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26 July, 2022 - 21:23 By Tony Quested

Arm in Cruise control with driverless vehicle technology for US trailblazer

California company Cruise LLC – a pioneer in the autonomous space – will be using a suite of Arm technology to improve the efficiency of its compute platform.This will include devices from Arm ecosystem partners as well as Cruise in-house developments based on Arm’s high performance CPUs and the Cambridge chip company’s bleeding edge automotive-enhanced line of IP.

Cruise, a General Motors company, is an American self-driving car specialist headquartered in San Francisco and was founded in 2013 by Kyle Vogt and Dan Kan. It tests and develops autonomous car technology. 

Dipti Vachani, SVP and GM, Automotive and IoT Line of Business at Arm said the partnership held broad implications in terms of curing industry teething problems.

She said: “One of the major challenges the industry faces when it comes to bringing autonomous driving to the mass market is in delivering the compute performance required within the power, cost and thermal constraints of the vehicle.

She added: “Arm technology is well suited to address this challenge, providing the scalable, specialised, safety-enabled compute needed to address the range of processing capabilities for different automotive workloads in a power efficient manner.”

Vachani says the Arm team spends a lot of time discussing, debating and exploring the topic of autonomous technology, including driverless cars.

She said: “It’s a topic that never fails to enthuse and engage so you can imagine my excitement at being able to ride in a Cruise AV – the first all-electric, driverless service to welcome public riders in a major US city. 

“The ride really brought home to me that the future of autonomous cars is much closer than we think and for the first time, I am able to tell people more about the work Arm is doing with Cruise – a true pioneer in this space, to further accelerate this vision.”

She said Arm has been working with the team at Cruise behind the scenes for years and from the very start the heart of the partnership had been close collaboration and a shared view of the incredible potential autonomous technology has. 

“The first collaboration project was a solution for sensor processing using Arm central processing units. Now, we are working together more broadly to increase the efficiency of the compute system while maintaining performance to support Cruise in the scale-out of its autonomous platforms.

“As vehicle architectures evolve, automotive developers today are also challenged by increasing code complexity. Computing must become more centralised, and software is critical to allowing this. 

“That’s why Arm is working with leading industry partners on SOAFEE, a standardised framework that enhances proven cloud-native technologies with the real-time and safety features required in automotive applications.

“When you look at what Cruise has already achieved, it’s mind-blowing to think about what is next on our journey to a safe, autonomous future. 

“That’s just one of many of the things Cameron Matzke, System Architect at Cruise, and I discussed on our recent ride – and I wasn’t the only member of the Arm team to have the chance to experience this incredible technology first-hand: our CEO Rene Haas joined Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt for a ride and a great conversation about the future of autonomy.”

Vachani said the automotive sector was at an important inflection point. The systems powering cars are being redesigned and reimagined, and software and hardware are equally critical. She adds: “Here at Arm we’re committed to delivering the high performance, low power and safety-capable compute that industry leaders such as Cruise can use to continue to innovate.

“At the same time we are working with partners to enable the software-defined vehicle for the automotive industry. It’s yet another example of how Arm is working with our ecosystem to define the future of computing.

“Collaboration is critical on the road to mass deployment of autonomous vehicles and one of the most exciting parts of our job is getting to work with partners like Cruise on these opportunities and challenges. The next generation of autonomous vehicles will run on Arm, so watch this space!”

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