Aptiv’s latest investment shows that software-defined vehicles last – TechCrunch


Automakers eager to sell vehicles loaded with features and software services – in an effort to generate more revenue – face a challenge with information overload.

These so-called software-defined vehicles contain: countless systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) with everything from electric powertrains to driver assistance functions to infotainment. The crux is that they all have to work together.

Car sensors such as cameras and radar capture data, translate it, and send it to the powertrain to enable functions such as emergency braking. It all has to happen in real time, within milliseconds, while at the same time the Spotify is not disturbed by a driver streaming through the vehicle.

In recent years, a wave of startups has emerged to manage these critical information flows. TTTech Auto, a Vienna-based supplier of automotive safety software, is one such company. Its flagship product, MotionWise, is a software security platform that allows data to be exchanged between a car’s various operating systems, ensuring that they work safely, securely and in real-time without interfering with each other, said Georg Kopetz, CEO and co-founder of TTTech Auto.

TTTech Auto has just gained the backing of major Tier 1 automotive tech supplier Aptiv, a sign of the supplier’s growing interest in technology that enables Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). TTTech Auto — which grew out of the TTTech Group, a provider of secure network computing platforms to the automotive, aerospace, mobile machinery and automation industries — announced its $285 million Series C raise on Thursday, led by Aptiv and backed by existing investor. Audi. (The Series C is expected to close within the next two months, the company said.)

Aptiv is acting as a strategic investor at a time when the company is working to accelerate the transition to the software-defined car by offering automakers a complete stack, a package with high-performance hardware, cloud connectivity and an open software architecture, scalable and containerized.

Last month, Aptiv also acquired Wind River for $4.3 billion to integrate the company’s edge-to-cloud technology that develops, runs and manages mission-critical intelligent systems. TTTech Auto is not for sale. Kopetz says the company wants to continue operating independently so it can work with multiple players in the industry, but is pleased that MotionWise is complementing Aptiv’s strategy to provide smart vehicle architecture on its path to becoming a leading player in the industry. the software-defined arena.

“The combined expertise and complementary technologies of Aptiv and Wind River — further complemented by TTTech’s deterministic framework, which enhances active safety software applications — are uniquely positioned to help OEMs cost-effectively accelerate the development and implementation of the software-defined vehicle,” said Kevin Clark, president and CEO of Aptiv, during the company’s call for the fourth quarter 2021 and full year on Thursday.

TTTech and Aptiv have collaborated in the past on Audi’s central driver assistance controller for automated driving, with Aptiv being the system supplier on the hardware side and TTTech supporting the architecture design and safety software platform to ensure operations across ADAS.

While MotionWise has so far mainly been applied to ADAS and other automated driving functions, its goal is to support software in scaling to Level 4 and Level 5 autonomy. SAE defines as the autonomous system that controls all driving in limited operational design domains or under all conditions, respectively.

With this in mind, Aptiv may have a more long-term rationale for investing strategically in a scalable system architecture that functions under the hood of autonomous vehicles. In 2017, Aptiv, formerly Delphi, acquired autonomous vehicle technology company nowTonomy, which it later became spun off into a separate joint venture with Hyundai, called Motional. Motional is currently gearing up for llaunch commercial robotic axi operations in partnership with Lyft next year in Las Vegas with a self-driving Hyundai Ioniq, as well as a autonomous delivery pilot with Uber in Santa Monica this year.

Neither Aptiv nor Kopetz has confirmed whether MotionWise will be applied to Motional vehicles in the future. Originally launched in 2017, the technology is already in more than 2 million passenger cars worldwide, including Hyundai cars. MotionWise is also integrated into the software stacks of vehicles from Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, Kia and SAIC Motor Corporation, Kopetz said.

TTTech, for its part, plans to use its latest funding round to grow its team internationally, with a strong focus on Asia, the company said. TTTech Auto already has a joint venture (Technomous) with SAIC Motor Corporation. The company said it plans to hire software and security engineering, strategic product management and business development in Asia, Europe and North America.

In addition, TTTech is looking for possible mergers and acquisitions. While the company wants to remain an independent player, so it can work with a range of partners in the ecosystem, it is interested in acquiring additional products, technologies and services to continue to meet the ongoing safety needs of automakers.

“We believe there is a lot of room for collaboration in this space, and this funding gives us the opportunity to grow on an independent path and also partner with companies that need co-funding or co-innovation and are unable to do it on their own,” said Kopetz.

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