Announcing the Autoware Foundation — Open Source for Autonomous Driving

Jan Becker
Dec 9, 2018 · 3 min read

Today we are thrilled to announce the launch of the Autoware Foundation jointly initiated by Tier IV, Inc., Linaro 96Boards, and Apex.AI, Inc. The Autoware Foundation is a non-profit organization supporting open-source projects enabling self-driving mobility. The Autoware Foundation creates synergies between corporate development and academic research, enabling autonomous driving technology for everyone.

What is Autoware?

Autoware.AI was started in 2015 by Shinpei Kato at Nagoya University. Today, Autoware.AI is supported by the largest autonomous driving open source community with 2300+ stars on GitHub and 500+ accounts on Slack. Autoware.AI has found widespread and international adoption as it is used by more than 100 companies and runs on more than 30 vehicles in more than 20 different countries. Courses using Autoware are offered in 5 countries. Automotive OEMs are using Autoware for Mobility as a Service development. Autoware is qualified to run on driverless vehicles on public roads in Japan since 2017. We are using Autoware at Apex.AI since the beginning to complement our own stack.

Now we are taking Autoware to the next level.

Autoware Projects

The original Autoware.AI project and two new open-source projects Autoware.IO and Autoware.Auto will be placed under the roof of a non-profit foundation, the Autoware Foundation, thus making it independent from the support and interest of any single company.

  • Autoware.AI is the original Autoware project build on ROS 1. Launched as a research and development platform for autonomous driving technology for researchers, developers, and students interested in autonomous driving technology.
  • Autoware.IO is the future interface project for Autoware to include heterogeneous platform support, proprietary software and third-party libraries in a reliable manner. Examples include device drivers for sensors, by-wire controllers for vehicles, and hardware-independent programs for SoC boards.
  • Autoware.Auto is Autoware reimagined. Based on ROS 2. Autoware.Auto will be managed by an open source community manager, applies best-in-class software engineering practices, and is based on a redesigned architecture. A more detailed announcement will follow.

Founding Members and Foundation Governance

We are very proud that the Autoware Foundation is starting with an impressive set of founding members. Besides Tier IV, Linaro 96Boards and Apex.AI, we welcome ARM, AutoCore, AutonomouStuff, eSol, Huawei/HiSilicon, Intel Labs, Kalray, LG Electric, Nagoya University, Open Robotics (the organization behind ROS), Parkopedia, RISC-V/SiFive, Robosense, Semi Japan, StreetDrone, Toyota Research Institute Advanced Development (TRI-AD), Velodyne Lidar, Xilinx as founding members!

The foundation is governed by a Board of Directors. Inaugural directors are Shinpei Kato, Founder of Tier IV and Associate Professor at The University of Tokyo, Yang Zhang of Linaro/96Boards, and myself. Technical activities of the foundation are guided by the Technical Steering Committee, which consists of Shinpei, Yang, Kenji Funaoka of Tier IV, and Dejan Pangercic, CTO and CO-Founder of Apex.AI. Autoware is based on ROS and we are happy to have Brian Gerkey, Founder and CEO of the Open Robotics, as an advisor to the foundation.

Your Contribution

We are seeking your participation. If you or your organization wants to join the Autoware Foundation or support open source for self-driving in another way, then contact the foundation at auto@autoware.org or shoot me a line. Everybody is welcome to contribute to Autoware.AI and Autoware.Auto. Your contribution is essential to put Autoware on a broad and solid foundation!

Thanks for loving Autoware.

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