New Partnership Targets Digital Twins for Autonomous Vehicles
Jacob Bourne posted on September 23, 2020 |
Siemens and VSI Labs collaborate to push digital validation for AVs.
VSI Labs’ Capability Demonstrator vehicle. (Image credit: VSI Labs.)
VSI Labs’ Capability Demonstrator vehicle. (Image credit: VSI Labs.)

VSI Labs, an autonomous vehicle (AV) researcher, and Siemens Digital Industries Software have joined in a partnership to help make self-driving vehicles a safe and commonplace reality. The partnership involves combining Siemens’ PAVE360 platform with VSI Labs’ Capability Demonstrator. 

The PAVE360 platform is used to create digital twin simulations in which real-world driving scenarios are recreated virtually to test vehicle processors, electronics, sensors and systems. It will be used to test VSI Labs’ Capability Demonstrator, an AV packed with cutting-edge components from leading AV development companies to show the range of what’s possible with AV development.

“The primary objective of this partnership is to demonstrate equivalence between Siemens’ industry-leading digital twin technology and a physical platform, thereby increasing confidence in digital twin-based modeling methodologies well in advance of the existence of a physical vehicle,” said Ravi Subramanian, senior vice president of IC Verification at Mentor, a Siemens business. “This collaboration with VSI has the potential to significantly advance the AV space with the creation of a high-fidelity autonomous vehicle digital twin that simulates the interaction and combined power of the most advanced AV components and technologies in the world.”

Siemens’ PAVE360 platform aims to extend simulation capabilities beyond processors to create digital twin simulations of automotive hardware and software subsystems, full vehicle models, sensor data, and traffic flow patterns, as well as the complex city streets that self-driving cars will have to navigate.

The partnership between Siemens and VSI Labs includes a plan to collaborate on multiple engineering projects, the first being an effort to validate digital twin technology for VSI’s Capability Demonstrator vehicle at different levels, including electronic components, system on chips (SoCs), sensors, and mechanical components. The initial phase of the project will focus on SoC verification using Mentor’s Veloce hardware emulation platform. 

“Siemens’ PAVE360 is a unique and powerful environment that we believe will substantially enhance our ability to analyze, test and deploy the hardware, software and connectivity systems necessary to support advanced safety and automated driving systems,” said Phil Magney, president and founder of VSI Labs. “By creating a digital twin of our demonstration vehicle, VSI developers can test applications long before physical deployment, which will save time and reduce development cycles.” 

VSI’s Capability Demonstrator in the past has traveled to conferences to showcase the latest AV technologies for a number of companies in action. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these live in-person events have been canceled with no future dates scheduled yet. As an alternative, VSI is launching a series of four cross-country drives, coast-to-coast and border-to-border, in order to give exposure to the technologies and provide demonstrations of how AVs behave in different weather conditions, terrain and driving scenarios. 

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