As the world’s largest independent company for automotive development, simulation and testing, AVL List has long played a large role in the activities of Inside (formerly known as ARTEMIS). How have we enabled the creation of Intelligent Digital Systems together? Michael Paulweber and Horst Pfluegl look back on this history of collaboration.
Mastering the complete system
“At AVL, we’ve been involved in embedded software for the last 40 years,” begins Michael, Director of Research & Technology at AVL and Inside’s current vice-president. “One of the problems we encountered some 20 years ago was that software grew more and more diverse and split into different technologies which you have to master to create a complete system: databases, embedded SW, edge computing, image recognition, AI, and so on. AVL is a mid-sized company; we knew that we needed cooperation with academia, research institutes and smaller and larger companies. With Inside, we can team up with partners from the Inside eco-system and take steps to combine new technologies with new requirements from our domain of testing and developing automotive components.”
“I see it very similarly to Michael,” says Horst. “What I’d like to add is that we’re really working in Inside together with top experts in these areas, which gives us the possibility to exchange our know-how and opinions at a level we couldn’t otherwise. Now we can make a better estimation of which technologies will develop and how fast.”
"With Inside, we can team up with partners from the Inside eco-system and take steps to combine new technologies with new requirements from our domain of testing and developing automotive components.”
Projects upon projects
In his position as Global Research Programme Manager at AVL, Horst has seen this collaboration in action through many projects over the years. Starting with CESAR in 2009 (which aimed to reduce the costs of toolchain integration, configuration, deployment and maintenance), they kicked off of a series of projects leading up to ENABLE-S3. This brought together 70 partners and a 64-million-euro budget to accelerate the application of highly automated and autonomous systems, for which it won the Innovation Award at EFECS 2018.
“ENABLE-S3 was very important for us to enter the market of autonomous driving and for AVL to see that collaboration with other partners is fruitful even beyond the automotive domain,” Horst explains. “You can learn a lot and gain many insights but you also give something back. Not so long ago, we also entered the domain of electrification with the Hiperform project. This was very important for us to see who the players are in power electronics in Europe and how far along the process and applications are.”
“One of the reasons why I decided to take on the challenge to actively work in the Inside Presidium is because Inside is responsible for the most mission-critical and fast-changing technologies in electronics, component and system, the software,” adds Michael. “If you look at Internet of Things and process automation, for instance, research at universities needs an ecosystem like Inside for a knowledge transfer to industry. It’s a kind of expert family that we use quite intensively – if I have a problem, I know who I can call for help. Austria is a small country so we don’t have many opportunities here! But cooperative funded projects have helped us to step into areas we never would have looked at alone because we didn’t have the knowledge and the risks were too high, like electric and hydrogen-based vehicles. In turn, this helped us get in touch with potential customers and discover their needs.”