It seems that car manufacturers, among others, are building autonomous hardware (i.e. vehicle and other sensors) as well as the software to govern their usage. Few companies are separating the hardware and software layers to explicitly carve out the autonomous software, for example.
Yes, there are benefits to tightly couple the autonomous hardware and software:
1. Proprietary implementations and intellectual property – Implementing autonomous vehicles within a single corporate entity may ‘fast track’ patents, and mitigate NDA challenges / risks
2. Synergies with two (or more) teams working in unison to implement functional goals. However, this may also be accomplished through two organizations with tightly coupled teams. Engaged, strong team leadership to help eliminate corp to corp BLOCKERS, must be in place to ensure deliverables.
There are also advantages with two separate organizations, one the software layer, and the other, the vehicle hardware implementation, i.e. sensors
1. Implementation of Autonomous Vehicle Hardware from AI Software enables multiple, strong alternate corporate perspectives These perspectives allow for a stronger, yet balanced approach to implementation.
2. The AI Software for Autonomous vehicles, if contractually allowed, may work with multiple brand vehicles, implementing similar capabilities. Vehicles now have capabilities / innovations shared across the car industry. The AI Software may even become a standard in implementing Autonomous vehicles across the industry.
3. Working with multiple hardware / vehicle manufactures may allow the enablement of Software APIs, layer of implementation abstraction. These APIs may enable similar approaches to implementation, and reduce redundancy and work can be used as ‘the gold standard’ in the industry.
4. We see commercial adoption of autonomous vehicle features such as “Auto Lane Change”, and “Automatic Emergency Braking.” so it makes sense to adopt standards through 3rd Party AI software Integrators / Vendors
5. Incorporating Checks and Balances to instill quality into the product and the process that governs it.
In summation, Car parts are typically not built in one geographic location, but through a global collaboration. Autonomous software for vehicles should be externalized in order to overcome unbiased safety and security requirements. A standards organization “with teeth” could orchestrate input from the industry, and collectively devise “best practices” for autonomous vehicles.