Apex.AI Operating System To Run Volkswagen Robo Ridepooling Vans

A smartphone without iOS or Android operating systems is just a phone without its own intelligence. Technically, it is called Middleware which is like an intermediary between the device and its applications so that everything works properly.

On Thursday, Palo Alto, California Apex.AI has announced that its intermediate version system will go into production in autonomous vans being developed by the commercial vehicle division of the Volkswagen Group MOIA ridepooling service.

In this case, the Apex.AI operating system is the equivalent of iOS or Android on a smartphone, only it will run things on MOIA’s robo ridepooling vehicles.

“So iOS would be the middleware on the vehicle. The middleware is the operating system of the vehicle, so all the software that runs as the basic software on that ECU (electronic control unit),” explained Jan Becker, CEO of Apex.AI in an interview. “MOIA is actually relying on our software and our expertise to develop software for their vehicles, and this is not just a research activity, but that this software will actually run in production on MOIA vehicles, which will be launched in a few years with an autonomous calling service. ”

Essentially, the occupant management system accesses the vehicle’s interior safety monitoring system, takes over the opening and closing of doors or, if necessary, controls various other functions inside the vehicle, the companies said.

“The acceptance of autonomous connected driving depends to a large extent on whether people trust such a service in every situation. A high-performance passenger management system is a key prerequisite for the use of intelligent self-driving vehicles to establish a mobility service that our passengers can Develop our system for passenger management using Apex.AI’s middleware is the ideal foundation for this,” said Sascha Meyer, CEO, MOIA, in a statement.

MOIA’s short-term goal is to develop Europe’s first certified-type AD-mobility as a service (MaaS) system and successfully launch an integrated autonomous, scalable ridepooling system on the road in Hamburg, Germany, after 2025, although the company is targeting expanding internationally.

Apex.AI and MOIA have been working together on the project since 2021, Becker said, but are only now announcing the relationship as his system moves into production with a “major European manufacturer.”

For Apex.AI, Thursday’s announcement represents the next big step in the tech company’s growth and development.

Becker emphasizes that his company’s operating systems are not limited to use in autonomous vehicles, but also support “all vehicle software applications including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) as well as software for electric, connected and shared vehicles.

In December 2021, Apex.AI announced that it had raised $56.5 million in a Series B funding round. That financial infusion was put to work to expand the company’s staff and global footprint beyond its current facilities in Palo Alto, California. and Munich, Berlin and Stuttgart, Germany.

Since then, Apex.AI has grown to more than 100 employees and has opened facilities in Gothenburg, Sweden to service companies such as Volvo Cars, Volvo Group, ABB, Scania and several robotics companies, Becker said.

Apex.AI has also opened offices in Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, South Korea.

While the contract with VW Commercial Vehicles’ MOIA for its robotic self-driving vehicles is indeed an important win for Apex.AI, Becker notes that the development and expansion of autonomous commercial trucks looks to be the next significant growth opportunity for his company’s technology — a middleware that works amid everything, including the phone you might be reading this story on.

“So our software is really as generic as it gets like iOS on a phone or Android on a phone,” Becker said. “You can have any app on top of any app you want.”

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Forbes – Innovation

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