Wishes for 2017

Dear Reader,

2016 has been a difficult year for the world. If engineering trustworthy systems is not easy, engineering a trustworthy world is still beyond our reach. On the other hand, every mishap is an opportunity to do better next time. What seems to be the weak point is passing on the lessons learned. This explains why we have the cycles of Kontradiev and history seems to repeat itself.

Nevertheless, this year we were able to make good progress. Altreonic’s GoedelWorks is now a stable engineering platform, VirtuosoNext Designer is now probably the most safe and secure RTOS environment and we applied these technologies ourselves in developing the KURT e-vehicle platform into a demonstrator vehicle with first commercial applications. It would be a mistake to assume that this is all a matter of technology. The binding glue is teamwork.

Stay tuned for more in 2017 and wishing you all a better world.

The Altreonic KURT team.

Podcar City & Advanced Transit 19-21 September

Altreonic will be presenting at the Podcar City conference on Tuesday 20 September 2016, Antwerp.

Title: The long road from proof of concept to real-world autonomous driving.

Abstract:

Productivity and safety in hospitals, factories and cities can greatly be increased by substituting human drivers in vehicles by computer-controlled mechanisms. This requires expertise from various disciplines, such as control theory, hazard & risk analysis, and formal development techniques. Altreonic has in-house methodologies addressing these challenges and is a forerunner in using formal methods for safety engineering.

Altreonic’s light electric vehicle platform, called Kurt, relies on a modular and scalable architecture and is completely controlled by software. It is the result of a clear-cut conceptual design. The scalable architecture was designed from the very beginning with autonomous driving in mind, even if the standard configuration doesn’t provide this capability. Steer by wire, e.g. control by software is used to reduce the material cost but also to increase safety and flexibility. Formal methods are used to achieve the trust that users want.

We will illustrate how some parts of Altreonic’s vehicle and remote-control device have been formally designed, model checked and subsequently implemented and tested. The main gain of formal methods for Altreonic is conceptual clarity pertaining to all engineering phases of the Kurt vehicle platform.

Seal of Excellence for KURT

Altreonic received the seal of excellence from the European Commission for its SME-II project proposal under the title “Sustainable electric mobility for urban environments by deploying a novel and disruptive e-vehicle system for city logistics and people transport”.

This means that Altreonic passed all stringent Horizon 2020 assessment thresholds for all award criteria: excellence, impact, quality and efficiency of implementation. The very positive evaluation by independent international experts is a very positive encouragement for our efforts over the last 3 years to develop KURT as a modular and scalable electric vehicle platform. Uniquely versatile, it might well be an enabler for urban electro-mobility, indoors as well as outdoors, to take off.

KURT meets Tesla: enabling urban electro-mobility

The breakthrough

Electric driving is the future. The concept is far from novel, but due to cheap oil and deficient batteries it was too early to convince the general public. That is about to change as mobility with traditional engines is reaching its limits. Batteries are increasingly becoming more powerful and affordable. Away with pollution, noise and traffic jams.

Continue reading KURT meets Tesla: enabling urban electro-mobility

Steer by Web for KURT

Altreonic has demonstrated for the first time “steer by web” capability for its KURT vehicle. Using a camera input and a smartphone, the vehicle was remotely steered over internet using a web application. Even with the application server and the vehicle being widely apart (about 3000 km) and using a standard ADSL connection, the control was with minimal delay. This brings KURT in the domain of Internet of Things, enabling semi-autonomous driving for a fleet of KURT vehicles.

The KURT light-weight vehicle is completely modular and driven by a redundant software and hardware architecture. Internally, Altreonic’s VirtuosoNext network-centric RTOS is used to execute the distributed control strategy of 4 independent wheels each with their own motor. Further work will focus on increasing security and error resilience. For more information, contact Altreonic.