open AutoDrive Forum: End-to-end protection of selected communication paths in the ecosystem architecture, metadata for map quality representation and audits/assessments of map production processes. The third session focussed on localization approaches. It first addressed the question whether the known localization approaches are mature enough for commercial use. It was further discussed whether the corresponding map representations should be subject of standardisation now or whether they are to be considered as distinctive features in the market for the time being. The car manufacturers committed to keep on driving the harmonization of different approaches and the respective standardizations.

The presentations in the 2nd Open AutoDrive Forum illustrated the big progress since the 1st Open AutoDrive meeting and identified important follow-up activities in dedicated expert groups. We are looking forward to the 3rd Open AutoDrive Forum in which the results will be presented to the plenum. The 3rd Open AutoDrive Forum will be hosted by TomTom on April 12 in Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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Meeting summary

Review: 1st Open AutoDrive Forum on Dec 15, 2016

The 1st Open AutoDrive forum took place on December 15 at Here in Schwalbach, Germany with representatives from the three consortia. In total, more that 30 companies were represented by more than 50 participants in this meeting.

After a keynote speech by BMW stating the importance of collaboration for autonomous driving, the consortia NDS, ADASIS and SENSORS presented their objectives and work focus. For the remainder of the first meeting, breakout sessions were organized on application requirements for HD maps and data, on interfaces and specifications, on the HD format and content as well on the relation between functional safety and maps.

A major outcome of the 1st Open AutoDrive Forum was the first draft of an ecosystem architecture as the basis for all consortia to identify their role and contributions in terms of interfaces and standardization. The second major outcome of the meeting was a list of key questions to be addressed in the context of functional safety and HD maps as well as the initiation of a working group working on first answers until the 2nd Open AutoDrive Forum meeting.