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Four Companies Developing Software for Autonomous Cars Today

Covisint, Ottomatika, Tesla, and QNX all have their unique takes on how to make autonomous driving. How might they affect the IoT space?

· IoT Zone

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Originally founded in 2000 as an online auto parts exchange, Covisint saw a $500 million investment from General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Nissan, Renault, and Peugeot fall apart when the investors couldn’t agree on big decisions and the dot-com bubble burst. Today, Covisint’s main product is a cloud platform designed for the Internet of Things that enables the identification, authorization, and connection of complex networks. Their connected vehicle platform allows drivers to be connected to their vehicle, the manufacturer, dealership, third-party service providers, and social contacts all at once. Full and secure connectivity between the vehicle, its driver, and external networks is growing in demand and will eventually be a standard feature of autonomous cars.


Founded in 2013, Ottomatika is a spinout company from Carnegie Mellon University that specializes in software for self-driving cars. Purchased by Delphi Automotive, an auto parts manufacturing company based in the U.K., Ottomatika develops software for car automation including traffic jam assist, highway pilot, urban driving, and self-parking. They also offer a tool suite that aids developers in testing, debugging, diagnosing and integrating software for automated vehicles. In April an Audi G5 equipped with Ottomatika software and Delphi hardware traveled 3,400 miles from San Francisco to New York City with 99 percent of the trip fully automated.


In October 2014 Tesla began equipping their Model S with the hardware necessary for basic self-driving technology. One year later they launched Tesla Version 7.0, software for the Model S, which included the Tesla autopilot system that allows the car to steer within a lane, change lanes with a turn signal, and manage speed with cruise control. While Tesla Autopilot is not yet fully driverless, Tesla promises to continue developing similar software for their drivers and delivering it over-the-air.


QNX Software Systems, a subsidiary of BlackBerry, whose main products are microkernel-based operating systems, offers the CAR Platform for Infotainment, which allows cars to run many applications simultaneously. The platform includes several QNX technologies, including the QNX Neutrino realtime OS, a mobile connectivity framework, an acoustic noise reduction and echo cancellation solution, and HTML5 and Qt support. In theory the platform and its OS are ideal for an automated car that cannot afford to crash at high speeds.

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