Interviews, Smart Mobility

ScaleUp 360° ADAS Europe Pre-Event Interview with Akka Technologies

The ScaleUp 360° Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Europe is the leading digital event on Development, Implementation & Deployment of Future Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. In 2 days of virtual sessions and case studies by leading technical ADAS R&D experts, the latest technological advances, use cases as well best practices for launching the next generation of ADAS functions and technologies are discussed. Learn, engage and discuss current and future tech innovations in real-time with 250+ thought leaders across the globe.

In the run-up to the event, we.CONECT spoke with Felix Jakob, Director at AKKA Research Germany about virtual validation technologies to support safe ADAS system development.

Felix Jakob, Director at AKKA Research Germany

we.CONECT: What was your first encounter with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems? Why did it fascinate you?

Felix Jakob: I have always been fascinated by technology. Coming from software, I have always been more fascinated by functional solutions than engine performance. In a first evolutionary step, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems made modern vehicles much safer. In the next stage of development, after safety, comfort is now also assisted by the vehicle. ADAS will therefore make driving not only safer, but also more comfortable.


we.CONECT: Now you’re working as Director AKKA Research Germany – What are your main responsibilities in your current role and what is most exciting about your job?

Felix Jakob: In my current role, I am responsible for the research department within AKKA Germany. At AKKA Research, we work on exciting future topics that will shape our Group’s business of tomorrow. We also address urban future concepts, with autonomous mobility playing a crucial role. AKKA has been developing its own software stack since 2007, which we use in a number of research and customer projects. Working on future trends and creating visions of tomorrow’s mobility really fascinates me.


we.CONECT: What does the ADAS R&D work look like at AKKA Technologies today and what are currently your top projects in that field?

Felix Jakob: At AKKA Research, we are based on three different pillars. First of all, we work on innovative customer projects where we drive innovation on a contract basis. Secondly, we work on public funded projects where we address important research questions with exciting partners in a consortium. As an industrial partner, we naturally keep an eye on research exploitation in order to be able to offer our customers new and innovative solutions in a timely manner. Finally, we have self-funded research activities that we use to further develop our competencies. With these activities we also want to show the competences of the AKKA Group. These self-financed projects are usually larger projects addressing new solutions in a comprehensive manner. In the past these were for example our Link&Fly project, a multimodal mobility concept that offers environmentally friendly and intelligent air transport. In the future, too, we have new showcases in the pipeline. Be curious about what’s coming next. Currently, I am excited about our autonomous driving projects. In the soon to be launched PIONEERS project, we want to deploy our software stack in a port environment. But also our quantum computing projects fascinate me again and again.


we.CONECT: You will be presenting “Enabling emergency lane pilots for Autonomous Driving” to us at this year’s ScaleUp 360° Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Europe next week. What are the key aspects you will cover in your session?

Felix Jakob: I will briefly introduce AKKA’s software stack for autonomous driving. After a first technical presentation, I will bring this software stack in the context of one of our research projects. In this project, we are working on an emergency lane assistant for autonomous driving vehicles. In this scope, not only the trajectories are important, but also the micro- and macro-management of the different vehicles among each other. Keywords here are V2X and V2V communication.


we.CONECT: How do AKKA Technologies` virtual validation technologies support to safe ADAS system development, and what role does real data play in the development of such virtual environments?

Felix Jakob: Virtual validation is very important for vehicle development. As the functional space increases dramatically, so does the test space. More complex systems create millions of possibilities that can no longer be tested on the open road. And we are not even talking about autonomous driving yet. This is why we need to focus on virtual validation. AKKA Technologies offers virtual validation already in the digital phase. If you need support here, feel free to contact us. Our Center of Expertise for Validation will be happy to work with you on a tailor-made concept. Our PROVEtech tool suite can also be the possible piece of the puzzle here.


we.CONECT: Looking at the various Use & Business Cases announced on the ScaleUp 360° ADAS Europe program: What would you highlight as AKKA Technologies` unique selling point? What can other companies learn from you?

Felix Jakob: One of AKKA’s greatest unique selling points may be its broad coverage of different engineering disciplines. AKKA offers not only a very strong portfolio regarding ADAS, but also a strong portfolio regarding E/E, system integration, simulation, manufacturing, powertrain, e-mobility, EMC and many more. AKKA can offer its customers complex solutions from one hand. Together with our innovative solutions from the research department, AKKA creates a strong all-round package. At ScaleUP 360° ADAS Europe, several colleagues from our ADAS team will be present. I would encourage anyone interested to reach out to us.


we.CONECT: Can you describe your personal vision of what will it be like to drive a car in 2030 or 40?

Felix Jakob: In the next 10-20 years, we will witness a constant evolution in driver assistance systems. We will become more involved with level 4 and discover more use cases.The combustion engine will be displaced by alternative drive systems. Furthermore, I expect that in urban environments, the nature of individual mobility will continue to change. Owning your own motorized vehicle will no longer be as important, but the need for mobility as a service will continue to grow accordingly.

The road ahead will be a very exciting journey and I am already looking forward to it. New technologies will give us options for a new set of technologies. We are in the middle of a mobility revolution and it has never been easier to create new innovations in the mobility domain.


we.CONECT: It’s the first time that AKKA Technologies is business partner at ScaleUp 360° ADAS Europe. What are you particularly looking forward to?

Felix Jakob: I’m looking forward to listen to the talks of the ScaleUp 360° ADAS Europe and to expand my network. The ADAS topic is key for the evolution to Autonomous Driving and therefore for the future of the automotive.


we.CONECT: Thank you for the interview!

The digital summit for ADAS R&D experts, ScaleUp 360° Advanced Driver Assistance Europe, is back on September 15-16, 2021

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