As the world deals with one challenge after another – from the coronavirus pandemic to the ongoing conflict in Europe – the automotive industry too is working its way through several challenges driven by changing customer and business (B2C and B2B) demands. AWS for Automotive showcases how evolving customer demands can be successfully fulfilled not just by being a business partner but by being a partner in co-creating a seamless mobility ecosystem for development and deployment.
Along with its partner ecosystem, AWS’ go-to-market strategy addresses the needs of the automotive industry across seven solution areas, namely: software-defined vehicles (SDV), connected mobility, digital customer engagement, manufacturing, autonomous vehicle (AV) development, product engineering, and supply chain. This article examines some new/expanded partnerships in select solution areas spotlighted at re:Invent and at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022.
Software-defined vehicles (SDV)
The industry has doubled down its investments in SDV over the past couple of years, accelerating efforts towards cloud-native practices and the speed and agility that go with it to the automotive edge. Central to this has been the need for the automotive industry to manage complex software architectures and consolidate hardware, software, and cloud into next-generation platforms. AWS brings a core set of enabling technologies that make SDV a reality.
- The capabilities begin with most of the components being connected (managed IoT services) where silos of data originating from disparate sensors need to be stored in robust data lake architectures which, in turn, can be organized/leveraged to run artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) models that transform business needs.
- Edge to cloud capabilities that are mandatory for low latency deployments in the connected mobility space is complemented with the consolidation of the vehicle architecture, providing crucial support via virtualization to achieve environmental parity between the cloud and the vehicle.
- These technologies enable the developer ecosystem to create new insights and micro services where flexible management of CI/CD, along with mixed critical container orchestration and application-level networking come together to support an agile, modern cloud-native DevOps environment.
As most of AWS’ customers are at different stages of SDV development, the goal is to make software deployment faster and more secure across the enterprise, network edge, and the vehicle. This will empower automakers to push the boundaries on experiential customer services.
As an extension to the SDV world, AWS’ new managed service – AWS IoT FleetWise – simplifies and creates a cost-effective practice for automakers to collect, transform, and transfer vehicle data to the cloud in near-real-time. Using its intelligent filtering capabilities, developers can reduce network traffic by selecting the data to transfer and defining rules for when to transfer based on clearly defined parameters. Once the data is in the cloud, automakers can use it for applications that remotely diagnose issues in individual vehicles, to analyze vehicle fleet health to help prevent potential recalls or safety issues and to improve ADAS/AV systems with analytics and ML. One of the biggest advantages of AWS IoT FleetWise is that there are no upfront fees and customers pay only for the primary services used.
Launch of EC2 Graviton3 Instances: In continuation of its commitment to support and deliver reduced costs, low latency, better scalability, improved availability, and increased security of cloud workloads, AWS launched Graviton 3 at re:Invent. The previous generation Graviton 2 was an ARM-based, CPU-based instance that offered 30% performance improvement and also significant cost optimization, which was the foundation for environmental parity. Graviton 3 chips will be 25% faster with 2x faster floating-point performances and a 3x speedup for ML workloads. The company promises that these new chips will use 60% less power, a factor crucial to accelerating automotive DevOps with embedded parity between hardware and cloud instances.
To understand more about AWS’ edge to cloud approach in the SDV world, please visit https://www.frost.com/frost-perspectives/amazon-web-services-edge-to-cloud-approach-to-drive-a-new-era-of-software-defined-vehicles/
As one of the several partnership announcements at re:Invent, Rivian announced the selection of AWS as its preferred cloud partner. AWS is expected to support Rivian’s SDV architecture and over-the-air (OTA) software updates. Services such as Amazon EKS will be used to manage/orchestrate software updates, while AWS’ content delivery network service, CloudFront, will support deployment at scale. The goal of this partnership is to continuously improve driver/owner experience with infotainment options and fleet management services over the vehicle’s lifecycle. In addition, Rivian’s battery data science team will use AWS’ managed services to scale its analytics capabilities to gain more insights from vehicle test fleets and support EV R&D efforts, including using AWS services for computer-aided engineering (CAE).
AWS’ Two-pronged Approach towards AV Development and Deployment
The ability to repetitively build, train, simulate and test is essential to improving the accuracy of perception and path planning models. AWS addresses these challenges with a suite of solutions and tools— classified as “Infinite Loop” and “Big Loop” — across the entire AV development cycle.
- The “Infinite Loop” Approach: This integrated holistic approach centers on the infinity workflow, i.e., a process that never ends but continues to evolve and improvise. This loop consists of five significant steps where AWS, along with its partner network, provides crucial services that become the essential building blocks in customers’ successful AV deployment journey.
- The “Big Loop” Approach: Showcases how software assets prepared through the “Infinite Loop” approach can be deployed in shadow mode or through an edge intelligent agent.
To understand more about AWS’ unique value proposition in scaling AV development and deployment, please visit https://www.frost.com/frost-perspectives/amazon-web-services-unique-value-proposition-in-scaling-autonomous-vehicle-av-development-and-deployment/.
The launch of a new service called SageMaker Ground Truth Plus (SMGT+) by AWS represents an extension of its services to the automated driving (AD) world. Beyond its well-recognized data labeling capabilities, this service enables labeling for LiDAR data and is used by autonomous mobility customers. It aids in creating high-quality training datasets without the need to build labeling applications and manage the labeling workforce. Hence, it avoids the requirement for deep ML expertise or widespread knowledge of workflow design and quality management. SMGT+ supports data labeling for other industry verticals as well.
Amongst the several partnership announcements at re:Invent included one by Aurora, which declared that it would continue to use AWS as its preferred cloud provider for ML training and simulation workloads. Since 2019, Aurora has been using AWS to run large-scale simulations of its AD system, the Aurora Driver. AWS disclosed that Aurora plans to boost the number of simulations it runs in the cloud to more than 12 million/day. Underlining the range of capabilities offered by AWS’ extensive portfolio, Aurora leverages Amazon SageMaker to continuously refine ML models that enable its driving simulations and EC2 instance types like P4d to deliver the highest performance for ML training in the cloud. In addition, the company also uses Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service to manage its cloud environment and the Amazon EMR data service to analyze the data.
AWS has been improving its operations over the past 25 years using ML, automation, and robotics. To support its customers across the manufacturing vertical, the company has 10 purpose-built solutions and 15 services designed to support manufacturers connect several disparate machines, including legacy systems. AWS has announced three important services that deepen their offering in this vertical.
- AWS IoT TwinMaker: This service supports building/maintenance of digital twins using customers’ existing data sets (IoT, video, enterprise application data) and physical location without needing to re-ingest or move the data to another location. This service lets customers get an immersive 3D view of the required data and operations metrics to augment efficiency, increase production, and improve performance.
- AWS IoT RoboRunner: Supports modernization of robotics by building new fleet management applications for robots. RoboRunner helps entities build/deploy fleets of robots and orchestrate the operation through a single system view. This new service is built on the same technology used in Amazon fulfillment centers and is being made available to all developers to build advanced robotics applications.
- AWS Private 5G: AWS has introduced AWS Private 5G – a managed services offering available today in preview. This service allows businesses to build private cellular networks using the benefits of 5G while maintaining the security of a private network. This enables capabilities in connecting several devices with the low latency and high bandwidth of a private 5G network. This service also supports the maintenance of IT policies, allows devices to be added based on demand to network, and offers the flexibility of paying only for the capacity and throughput use.
These were only a few of the major announcements involving AWS from re:Invent, highlighting its commitment to advancing new and existing purpose-built solutions and services for automotive workloads and of going beyond IT challenges for automotive industry experts and decision-makers. To learn more about other AWS solutions: aws.amazon.com/automotive/
AWS at CES 2022
The resurgence of a new COVID-19 variant made CES 2022 a subdued affair compared to its previous editions. Despite many companies, including AWS, deciding to cancel in-person attendance, this did not detract from the quality of announcements/partnerships around in-vehicle technologies. If anything, they served to re-emphasize that the automotive industry is moving away from a siloed mindset to co-creation and co-existence models.
Amazon announced a series of multi-year global agreements with Stellantis that involve Amazon Devices, AWS, and Amazon Last Mile. The partnerships start with Amazon supporting software development for the STLA SmartCockpit platform, which will run in millions of Stellantis vehicles from 2024. The platform will deliver applications for entertainment, Alexa-enabled voice assistance, navigation, vehicle maintenance, e-commerce marketplaces, and payment services. In addition, Stellantis and Amazon plan to jointly build the STLA SmartCockpit on AWS, with AWS selected as Stellantis’ preferred cloud provider.
Additionally, Ford models such as Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, as well as, Stellantis vehicles such as Chrysler Pacifica, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Wagoneer, and Grand Wagoneer will have Fire TV built-in available on 2022 models. Amazon will also collaborate with BMW to build a unique experience for in-car entertainment. The BMW Theatre Screen with Fire TV built-in is expected to bring a theater-like experience for rear-seat passengers, offering the highest resolution and biggest display of any in-car Fire TV experience.
Conclusion: What do these announcements mean for the automotive industry?
Frost & Sullivan believes that AWS is creating a much-required comprehensive portfolio of solutions and services that are purpose-built and co-created to support the automotive industry’s transition towards digital transformation. AWS for Automotive is supplementing the company’s efforts with talent, technology, and know-how to re-architect the way mobility has been perceived thus far.
In addition, with infotainment platforms and intelligent cockpits being key to deeper integration with end-users and the mobility ecosystem, AWS and Alexa are expected to be vital agents in creating an immersive entertainment and on-demand connected lifestyle. Their showcases at re:Invent and CES 2022 address both immediate as well as long-term real-world use cases and demonstrate how the concept of life on board will be an evolution of cabin/cockpit technologies that will enhance engagement, comfort, and convenience of vehicle occupants. Overall, AWS for Automotive is expected to tick the right boxes across its seven solution areas covering all the important facets for the development/deployment of next-generation CASE strategies that enable deeper integration with B2B and B2C customers.
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