Global Open-Source Autonomous Software Platform Launched

An inter-continental not-for-profit consortium has launched an open-source driverless software platform hoping to accelerate the technology.

Dubbed Project ASLAN, it is a collaboration between commercial enterprise, leading technology universities, transport authorities and self-driving hardware and software engineers drawn from around the world that aims to hurdle the myriad of obstacles delaying autonomous technology. It hopes to The platform provide a mature and stable code combined with plug and play capabilities, offering real-world self-driving validated by public highway trials as well as complete simulation capability for users without access to driverless vehicle hardware.

The collaboration’s founder members and advisory board include HAN University of Applied Sciences, Holland, RoboSense, an advanced LiDAR technology company, StreetDrone, the end-to-end urban mobility company, cyber-security experts, Enkrypta, Jim O’Reilly, strategic product and innovation manager at Ordnance Survey, Prof Siraj Ahmed Shaikh, professor of systems security at the Institute of Future Transport and Cities (IFTC) at Coventry University, Garry Staunton of RACE (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments) as part of Testbed UK and Hai L. Vu, professor, intelligent transport systems at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Project ASLAN claims to have identified the high investment demands required to pursue end-to-end driverless technologies presents a clear barrier to progress. The project has set itself the ambition to remove these barriers to entry and prioritize the benefits of driverless vehicles for metropolitan and low speed use cases.

By focusing on slow speeds in cities as well as embracing an open-source approach, the consortium hopes to open up a smaller problem to a far larger group of collaborative engineering capability from across the world. Engineers can freely download an open-source resource enriched by software contributed by the founders and augmented with data from 22 autonomous vehicles currently deployed in a variety of trial use-cases in locations ranging from Hong Kong to the UK.

Mike Potts, CEO of StreetDrone, said: “The fundamental objective of Project ASLAN is to focus the power of engineering collaboration on a very defined controlled speed urban use case to enable fast deployment of self-driving solutions. The group that has set this initiative underway welcomes new companies and individuals who share ASLAN’s ambition as the promise of autonomous vehicles has been unfulfilled for too long. Collaboration and Project ASLAN are the remedy for that shortcoming.”

The project is aligned with the World Economic Forum Guidelines for City Mobility paper published in March 2020 that set out the ambition for cities and communities to lower emissions, improve safety and increase affordability and accessibility of transport networks based on a first principle of data sharing and collaboration.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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