Roger Ordman, Aurora Labs: “understanding how software interacts is key to the success and safety of the connected car”

In the past years, the idea of adding a layer of intelligence to vehicles has received a lot of attention.

Lately, the digitization trend has hit vehicle software intelligence in the automotive industry. From constructing the smallest parts to car manufacturing, every area glimpsed an overhaul that relies on AI-based operational optimization.

That led to such revolutionary technologies as replaceable/recyclable body panels and assistant/autonomous driving, but that might only be the beginning. But without the advanced intelligence of the software, none of that would be possible.

To gain a better understanding of the automotive industry, Cybernews researchers reached out to Roger Ordman, EVP of Aurora Labs – a company that is pioneering the use of Software Intelligence to solve the challenge of automotive software development.

Let’s go back to the very beginning of Aurora Labs. What has the journey been like over the years?

Aurora Labs was founded in 2016 by Zohar Fox and Ori Lederman. They both have a passion for automotive technology and to help create a world of safe, efficient, and environmentally-friendly mobility.

The Company has raised nearly $100 million from investors including Moore Strategic Ventures, Colmobil Group, LG Technology Ventures, Porsche SE, Toyota Tsusho, UL Ventures, and Marius Nacht – co-founder of Check Point Software Technologies. Aurora Labs is now working with several OEMs across the globe.

Can you introduce us to your software intelligence products? What are their key features?

Aurora Labs brings AI-based Vehicle Software Intelligence to empower software developers throughout the entire lifecycle of a vehicle from software development to testing, integration, quality control, continuous certification, and on-the-road over-the-air software updates. Aurora Labs focuses on the embedded systems that are key to the development of the software-defined vehicle.

With vehicles and embedded systems being very complex, and the software being supplied from multiple sources, having the ability to gain insights into changes in software and how different lines-of-code interact makes the software itself safer and more secure. These actionable insights also enable automotive OEMs to more efficiently manage software costs and the resources required to develop and manage new vehicle features and mobility services.

Vehicle Software Intelligence’s understanding of software changes and behavior enables a positive user experience for remote software maintenance by offering new vehicle features and functions through the deployment of unobtrusive over-the-air software updates. The product portfolio is threefold – Auto Detect, Auto Update, and Auto Validate.

What would you consider to be the main issues surrounding connected devices?

The main issue with so many devices being connected is understanding how software from many different vendors behaves and integrates and keeping it continuously secure throughout the software lifecycle, long after the vehicle has left the lot.

Have the recent global events altered your field of work in any way? Were there any new challenges you had to adapt to?

The global events haven’t affected our business success. Our IT systems were in place with security and access protocols to enable us to seamlessly WFH, however, it has been a bit of a challenge not being able to travel to see customers. But that has all righted itself and we are back in the office and traveling again.

What are your thoughts on the connected car concept? Do you think this technology is going to enhance safety or pose more security risks?

We are in an era of hyper-connectivity and the onus is on us to ensure that the user benefits from the new mobility services that connectivity enables, without putting their lives and their personal data at risk. AI tools are needed to ensure the connected car is safe.

Again, understanding how software behaves and interacts is key to the success and safety of the connected car. Aurora Labs’ solution is like an AI-based detective gaining knowledge, recognizing patterns, and continuously learning.

In this age of ever-evolving technology, what do you think are the key security practices both businesses and individuals should adopt?We have entered into an era where the safety and security of physical devices are defined by software. Therefore people must become aware that even with physical objects such as cars and homes, security is ever evolving. The car may be built but the software security is continuously learning, updating, and adapting.

What other new innovations and technologies do you hope to see widely used in the near future?

We are in an AI Revolution. The more data that is out there, the more we need to understand it and learn from it. Human beings alone cannot do this – like the tractor helped farms grow and the sewing machine helped the clothing industry grow – we need to adopt new technologies. In this next revolutionary phase – AI tools are required.

Since the automotive industry is your main field of focus, how do you think this sector is going to evolve in the next few years?

The automotive industry is evolving every second of every day! I think the interesting part to watch is how traditional car manufacturers and technology-based companies like Tesla, Google, Apple, etc. navigate through these changing tides.

As the industry transitions from software-enabled to software-defined, we will see that not only is software the main entity within the car – it will also become a major new revenue stream with companies adding new features and functions with over-the-air updates.

Would you like to share what’s next for Aurora Labs?

Aurora Labs’ focus is on the car industry however the connected car has clear interfaces with the smart city. In fact, Toyota is establishing the Woven City in Japan to pilot the blend between smart/connected living and smart/connected mobility.

Aurora Labs continues to grow and is recognized as a key partner for our customers to transition to a software-defined world. Please keep watching us and checking us out on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay abreast of our news and activities.

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