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Meeting review

Review: 13th Open AutoDrive Forum on July 9, 2020

The 13th Open Auto Drive Forum event took place on July 9. It was the first OADF online-only event and a completely new experience. Almost 250 participants joined the meeting – more than twice as much as in the ‘traditional’ meetings.

The meeting was opened by Matthias Unbehaun, OADF Speaker and TISA Executive Director and Liu Jun, founder and CEO of Kuandeng Technology in China – who originally wanted to host the meeting in Beijing.

The invited speeches this time addressed the evaluation of HD map quality (Liu Jun), the benefits of standardization for Automated Driving development (Hannah Theuer, BMW) and an update on safe and reliable maps for Automated Driving (Yali Wang from Baidu).

Again, the standardization organizations reported on their latest activities regarding automated driving: Jean-Charles Pandazis from ERTICO reported on ADASIS, Klaus Estenfeld from ASAM on the OpenX standards, Martin Schleicher from Elektrobit on the Navigation Data Standard (NDS), Stefaan Follens from TomTom on SENSORIS, Satoru Nakajo from the University of Tokyo on SIP-adus, Matthias Unbehaun on TISA and Christian Kleine from HERE on TN-ITS.

A new experience in the meeting was the interaction between the attendees and the speakers. The participants asked almost 100 questions relating to the presentations. Only some of them could be answered live. However, the speakers shared the answers to most questions after their presentation in writing. The interaction with the attendees was complemented by 20 ad-hoc polls which the speakers initiated during their presentation. The standardization organizations represented in OADF will now review the feedback in detail and discuss, how the findings can be included in their individual work as well as in the cross-organizational cooperationThe next OADF event is currently planned for September 23, 2020 in Frankfurt Germany with the possibility to participate remotely.

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Meeting review

Review: 12th Open AutoDrive Forum on June 12, 2019

The 12th Open Auto Drive Forum event on June 12 took place in the Leonardo Royal Hotel in Munich, Germany. With nearly 120 participants, it was the best-visited OADF event ever. At the beginning, Matthias Unbehaun, OADF Speaker and TISA Executive Director, introduced the new participants to the history, structure and objectives of the forum: The OADF aims to foster the collaboration of standardization organizations and individual experts for enabling automated driving with map support.

The program of the day consisted of inspiring speeches on making maps reliable for automated driving (Yali Wang from Baidu and Steffen Kuhn from Elektrobit), on generating HD maps from space (Hartmut Runge from the German Aerospace Center) and on a collaborative platform for updating maps (Emil Dautovic from Mapillary).

Following the tradition of the Open Auto Drive Forum events, all member organizations reported on their latest activities regarding automated driving: Jean-Charles Pandazis from ERTICO reported on ADASIS, Martin Schleicher from Elektrobit on the Navigation Data Standard (NDS), Prokop Jehlicka from HERE Technologies on SENSORIS, Matthias Unbehaun on TISA and Satoru Nakajo from the University of Tokyo on SIP-adus. Furthermore, Klaus Estenfeld from ASAM reported on the OpenDrive standard for supporting driving simulations and on related activities in ASAM. Last but not least Christian Kleine from HERE gave insights to TN-ITS and its recent activities.

Around the lunch break, the meeting participants took the opportunity to discuss pressing topics for automated driving in a ‘World Café’. The discussions addressed the need for maps for automated driving, the need for the identification of stopping places for autonomous cars and highly reliable maps. Also, ways for improving the collaboration between Japan and Europe were discussed. The Word Café has proven to be a tool perfectly fitting to the spirit of the OADF of fostering the exchange of experts from different standardization organizations.

The next OADF event will be hosted by Kuandeng and take place on February 18th, 2020 in Beijing, China.

Picture: The OADF Steering Committee with the ASAM representative Klaus Estenfeld at the end of the successful 12th OADF event; from left to right: Klaus Estenfeld (ASAM Executive Director), Satoru Nakajo (representing SIP-adus), Jean-Charles Pandazis (ADASIS Coordinator), Prokop Jehlicka (SENSORIS Chairman), Matthias Unbehaun (OADF Speaker and TISA Executive Director) and Martin Schleicher (NDS Chairman)
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Meeting review

Review: 11th Open AutoDrive Forum on February 5, 2019

On February 5, the Electronics Research Lab (ERL) of Volkswagen Group of America in Belmont, CA, hosted the 11th meeting of the Open Auto Drive forum. Nikolai Reimer, Senior Vice President and Executive Director ERL, and Mattias Unbehaun, OADF Speaker and TISA Executive Director, opened the meeting.

In their keynote ‘Autonomous Driving, past present and future’ Nikhil George and Subramanian Swaminathan from ERL first described the various autonomous demonstration vehicles developed by Volkswagen since 2005 and their successes in DARPA and other challenges. The second part of the keynote focused on the technologies required for autonomous driving with the key elements being sensors, connectivity and machine learning. The presentation illustrated very well the necessity of HD maps for making automated driving a reality – being also a core component connecting all OADF member organizations. The keynote was complemented by short presentations of two promising start-ups: ‘Helm AI’, providing deep learning solutions for autonomous driving, and ‘Applied Intuition’ offering infrastructures for the development, testing and deployment of autonomous driving.

In the introduction to OADF, Matthias Unbehaun re-called the objectives of the OADF, namely, to serve as global platform for sharing knowledge, networking and collaboration between all stakeholders in the automated/ autonomous driving realm. He announced that SIP-adus, the Japanese cross-ministerial program for enabling autonomous driving, has just become the 5th official member organization in OADF – next to ADASIS, NDS, SENSORIS and TISA. The inclusion of SIP-adus and the coordination and harmonization with this Japanese program is an important milestone for OADF.

Matthias Unbehaun’s introduction was followed by updates from the different standardization organizations: Jean-Charles Pandazis from ERTICO reported on ADASIS, Martin Schleicher from Elektrobit on the Navigation Data Standard (NDS), Prokop Jehlicka from HERE Technologies on SENSORIS, Matthias Unbehaun on TISA, Hiroki Sakai from the Mitsubishi Research Institute on SIP-adus and Matthias Unbehaun – as a proxy for Michael Scholz from DLR – on OpenDRIVE. The presentations were complemented by a report from Prokop Jehlicka on the achievements towards the metadata catalogue which aims at bridging different representations in standards relevant for autonomous driving.

In the afternoon, the meeting participants had the opportunity for detailed discussions on the ‘NDS next generation architecture’, on ‘highly reliable maps’ and on the ‘metadata catalogue’. The day was rounded up by a wrap-up by Matthias Unbehaun.

Again, the OADF meeting attracted many interested experts in the field and led to interesting and fruitful discussions. The 12th OADF meeting is planned for June 12 in Munich, Germany, and will be collocated with the first NDS public conference on June 13.

Picture: The OADF Steering Committee welcoming SIP-adus as fifth member organization at the 11th Forum meeting;
from left to right: Prokop Jehlicka (SENSORIS Chairman), Matthias Unbehaun (OADF Speaker and TISA Executive Director), Hiroki Sakai (representing SIP-adus), Michael Klingsoehr (ADASIS Chairman) and Martin Schleicher (NDS Chairman)
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Meeting review

Review: 10th Open AutoDrive Forum on July 12, 2018

On July 12, 2018, the Open Auto Drive Forum (OADF) organized its 10th meeting in Wuhan, P.R. China. The meeting was hosted by SAIC Kotei Big Data Cooperation (SAIC KBD), a joint venture between the car manufacturer SAIC Motor Corporation and Kotei Wuhan Informatics.

The meeting was opened by Wang Junde, CEO of Wuhan Kotei Informatics and Director of SAIC KBD. The company was exclusively founded for providing HD maps for automated driving, high precision localization support and big data analysis. In the keynote speech Yudong Li gave interesting insights into the history and development of the joint venture. He presented SAIC KBD’s HAD map ecosystem and their multi-source acquisition process for the maps. By 2019, it is planned to have the complete highway network in China covered plus 33.000km in urban environments.

As many participants were new to the forum, OADF speaker Dr. Matthias Unbehaun gave a short overview of the history, objectives and organizational structure of the forum. OADF aims to be the global platform for sharing knowledge, networking and collaboration between all stakeholders in the automated/autonomous driving realm.

Following the traditional structure of the OADF meetings, the remainder of the morning was used for updates from standardization bodies. Ming Zhang from Bosch reported on ADASIS, Andras Csepinszky from NNG on the Navigation Data Standard (NDS) Association, Prokop Jehlicka from HERE Technologies on SENSORIS, Dr. Matthias Unbehaun from TISA on TPEG3, Hiroki Sakai from the Mitsubishi Research Institute on SIP-adus and Michael Scholz from DLR on OpenDRIVE.

In the afternoon, the meeting participants were updated on the status of 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 format specifications by implementing a directory of attribute descriptions and mappings.

Within just three years, the Open Auto Drive forum 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. Following this spirit, the 11th meeting is planned before the end of the year in the Americas.

10th Open Auto Drive Forum on Jul 12, 2018
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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.