NI Provides mmWave Real-Time Test Technology for The University of Texas at Austin Center for Transportation Research

NI collaborates with UT Austin to supply real-time test technology for the autonomous driving research and prototyping testbed


AUSTIN, Texas – March 7, 2017 NI (Nasdaq: NATI), the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, announced a new partnership with UT Austin’s Situation-Aware Vehicular Engineering Systems (SAVES) initiative. NI is supplying technology for an mmWave real-time testbed to accelerate research on automated and self-driving cars. This testbed will play a key role in advancing autonomous driving by focusing on topics related to ultra-low latency, new radar waveforms and data analytics.


NI is delivering the technology for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and communication test in the 76–81 GHz range, based on NI’s mmWave front end technology and the recently released PXIe-5840 second-generation vector signal transceiver (VST). This testbed combines NI’s second-generation VST with banded, frequency-specific upconverters and downconverters designed to test the 76–81 GHz radar band with 1 GHz of real-time bandwidth. Engineers can use this LabVIEW and PXI-based system for radar target emulation and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing to determine the responsiveness of the vehicular network link between the sensors and the central processing unit in the car. This is essential for making self-driving cars safer and more reliable by testing both the hardware and software distributed across multiple sensors in the car.


“NI’s new ADAS test solution offers a unique approach to radar characterization and testing with its scalable capability to conduct both traceable RF measurements and system simulation,” said Stefano Concezzi, vice president of the global automotive initiative at NI. “The NI open platform approach to validate and test automotive electronics helps engineers quickly adapt their systems to address the challenges of new radar scenarios and the increasing complexity of sensor fusion combined with deep learning-enabled ECUs. The NI open and modular platform compresses the development and validation time of ADAS components and reduces the capital equipment costs and the total cost of ownership of HIL and test systems for ADAS.”


SAVES, an initiative within the UT Austin Wireless Networking and Communications Group (WNCG), collaborates closely with the UT Austin Center for Transportation Research (CTR) to advance the frontier of vehicular engineering systems. This includes the fusion of sensor data, discovering the relevance of data to safety and traffic management, and communicating the high bandwidth of sensor data to base-station and cloud-based infrastructure. Deep machine learning and other data analytic methods bring both of these vectors together to enhance the driving experience. NI, Huawei and TOYOTA InfoTechnology Center are the three founding members of SAVES. While the Huawei research project concentrates on connecting communication and transportation performance metrics, the TOYOTA project focuses on position-aided beam alignment and low-frequency radar design and prototyping.


“SAVES is bringing companies at the intersection of wireless communication, sensing and automotive together with stellar faculty and students at UT Austin,” said Robert W. Heath Jr., director of the SAVES initiative and professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in UT Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering. “NI’s new ADAS test solution complements the other equipment at UT Austin, including an NI mmWave communication

prototype and three test vehicles outfitted with radar, lidar, cameras and DSRC radios.”


To learn more about NI’s solutions for automotive test, visit



About The University of Texas at Austin

UT Austin is the flagship school of the University of Texas System, which includes nine academic universities and six health institutions statewide. Ranked among the biggest and best research universities in the country, UT Austin is home to more than 51,000 students and 3,000 teaching faculty. The university is one of the top 20 public universities according to U.S. News & World Report, with the No. 1 accounting, Latin American history and petroleum engineering graduate programs in the country — plus more than 15 undergraduate programs and more than 40 graduate programs ranked in the top 10 nationally.



About NI

For more than 40 years, NI has developed high-performance automated test and automated measurement systems to help you solve your engineering challenges now and into the future. Our open, software-defined platform uses modular hardware and an expansive ecosystem to help you turn powerful possibilities into real solutions.

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