Overcoming challenges in ADAS systems with Raj Vazirani of ZF Group

The 2021 edition of AutoSens Brussels is scheduled for September 15th and 16th at the world-renowned Autoworld Museum. Carl Anthony, Editor in Chief at AutoVision News, recently sat down with Raj Vazirani, one of our keynote speakers for the Brussels event. Vazirani is the Director of Radar, Camera, and Global Electronics Engineering (ADAS and AD) for the ZF Group

Raj will be presenting our first keynote at AutoSens in Brussels on the challenges of moving from a de-centralized to centralized ADAS system, in addition to joining a panel later on managing supply chain distributions.

Raj Vazirani, ZF Group

Raj Vazirani serves a vital role for ZF, leading the development of the company’s next-generation camera and radar products (also described as “core products” by Vazirani). In this position, Vazirani is responsible for everything from the concept phases and product validations to the initial customers coming on board. “I also have an additional role that involves hardware engineering,” he revealed. “I lead the hardware development for not just these camera and radar products, but also building the ECUs that ZF is selling.” 

Vazirani obtained his Bachelors in Electronics Engineering from Mumbai University before starting his professional career in the telecom industry in 2003 (an industry he worked in until 2012). Vazirani then went to Continental AG in Germany, where he held various leadership positions, including Director of Camera Products and Computer Vision, before joining ZF earlier this year. “I accepted the offer from ZF because it increased by bandwidth in terms of products,” he explained. “In my last role, I was responsible for developing the camera products for ADAS and automated driving, but here at ZF, it also includes radar as well.”

Vazirani will be giving a keynote presentation on Wednesday, September 15th at 9:45 am (CET) in the Mezzanine of the Autoworld Museum. During his presentation, Vazirani will cover the critical distinctions between a decentralized and a centralized approach, including how the current smart sensor suite in a decentralized system could be reused for a centralized setup with smart and non-smart sensors and an ECU to deliver more vehicle functionality.

“The question is how to make the transition from a decentralized setup to a centralized setup, and what are the challenges we face today in order to make this transition smoother,” Vazirani said. “At AutoSens, I am going to talk about those setups and challenges specifically, along with ideas on how we can make these transitions.”

As described by Vazirani, current challenges in this context include the number of sensors being used, determining the right SoC, and overall scalability. “These are just some of the main challenges, but our goal should always be to focus on safety as the top priority,” he said. “Safety should be our goal while defining the system, regardless of if we have a centralized or decentralized setup.” 

During his keynote presentation, Vazirani will also examine the reusing of optical paths. “I think we will hear some ideas on this during the Q&A sessions,” he continued. “I want to ask what is our way forward when it comes to optical paths that we use in our smart sensors.”

Later in the morning on the 15th, Vazirani will join a panel discussion on managing supply chain disruptions moderated by Junko Yoshida, Editor-in-Chief of the Ojo-Yoshida Report. A second keynote will also take place on the morning of the 15th. During that keynote presentation, Rudy Burger, Managing Partner of Woodside Capital Partners, will provide an update on the most recent M&A activity in the automotive sensor space.  

Tickets for AutoSens in Brussels are currently available, with the late fee applying from 4 September. The full schedule is available here, while a complete list of speakers can be found here.

“I hope that attendees will take away from my presentation an acceptance of the challenges we still have,” Vazirani said. “I hope attendees propose ideas that could help; then ponder over them, and then work them out on an architectural basis.” 

Written by Carl Anthony, Editor in Chief at AutoVision News

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