“We are going to democratize and enable people who can develop the fuzzy logic or artificial intelligence or analytics required to achieve autonomous driving,” Sebt tells WardsAuto prior to addressing 1,400 engineers and programmers at Renesas DevCon, the company’s biannual confab in Orange County, CA.  

Sebt says the reason the smartphone took over the marketplace from older cell phone designs is because it is a platform used by armies of developers who use smartphone data, processing capabilities and connectivity to create thousands of apps.

To help this process along, Renesas has developed a fleet of vehicles to become an open laboratory for automotive customers and vendors, collaborating with companies such as Moscow, ID-based Harbrick, which has an autonomous driving platform called PolySync, NewFoundry, based in Ann Arbor, and numerous others. Silicon Valley companies are in the mix as well, but so are companies from India and suburban Detroit, such as NewFoundry.

“Advanced automotive systems for cars are complex to develop and carry a heavy burden of responsibility. With the new development platform, we are leading a unique collaboration with software, IP and tools providers to remove obstacles in the path to automotive innovation,” says Amrit Vivekanand, vice president of Renesas Electronics America’s Novi, MI-based  Automotive Business Unit.

 “There are many, many small companies out there that have amazing IP (intellectual property), and they just don’t have a means to test, validate and get in the game. I think we are missing out as an industry, and I think this will enable them to get into the game and show what they have,” Vivekanand says.

Renesas will expand, develop and offer new vehicle-level platforms that can be used by algorithm experts, sensor makers, system integrators and other subject matter experts as a working sandbox in real-world environments where they can collaborate, validate, experiment and benchmark innovative ideas. The scope of these test vehicles will be expanded going forward to integrate cockpit, HMI, safety, security and powertrain platforms, the company says.