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Test and Measurement: UL invests in connected car software testing

UL Ventures, the investment arm of testing and certification company UL, contributed to a $23 million Series B funding round for start-up Aurora Labs, which has developed an embedded software management platform for connected vehicles and IoT.

“There is a growing need to continuously improve the quality of software, keep it safe, secure and updated in all devices, with particular emphasis on vehicles as the car becomes electrified and connected and the amount of vehicle software grows exponentially,” said Zohar Fox, co-founder and CEO, Aurora Labs. The company noted the complexity of modern vehicles’ software: as many as 150 electronic control units and 100 million lines of software code. There are also new global regulations coming into play that “will require auto manufacturers to have a deep understanding of software behavior in order to obtain the data and evidence required for certification,” UL Ventures said.

Other financial backers in Aurora Lab’s funding round were LG Technology Ventures, Marius Nacht, Porsche SE and Toyota Tsusho.

“The automotive industry is in the midst of a massive paradigm shift. Increasing consumer expectations for connectivity, interoperability, transparency and safety paired with rapid advancements in autonomous vehicles are pressing manufacturers to increase the speed of innovation that enhance functionality and usability but also provide possible new points of entry for the risk of breaches and cyberattacks,” said Mary Joyce, general manager and vice president of UL’s Mobility and Automotive division.

Chris Park, investment director of UL Ventures, said in a statement that Aurora Labs’ solution “solves a fundamental challenge of managing and monitoring the DNA of connected cars while advancing safety and security within the automotive and IoT sectors.”

Some of UL Ventures’ other investments in the connected vehicle space include simulation software for training and testing autonomous vehicle systems, perception software for autonomous systems and battery analytics.

In other test news:

Keysight Technologies said that it is the first to have test cases approved by the Global Certification Forum for 5G universal subscriber identity module (USIM) application toolkit (USAT), with approval coming from GCF’s conformance agreement group (CAG) and the specific solution being Keysight’s S8704A 5G Protocol Conformance Toolset.

Comprion, which works with Anritsu and offers a 5G New Radio USIM test solution that uses Anritsu’s MT8000A network simulator in addition to Comprion’s UT³ Platform card simulator, also recently claimed USIM-related firsts, saying in late October that it was the first and only platform to offer fully automated testing for GCF’s WI-508 tests as well as PTCRB’s RF 508.

Rohde & Schwarz said that testing lab company Eurofins Digital Testing is using the R&S RTP164 high performance oscilloscope and its associated tool set for testing high-speed communications interoperability across multiple standards, including USB, MIPI, PCIe, HDMI and CAN FD, and that the solution will also “prepare Eurofins’ test environment especially for current and emerging automotive standards such as Automotive Ethernet.”

Fortive reported that revenues from continuing operations were up 2.3% year-over-year to $1.9 billion, with net earnings for the third quarter of $208.5 million.

James Lico, president and CEO of Fortive, President and Chief Executive Officer, said that the company was pleased with its third quarter results and “solid execution”, noting that revenues were “well ahead of our initial guidance.

“We continue to see the benefit of the increased portfolio resilience established through our capital allocation activities over the past four years,” Lico added. “Despite some near term uncertainty, our consistent free cash flow, strong M&A pipeline, and an expanding set of organic innovation capabilities position us well to capitalize on the many opportunities ahead of us.” Fortive was spun off from Danaher four years ago in mid-2016; its assets include Fluke brand testing equipment as well as additional sensing, scientific measurement and industrial and transportation technology-focused segments.


Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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