Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA), Aquantia, Bosch, Continental and NVIDIA have announced the formation of the Networking for Autonomous Vehicles (NAV) Alliance, "to drive the ecosystem development required for the next generation of multi-gig ethernet networking in vehicles".

Autonomous driving is creating a need for a new breed of in-vehicle networking solutions that can transmit data between the increasing number of high-resolution sensors, cameras and processing engines at blazing-fast speeds, VW said in a statement.

"We are pleased to join the NAV Alliance as a founding member because we are aiming to provide the best self-driving experience for our customers. The team is looking forward to collaborating with other alliance members to advance the safety and ease of use for autonomous vehicles while bringing them to market faster," said Matthias Erb, EVP & chief engineering officer North America Region, VWGoA.

Self-driving cars have become data centres on wheels constantly analysing vast amounts of data to endeavour to ensure the safest and most secure experience for passengers, pedestrians, and other vehicles.

NAV alliance's members are joining together in an effort to shape the future of in-vehicle networking technologies as society prepares for the shift to autonomous driving.

Akin to a very advanced nervous system, this next-generation networking architecture is based on an array of ECUs, CPUs, GPUs, high-definition cameras, sensors, gateways, and storage devices, all connected through a high-speed, multi-gigabit ethernet network that works to seamlessly move data throughout the vehicle securely and reliably. 

NAV Alliance founding objectives

  • Promote development of new specifications, as well as build consensus for new technologies related to Multi-Gig Ethernet automotive networking
  • Create procedures and testing requirements to endeavor to ensure interoperability, security, and reliability of the in-vehicle network
  • Promote products and solutions that adhere to the new specifications
  • Liaise with standards bodies to build consensus, create IEEE proposals, and promote standardization
  • Build awareness and educate the market place and users on the requirements for autonomous vehicle networks

Founding members will focus on these core objectives and expand the alliance membership roster in coming months to include additional automotive suppliers and manufacturers.