NAV Alliance Formed to Standardize Multi-Gig Ethernet Support for Autonomous Vehicles


A man testing a self driving car. / Photo by: rioblanco via 123RF


In the future, self-driving vehicles will no longer need a human driver. Instead, they will require a powerful network to handle the massive amount of data. In an effort to address this issue, the Volkswagen Group of America and several tech companies formed the Networking for Autonomous Vehicles Alliance.

NAV Alliance aims to create merchandises for AVs that assist with multi-gig Ethernet connectivity so that vehicles can efficiently handle data transmission from cameras, sensors, RADAR, LIDAR, and other software and hardware components. This will, in turn, enable operation without human drivers.

"The NAV alliance will catalyze the development of a reliable next generation of networking platform for self-driving cars,” said James Hodgson, a senior analyst at ABI Research.

The planning for the high-speed network support for self-driving automotives will include tests for network security to protect customers and operators, standards applicable within the industry, and guidelines for users and potential buyers regarding AV networks. So far, the NAV Alliance has a scope that connects many domains of vehicles, such as electronic control units, CPUs and GPUs, high-definition cameras, gateways, and storage devices through a high-speed Ethernet network.

For the standardization of multi-gig technologies, the alliance plans to create an agreement around new ideas, architecture, and technologies to let multi-gig networking applicable with AVs. The plan may also bring out challenges to engineers in many aspects of automotive development and production including noise emission, power consumption, safety standards, safety, and cable installation. But once the standardization has been initialized, the alliance expects it to guide AV developers on building their designs.

As of now, the NAV Alliance is joined by Aquantia, Bosch, Continental, NVIDIA, and Volkswagen. Other groups that joined the organization include car manufacturers, system suppliers, and network and AI computing companies.