Volvo Group Venture Capital AB has invested in Apex.AI, a a Palo Alto, California-based software company in the field of autonomous mobility. The investment will fund the development of a safety-certified software framework for autonomous systems, Apex.OS.
Apex.AI is building an automotive-grade version of ROS (Robot Operating System), an established open-source software framework commonly used in robotics and autonomous systems research.
Apex.OS abstracts the complexity of underlying hardware, middleware, kernel, interfaces, and drivers into simple to use, robust, reliable, safe, secure APIs.
Apex.OS is a fork of ROS 2 that has been made real-time, reliable, and deterministic, so that it can be used in safety-critical applications. Apex.OS is developed in sync with future releases of ROS 2 and APIs stay compatible to ROS 2.
C and C++ APIs for application developers, which are compatible to ROS 2.
Hardware SOC abstraction, runs on x86 and ARM, freedom of choice of SOC.
Middleware abstraction, simplifies use of complex middleware interfaces.
Automotive production code quality through elimination of all unsafe code constructs.
Hard real-time execution and real-time logging of data.
Fully deterministic software execution.
System safety enabled through managed nodes with lifecycle management.
System security through HSM support, process level security, encryption, authentication.
Support for automotive hardware, i.e. ECUs and automotive sensors.
Functional safety certification (ISO 26262, SEooC (Safety Element Out of Context), up to ASIL D).
Generation and shipping of securely signed binaries.
By providing a safer and more reliable version of ROS that will be certified according to the functional safety standard ISO 26262, Apex.AI plans to enable companies to take their autonomous vehicle projects into production.
The role of Volvo Group Venture Capital is to make investments in innovative companies at the forefront of service orientation as well as product differentiation and to support collaboration between startup companies and the Volvo Group.
Based on the trends shaping the future of transportation and Volvo Group strategic priorities Volvo Group Venture Capital focus investment areas are today Autonomous Solutions, Connected Services and Electromobility. The scope is global with a focus on Europe and North America.
The transaction has no significant impact on the Volvo Group’s earnings or financial position.