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Increasing Trust: Engineering Autonomous Vehicles that Are Safe and Secure

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Increasing Trust: Engineering Autonomous Vehicles that Are Safe and SecureThe concept and aspiration for fully autonomous vehicles has been around for at least 40 years. The reality in 2019 depends on who you talk to; it’s either here today, a few years away, or a decade or more before they truly become mainstream.

The Society of Automotive Engineers has defined six levels of autonomy from level 0 – 5. While manufacturers have been working hard on the development of autonomous vehicles, the reality is that today the vast majority of vehicles for sale are only capable of providing level 2 assistance features. Level 2 automated driving is defined as systems that provide steering and brake/acceleration support, as well as lane centering and adaptive cruise control. The human at the wheel must be driving and constantly supervising the automated features. A few OEM’s in-market today have been working towards Level 3 & 4 automation, meaning the car can take over most driving functions , but the driver must still be able to intervene at any time.

For most automakers, in order to reach this goal, incremental technological and commodity changes will not be enough. Instead, to achieve the full road map of autonomy will require a transition to a complete automotive platform inclusive of AI-enabled microprocessors, software, new architectures and levels of performance to be deployed scalably.

Navigating the Path to Pervasive Autonomy

Because of the emphasis on commodity-based engineering, workflow in a typical OEM has a very long lead time and cycle. Worst case cycle times have ideas begin in the research factory maturing over several years leading to product engineering where they take around 3-4.5 years.

For these main reasons and many smaller ones, this approach is not scalable nor cost effective as we move into the 21st century.

One of the cornerstones of the new architecture is the concept of a layered software-based platform which allows for the addition and deletion of software defined capability in each layer (see below). This facilitates features to run as “applications” executed on top of the service platform like PC or mobile phone which provide the ability to change (extend or restrict) the performance.

The impact of these rationalization and transformation initiatives are providing significant value for the OEM as well as the end-consumer:

  • The amount of wiring can be reduced (cost)
  • This allows further weight reduction of the car
  • Increased performance and/or driving range (performance/emissions)
  • Reduce manufacturing cost and time.

The end-picture and future benchmark to consider is provided by Tesla. Through digital connectivity within the car an ultimate level of rationalization will bring cabling requirements from about 5 km of wiring today to 100 m in a Tesla Model Y.

Tesla also recognized early that hardware rationalization and connectivity capabilities outside of the vehicle system would be paramount to unlock and accelerate the uptake of the ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared Mega-Trends) trends, which would ultimately not only provide the revenue streams of the future but also leverage AI benefits across the different functionalities inside and outside of a vehicle.

The commercial confirmation and practical demonstration of this flexibility can be seen at Tesla where they have already established this software working environment and pushing new autonomous and AI benchmarks as announced in April 2019.

In a world of static automotive features, closed systems and changes made through recalls and other legacy methods, such an architecture is viable. However, to achieve the three automotive pillars of being safe, secure and smart, fully autonomous vehicles need to have a more open, integrated hardware and software systems architecture vs. siloed and disconnected. Autonomous vehicles must possess architectures that allow subsystems to work together to harness and exchange data in real-time to make intelligent decisions.
The sooner this transformation happens, the sooner Level 5 autonomous vehicles will become a reality.

Solution for Autonomous Driving

Wave Computing, for instance, offers a full range of SoC solutions designed specifically for the automotive industry. The company’s MIPS technology-based ISO-26262 certified processors enable OEMs to design, develop and scale their vehicle software architectures in a secure environment. The architecture includes hardware multithreading with support for up to four threads and the ability to run two instructions simultaneously during every clock cycle. And Wave Computing’s TritonAI 64 IP platform enables developers to address a wide range of automotive AI use cases with a single comprehensive platform, including optimized AI libraries.

Whether next year, five years or a decade, the dream of fully autonomous driving will become a reality. To fulfill that dream, however, automotive manufacturers must make major changes to their automotive architectures and supply chains. Transforming what was once a rigid hardware platform of siloed features and functions, to a fully systems-based software platform won’t happen overnight, but it’s a critical component to delivering Level 5 autonomous vehicles that are safe, secure and smart.


About the Author

Steve Brightfield, Senior Director of CPU and AI IP, MIPS Machines Div, Wave Computing. For more information, please visit www.wavecomp.ai.

Winter Is Coming, So Protect Your Business With Its Very Own (Fire)Wall

Game of Thrones fans across the world have spent years marveling at Jon Snow’s dedication to his all-important wall. While business lessons are probably few and far between in Game of Thrones, his dedication to keeping his country safe is one that any company should take on board. You might not need a physical brick wall outside your office, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still use a wall of some kind to keep your company safe.

Virus and spyware protection services like those offered by Charles are a first port of call for any company that wants to keep their data and customers safe. And, once you put managed security services like these in place, you can bet that a firewall will soon follow.

Unlike Jon Snow’s physical wall, Wikipedia describes a firewall as ‘…a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules.’ But, what exactly can a security measure like this do for your company?

Your first line of defense

The GOT wall is the first line of defense in case of attack, and your business network firewall is no different. Viruses or malware on a business computer can have a catastrophic impact on your company’s operations and reputation. In fact, malicious malware that steals customer information could cripple your company altogether. In a sense, a firewall works as a shield against attacks like these. Whether you put one in place or trust a managed security service to do it for you, this is a way to improve security with little real effort on your part.

A way to stop anyone getting in (or out)

Like any good wall, a firewall provides a solid support to stop things getting either in or out of your company network. Strong firewalls will inspect the flow of traffic both ways, monitoring and blocking viruses as and when they arise. A firewall can also prevent unauthorized websites to ensure no unwanted pages find their way into your office. As well as keeping your company safe, then, a well-installed firewall can keep distractions like social media and personal browsing well clear of your work environment, and can make for increased productivity all around.

pasted image 0 5A safe place from which to spot trouble

Our GOT favorites continually patrol their wall for any sign of trouble, and this is yet another benefit that a firewall can bring to you. Far from just blocking viruses as they arise, a firewall can work wonders for foreseeing and even warning you of coming trouble. For instance, any firewall will log potential intrusions or unauthorized activity, thus allowing you to check out possible problems before they arise. By foreguessing and blocking malicious applications, your firewall can even do a pretty good job at its own patrol out of office hours.

For these reasons and more, a firewall is vital for security in any business setting. As a company owner, you should, therefore, go forth and be the watcher on the firewall.

Business Risks and How to Prepare for Them

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Business Risks and How to Prepare for ThemBusiness is a risky game and one threat that arises that you weren’t ready for can have a devastating impact. Risk management plays a big role in the finance department who are constantly assessing for risks that could impact the company’s cash flow or investments. However, there are a number of other risks that all departments have a view of that can cause big problems if not assessed and prepared for in advance.

Data Breaches

One of the biggest risks to all businesses in modern times if the risk of being the victim of a cyber-attack. Criminals are on the hunt for a range of information from businesses. The most common data they go after are customers personal details. These could include, names, addresses, bank details, and credit card numbers.

There can be huge fines and PR consequences if businesses are found to have been incompetent with their data management. Another piece of information that criminals are looking for is IP information. Stealing intellectual property is becoming very common now and businesses need to have the right systems and processes in place to protect IP that could be worth millions or billions of dollars.

Injured workers

It’s estimated that every 7 seconds a worker is injured in their place of work. Many of the injuries sustained are avoidable but it costs businesses millions of dollars and time in lost production to compensate workers for losses.

Among the questions employees regularly have about workers compensation are ‘how long does it take to receive workers comp’ and ‘are workers comp benefits taxable’. Being clear with your employees about the processes and health and safety procedures you have in place will help to minimize the risk of people being injured at work. This, in turn, will lead to fewer claims if people are more aware of the safety precautions that they need to take.

Product Recalls

There have been many high profile cases of product recalls in recent years, one of the main ones being the Volkswagen emissions scandal. This originally began in 2015 when the EPA found that Volkswagen had been deliberately tampering with their emissions outputs.

There is no limit to the damage a product recall can have on a business. Some businesses have been so badly affected that they have declared bankruptcy and closed down. Implementing tight quality controls and regularly auditing processes, machinery and staff are good ways to ensure that the risk of having a product recall issue is lowered.

Even if your business has never had a product recall issue, you should have a process in place in case this does ever happen. Along with how you will identify a defective product you must think about how you will get the message out to consumers that they need to return the product and what your policy will be on refunds or exchanges. Just as important will also be your PR strategy and how you manage a potential customer or industry backlash.

 

Risk Management Solutions For Your Business

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Risk Management Solutions For Your BusinessIt’s highly likely that you have spent a significant amount of time setting your business up to get it to a point where it’s sustaining a positive growth rate. However, it’s also highly likely that you haven’t spent as much time sussing out the potential risks that could damage or stunt your company’s growth. The earlier you decide to instigate risk management into your business processes, the better. This will help protect what you have built this far, and hopefully prevent, control, or reduce any problems that may occur in the future.

Protect Your Work

When you are using digital devices, it’s essential to save your work on your device, at all times. But not only this, you should be storing it somewhere else too. One of the reasons being, an increasingly problematic issue that occurs for small and large businesses alike is the threat from hackers. And so, a backup solution is necessary (along with anti-virus software and IT systems) to prevent intruders and strategically prevent the stress that these issues shall cause you. Keeping your digital files on one device is extremely risky. Although not just because of hackers, other threats such as office fires that could damage your electronics, and burglars who could steal your equipment. Depending on the amount of intel you need to store and protect shall decipher what services and solutions are best for your business. You need to weigh up whether cloud services, external servers, or external hard drives are adequate enough for your business intel.

Safety Equipment

In terms of health and safety, there is some equipment that your physical business premises simply can’t legally do without. Such as fire doors and fire alarms in the event of an emergency. Alongside this, there are other precautions you can take to prevent cost inducing damage to your premises that may cause accidents. For instance, if you own or are storing large quantities of fluid on-site (oil, chemicals, fluid, etc.), you may want to install a liquid level switch to consistently and reliably monitor the fluid levels. This shall help to indicate whether there is a leak before it’s too late. Other forms of equipment are CCTV, to monitor the premises and alert you if there is a risk that could be detrimental to your business activities.

Business Insurance

Chances are you don’t have the means to purchase a new building, settle claims against your business and buy brand new equipment outright if the need arises due to a natural disaster or criminal activity. Because of this, it’s a good idea to purchase business insurance to cover you if something awful (and expensive) occurs. This is the last port of call in your risk management program so that if the other steps you’ve implemented have not protected your business as planned, there’s hope that the insurance company will cover the damage. In light of this, read through the terms and conditions of your insurance policy carefully, to check that you have adequate coverage for your business needs and the possible eventualities.

To begin managing potential risks that could occur at work, you can either walk around the premises and assess any areas that need attention. Such as faulty doors, or untidy cables that could cause a nasty fall. Otherwise, you may wish to hire a professional to check the business premises for you.

5 Things To Remember When Starting A Chemical Manufacturing Business

A chemical manufacturing company is a potentially very lucrative business idea, however, it does require a lot of initial investment. You need to cover the cost of finding a prime location, buying and setting up all of the equipment, and hiring a lot of specialist employees. You’ll have to put a lot of money into this business if you want to get it going which means the risk is very high and if you fail, you will find yourself in a very difficult financial position. That’s why you need to think carefully about it and make sure that you know exactly what is involved in setting up a successful chemical manufacturing business. If you think that it’s the right idea for you, make sure that you have considered these things.

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article | 5 Things To Remember When Starting A Chemical Manufacturing Business | Entrepreneurship

What Is Your Niche Going To Be?

Unless you want to spend huge amounts of money on different types of equipment, you need to pick a fairly narrow niche for your chemical manufacturing business. Starting out with one or two products is the best thing to do, otherwise, your overheads will get out of control before you even get started. The first decision that you need to make is whether you’re going to make intermediate chemicals or finished products for market. Intermediate chemicals will be sold to other businesses which will use them during the manufacturing process to make products that go straight to market. Alternatively, you could make products like cleaning chemicals, soap or toothpaste etc. for companies that will then sell them direct to retailers.

If you’re making intermediate chemicals, the manufacturing process is usually simpler and cheaper. You’ll also have more choice of customers, especially if you make a product that is used to manufacture a lot of different things. However, the profit margins on these products tend to be smaller so you’ll be selling in larger quantities but not necessarily making as much money on each unit.

Manufacturing finished products for market does tend to give you a higher profit margin, the only problem is that the overheads are also a lot higher. When you’re manufacturing more complex products, you’ll need a lot more equipment and at this point, you probably can’t afford that. It’s best to start out with intermediate chemicals and move on to more complex products once you’re well established and you have the money to cover the increased overheads.

Location In Relation To Raw Materials

Choosing the right location for your manufacturing plant is very important. You need to make sure that you have adequate space for all of the equipment that you’ll need but you also need to think about your location in relation to the raw materials that you’re going to need. If your manufacturing plant is located too far away from companies that supply the raw materials then you’re going to be spending a lot of money on shipping and that will eat into your profits. The best thing to do is to decide what you want to manufacture and work out what raw materials you will need and then find a location where they are easily accessible.

Storing Chemicals

When you’re choosing a location, you don’t just need to consider how you’re going to get your raw materials and then manufacture new products with them, you also need to think about where you’re going to store all of those chemicals. You will need to store the raw materials before manufacture and the finished product afterwards. That’s why it’s important that you find a location that has plenty of space for storage as well as manufacturing. Get in touch with a company like Tuffa Tanks that supply storage tanks for chemicals so you can get an idea of what it will cost and what kind of size you can get. This will give you an idea of the cost of storage and how much space you will need so you can make sure you choose a suitable location.

Packaging And Shipping

Storing the chemicals at your own facility is one thing, but you also need to deal with packaging and shipping the chemicals. If they are hazardous in any way, this can be quite a challenge and it might cost you quite a lot of money. Some of this cost can be factored into the price when you sell the chemicals but you don’t want to push the prices up too high and lose customers. There are certain regulations around the packaging and shipping of certain chemicals so it’s essential that you do your research beforehand and find out whether this applies to you or not. If you are found to be breaking these regulations, even without realizing, it’s likely that your business will be shut down temporarily, if not permanently, and you’ll be hit with a big fine.

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Ship Hazardous Materials|We Answer the Top 9 Most Commonly-Asked Questions About Hazardous Materials PackagingEnvironmental Concerns

Manufacturing chemicals can have a big impact on the environment, especially if you’re using hazardous materials, and that’s something that you need to think about when you’re setting up your business. Disposing of waste properly is so important because if you just dump it, you’ll do a lot of damage to the surrounding ecosystems. If you’re found to be disposing of waste in the wrong way, you could get yourself into a lot of legal trouble. There are proper channels for disposing of your waste in a safe manner that doesn’t damage the environment so it’s important that you follow them properly. This is usually going to cost you more than standard waste disposal for a business so make sure to factor that in as well.

Ideally, you should try to use less harmful chemicals where possible because this will improve your public image. Consumers are very concerned with environmental issues and a lot of people cite it as a major factor in their purchasing decisions. If you can find different ways to manufacture your products and reduce your impact on the environment, you’re far more likely to make sales.

If you don’t consider these things before you start your own chemical manufacturing company, you’re likely to fail before you even get off the ground.