A subsidiary of Toyota Motor North America, Toyota Racing Development (TRD) has over 40 years of experience in motorsports, competing across multiple platforms, including the NASCAR Cup Series. Before 2015, TRD had focused the majority of its resources on engine development and engineering endeavors. But, sensing the growing impact that software and data could have, the company began an initiative to capture and analyze data to outpace the competition. For the past 5 years, TRD has used Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build more than 20 applications that collect historical competition data, current vehicle data, and current practice data. The insights gleaned from that data helped the company achieve NASCAR Cup Series manufacturers’ championships in 2016, 2017, and 2019 and drivers’ championships in 2015, 2017, and 2019.
But to continue to stay ahead of the competition, TRD had to squeeze more insights out of its data. “Over the years we had accumulated an awful lot of data,” says Jonny Elliott, TRD’s senior engineering manager of technology. “But it was disparate, and it wasn’t really providing value.” Looking in each application for key information—including engine data, race images, and brake data—also consumed time that TRD couldn’t afford to lose. In racing, milliseconds matter, and even moments of downtime can cost a race.
So the company again turned to AWS to bring data together in its core data platform. TRD has begun to migrate all the data to the repository, where it will be able to easily and quickly perform analytics. This data repository brings the company’s siloed applications into one centralized location, enabling the team to find the important information needed to make snap decisions during races. TRD then analyzes data using Amazon Athena, a serverless interactive query service. It also uses Amazon Kinesis Data Streams (Amazon KDS), a massively
Aurora Labs ramps ‘self-healing’ software with $23M from LG Technology Ventures, Porsche SE, Toyota Tsusho
The automotive market is grappling with increasingly complex software systems, and in turn greater risks of glitches that can cause costly and unsafe disruptions and damage an automaker’s credibility.
Just look at today’s new cars, trucks and SUVs compared to their counterparts a decade ago. New vehicles coming off assembly lines today contain tens of millions of lines of code, a statistic that continues to rise as automakers invest more in software.
This upward trend has created risks for automakers; it’s also opened up opportunity for burgeoning startups like Aurora Labs, which developed a platform that can spot problems with software in cars and fix it on the fly. The company is now preparing to ramp up operations, even beyond automotive, as software takes a central role in shared mobility, cities and homes.
Aurora Labs developed a platform designed to detect and predict problems and then fix any issues in real-time. The platform also enables automakers to update software in vehicles wirelessly — a feature often referred to as over-the-air software updates that was popularized by Tesla. The ability to conduct OTAs allows automakers to make changes quickly and without requiring owners to visit a dealership for service.
Earlier this month, the Tel Aviv-based startup raised $23 million in a Series B round jointly led by LG Group’s investment arm LG Technology Ventures and Marius Nacht, co-founder of Check Point Software Technologies. Porsche SE, majority owner of the VW group, Toyota Tsusho, a member of Toyota Group and the venture arm of global safety certification company UL also participated. Porsche SE invested $2.5 million and Toyota Tsusho put $1.5 million into Aurora Labs, according to the companies.
The funds will be used to double the size of Aurora Labs’ 30-person team to support going into series production with two of