How the Big Loop powers data-driven development for ADAS/AD
How can we find the value in data to make automated driving even safer and more comfortable? Stefan Sicklinger, Head of Division – Big Loop and Advanced Systems at CARIAD, explains the advantages of intelligent data collection – and how it’s already improving ADAS/AD functions of the future today.
We believe it’s time to take vehicle data acquisition to the next level. In traditional setups, every single bit of data detected by the vehicle’s sensors is recorded locally in the vehicles and physically stored on a daily basis. This approach is very expensive and requires huge amounts of storage capacity. It’s also extremely inefficient and presents developers with far too much data.
At CARIAD, our solution to this problem is the Big Loop – an intelligent data aggregation system for our future customer fleets and supports data-driven development. The system greatly reduces the amount of data gathered. It’s also a highly sustainable way of collecting data. On the one hand, we’re able to reduce the amount of computing power needed inside the vehicle. And in our world of electric vehicles, less energy consumption means a longer driving range. On the other hand, by uploading to the cloud only a few snapshots of data out of the vast amount that our sensors record every hour, we’re using less energy in our data centers. But at the same time, we’re still able to sustain the high level of quality of extracted information. The system also allows the data to be immediately available to our software engineers for development purposes.
The Big Loop is spread across the various layers of our unified and scalable E3 2.0 architecture that Volkswagen Group brands will introduce in the middle of this decade – from hardware and software within the vehicle, including the operating system (VW.OS), to data centers in the cloud (VW.AC). We’re using this system to develop, test and deploy software for automated driving functions that can be easily released to customers’ vehicles via over-the-air-updates.
Before diving into the Big Loop process, it’s important to first understand two key parts of the system, namely the protected area blade and INSTINCT.
Now, let’s take a look at the Big Loop process and follow the data stream. The cycle begins in the vehicle with INSTINCT, which identifies a data sample provided by our sensors that is of interest to us. A snapshot of that data is then preserved within the SCP and sent to the VW.AC. Once the data arrives in the data lake, we’re able to use multiple different consumption pipelines to leverage the information and value of that data. It’s even possible, if needed, to apply machine learning techniques, as well as make use of simulation and replay.
On the basis of this collected data, we can develop an update for the customer feature. After testing and validation, it’s sent via an over-the-air update back into the vehicle. At the same time, we also ensure that INSTINCT is updated. And, with this, the Big Loop has completed its first round. This cycle continues to constantly keep the vehicle up to date with the latest software.
Our developer teams are rapidly expanding. Do you have experience in the areas of machine learning, data science, parallel computing, scientific computing or data engineering, and fancy the chance to work with us on the Big Loop?