Real-Time Innovations (RTI), the industrial IoT connectivity company, announced the newest release of its Connext product suite during IoTSWC 2018 in Barcelona. The newest platform is called Connext 6, and the company says it’s the first connectivity software designed to accelerate the development and deployment of highly autonomous systems.

According to the company, Connext 6 “provides autonomous vehicle developers with the advanced technology they need to address the complex data distribution challenges of Level 4 and Level 5 autonomy.”

The automotive industry is undergoing a considerable transformation. Manufacturers are well into the race of launching the best possible product, but coming up with the tech has its challenges. In particular, AI algorithms must efficiently assimilate high-volume and high-rate data from disparate sensors while assuring resilience and safety. They must also be highly secure. RTI believes that a plug-and-play connectivity standard is necessary to ease integration across the automotive supply chain.

The original Connext product suite launched to accelerate the development of the industrial IoT systems. Now with Connext 6, the company says that makers of autonomous systems are able to address key technical challenges. Things like effective management of high-bandwidth sensor data, simple integration with standardized interfaces and optimized security are just some of them.

With Connext 6, developers now can now efficiently distribute high bandwidth sensor data to autonomous system applications, including for sensing, perception, visualization, mapping and display. To support high-volume data, the new release offers new mechanisms that are optimized for sending and receiving large data samples. With typical HD camera data, they reduce end-to-end latency by up to 67% when distributing data over an Ethernet network and up to 99% when distributing data over shared memory, between two applications running on the same processor.

Connext 6 also supports all of the operating systems and processor families commonly used by OEMs and their suppliers—RTI says they’ve tested it on nearly 100 different platforms, clearly focused on broad adoption for the industry.

Safety Certification

By leveraging Connext 6 capabilities, RTI says, developers can eliminate the need for custom networking code and accompanying certification artifacts, avoiding years of development and certification efforts that can cost millions of dollars. The new platform includes RTI Connext DDS Secure, which the company calls “the only security standard designed for real-time control and autonomous applications.”

“At RTI we have experienced rapid growth in the autonomous vehicle market. All major autonomous vehicle platform standards now specify the DDS standard, including AUTOSAR Adaptive and ROS2. This gives us deep insight into the requirements of highly autonomous systems.” said David Barnett, Vice President of Products and Markets at RTI. “RTI is proud to help our customers further advance these systems and design the connected systems of our future.”

Karl-Thomas Neumann, Head of Mobility at EVELOZCITY and Advisory Board Member at RTI, believes that the automotive industry is currently in the midst of a second electronic revolution, which he calls “the Internet of Vehicles.” Because cars are now connected, this will require new concept of developing and manufacturing for the sector. “RTI is at the forefront of this innovation,” he claimed, adding that with Connext 6, “autonomous vehicle developers are able to address the industry’s most technical challenges and accelerate the development and deployment of their vehicles.”

RTI says that the Connext 6 will be generally available in Q1 2019. Customers can request a preview release by contacting their local sales representative. For more information on Connext DDS and a full list of new features, you can visit the official site.