The Mathworks-powered virtual roundtable threw up insights about the challenges and opportunities associated with ADAS
Road fatalities are posing a huge concern across the globe, especially for a country like India that has earned an infamous reputation for registering a significant number of road fatalities. Over the years, efforts have been undertaken by various governments across the globe to mitigate the number of road fatalities by putting in place stringent regulations, but this hasn’t quite helped in mitigating road accidents, especially in the Indian context. And to address this issue of road fatalities, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) has steadily emerged as the most preferred adoption route for the automotive industry to make roads more safer. According to a recent report, more than 92 % of new vehicles in the US have at least one ADAS feature. In the Indian context, the Ministry for Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has talked about about making ADAS mandatory in all cars by 2022. All these indicate that the auto industry is slowly but surely moving towards adopting ADAS in a bid to minimise if not completely eliminate road fatalities. It is pertinent to mention that the IT industry is contributing heavily to the development of ADAS systems for global automotive players. However, the adoption of ADAS in India still calls for careful consideration from domestic OEMs. Additionally, the COVID-19 crisis has caused economic and social disruptions prompting vehicle manufacturers to extend development cycles for various systems.
Given this backdrop Auto Tech Review recently organised an ADAS Roundtable webinar themed ‘Envisioning ADAS Roadmap in India’ that was powered by Mathworks. The webinar deliberated on how the country can walk down the ADAS path going forward. The ADAS Roundtable featured a battery of eminent speakers such as Tarun Agarwal, Executive Vice President (Engineering), Maruti Suzuki India Ltd; Bindu Santha Philip, GM, Automated Driving, Robert Bosch Engineering & Business Solutions; Dr Manaswini Rath, VP & Global Head, Autonomous Driving, KPIT Technologies Ltd; Ujjwala S.Karle, General Manager, ARAI; Shanti Medasani, Director of Engineering (Autonomous Systems & Sensor Exploitation), Mathworks and Sunil Motwani, Country Manager – Sales & Services, Mathworks India. The discussion was moderated by Deepangshu Dev Sarmah, Editor-in-Chief, Auto Tech Review.
The context of the ADAS Roundtable was set by Sunil Motwani, Country Manager – Sales & Services, Mathworks India, who deliberated on how validation demands as well as development and deployment of ADAS systems still encounter challenges in the country. As the spectrum of competencies and skills needed by organisations to build these systems widens, they also need to deal with large amounts of data that are recorded as well as synthesised and generated in simulation, he noted. Motwani said software plays an important role when all stakeholders (OEMs, suppliers and regulatory authorities) look for deeper controlling access to these systems. He stressed on the importance of how simulation can help design robust systems without the need to develop mechanical prototypes. It may be noted that Mathworks has been building simulation tools, technologies, and solutions that enable adoption of designs and workflows; and the auto industry has been at the forefront of adopting these model-based methodologies. Developments across different segments also include electrification, which has been a widely talked about subject in India.
VIABILITY IN INDIAN CONTEXT
Tarun Agarwal, Executive Vice President (Engineering), Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, said India only has one percent of the vehicles, but six percent of road deaths in the world. The first collective focus among all stakeholders in the development and adoption of ADAS systems should be on saving lives. The Indian government has undertaken the initiative of updating the Motor Vehicle Act, but only its proper implementation and promotion can bring about the desired results, he observed.
Bindu Santha Philip, GM, Automated Driving, Robert Bosch Engineering & Business Solutions, elaborated on the standardisation of road features such as barriers & speed humps, potholes, inconsistent driver behaviours, etc. Standardisation will streamline system development and implementation, at least on open highways, she noted.
Dr Manaswini Rath, VP & Global Head, Autonomous Driving, KPIT Technologies Ltd, said there is a need to drive a change in driver behaviour by enforcing safer driving discipline for urban and highway scenarios through regulation. Infrastructure also needs serious improvements to increase safety and viability for development of ADAS systems in the Indian context, she added.
Ujjwala S.Karle, General Manager, ARAI, said the development of ADAS systems is completely different in the Indian context because of the social behaviour & infrastructure and this explains why validation becomes the key for effectiveness.
Shanti Medasani, Director of Engineering (Autonomous Systems & Sensor Exploitation), Mathworks, said forward collision warning, cruise control, lane assist, driver monitoring, and several other applications will get adopted in the mass market as they evolve with increased adoption and sophistication since these features have a huge potential to save lives. However, he pointed out that building these systems will require millions of miles of testing and since such on-road testing is not feasible for such large scale, virtual testing becomes the need of the hour.
COMPLEXITIES & COSTS
The high-powered panel felt that simulation testing and validation can gain momentum by synthesising scenario, models and running virtual algorithms mimicking real world conditions. Such testing and validation also generate a lot of data for development engineers to work on.
There was another perspective among the speakers on the need for precise and robust sensors at economically viable costs to operate in diverse weather conditions. Virtual testing, too, can help reduce these differential costs as engineers can simulate numerous scenarios and components virtually and get verifications before actual model testing, observed the panellists. This should be able to reduce costs, hazards, on-road testing as well as optimise debugging and replace simulations for failure analysis.
The need to increase road safety is a prime concern among all panellists. India has the opportunity to pave the way for sophisticated yet low-cost driver assistance programme, if all responsible partners collectively pledge to support the cause. There are a lot of interesting solutions that can be made available by software developers, but the current slowdown in the auto industry combined with increased costs of embedding these solutions could take some time convincing OEMs for deployment.