Developing AR Apps for Driver Safety and Convenience – Moments of Mobility with Basemark CEO Tero Sarkkinen

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Basemark’s roots run deep in the graphics industry in Finland. The founder is Tero Sarkkinen, who previously founded Rightware, which became the leading provider of human-machine interface (HMI) design and deployment tools in the automotive market. Tero bought out a small team from Rightware in 2015 and invented Basemark.

At this week’s Mobility Moments, Sarkkinen discusses Basemark’s AR development work for BMW Group and its Rocksolid Core platform.

“We come from a long history of developing GPU and VR/AR performance testing software for NVIDIA, Qualcomm and the other chip giants. This gives us our unique competitive advantage as we know intimately the strengths and weaknesses of different processor architectures,” he told Auto Futures.

Describe Rocksolid Core and its key benefits

Rocksolid Core is a licensed automotive operating system, middleware, and E/E architecture for next-generation software-defined vehicles. Uniquely, it supports ALL car functions ranging from steering, braking, throttle to body electronics, digital dashboard, HUD, IVI, systems rear seat entertainment, etc.

For OEMs, the main advantages are:

  • Breaking the chip vendor lock with the ability to “code once, deploy to many different chips from different vendors”
  • Unit cost savings in mass production (“BoM” savings). Estimates show around €185/car in savings
  • Save time: Improve the productivity of development teams

Explain your partnership with BMW

We have implemented augmented reality (AR) applications for the BMW Group. The AR app on video is the first of these and is now available in BMW iX. The work has resulted in state-of-the-art AR applications that use vehicle sensor data and computer vision functionality.

These allow AR-enhanced information to be displayed on the car’s central information display.

How can augmented reality help improve the parking experience?

For example, AR can show available parking spaces and the cost of parking. In addition, one can do object recognition and clearly alert the driver with AR graphics of nearby objects, pedestrians, etc.

How can Basemark help self-driving vehicle developers?

We are the “shovel and pickaxe” company for self-driving vehicle developers. Our business idea is to provide the entire lower layer software stack that every car needs, and then provide higher level tools and APIs for rapid development of real car applications, such as self-driving capabilities.

Moreover, we to offer benchmark apps that provides an excellent advanced starting point for the development of, for example, a driver monitoring system, lane keeping assistant, adaptive cruisand control and safe HMIs.

How can Basemark help OEMs overcome the chip shortage?

We give them the ability to retrofit their applications to work on many different chips instead of just working on one particular chip. Rocksolid Core is a platform independent SoC vendor. This means OEMs can change major vehicle processing units with relatively little effort.

It also means that OEMs can plan and build their portfolios with multiple chip vendor-based solutions.

Base brand Ar with logo and C

What’s next for Basemark?

We take pride in making Rocksolid Core a success. We will launch OEM pilots this year and be ready for production development in 2023.

What will the in-car experience look like by 2030?

The on-board experience will be a strong multimedia experience. Many screens will display information about the environment and what the car perceives. And, perhaps already at that time, the car and the driver will communicate by brain waves!

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