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Florian Baumann on Value of Machine Learning

Florian Baumann, Senior Director of Product Management, Middleware and DevOps at Aptiv, is serving as the Chairperson for the 2023 ICA Summit. Baumann believes in the “big picture” value of machine learning and its ability to create safer roadways and more efficient transportation systems. He is always keen to connect with others in the automotive space who share this vision.

The automotive industry is undergoing what future scholars, pundits, and historians may consider a technological, economic, and culturally significant transition. Nearly every aspect of the business is transitioning in preparation for a new era of mobility. We have yet to fully determine what this new era will look like, so it falls to future generations with their gift of hindsight to issue a complete analysis.

From our vantage point now, electrification, software-defined cars, autonomy, and next- generation ADAS qualify as technologically significant. These same technological innovations qualify as culturally significant as they have the potential to impact climate change, usher in equitable mobility, or reduce the number of traffic accidents. The economic significance comes as each advancement under the umbrella of future mobility has continued, despite a global pandemic and supply chain woes, with both legacy OEMs and budding startups at the table.

2023 ICA Summit & Role With Aptiv

On May 15th and 16th in Frankfurt, Germany, the 2023 ICA Summit will engage the industry on these topics and more through individual presentations, panel discussions, and expositions. As the third edition of the annual event, the 2023 ICA Summit will explore how manufacturers, suppliers, and other solutions providers validate connected vehicle technology, what the future may hold for autonomy, and why regulatory frameworks must be considered. Florian Baumann, Senior Director of Product Management, Middleware and DevOps at Aptiv, is serving as the 2023 ICA Summit Chairperson. At Aptiv, Baumann identifies critical next-generation hardware and software architectures. “I am looking for what is coming up in the next seven to 10 years,” he explained.

“For example, what does the next in-vehicle and cloud architecture look like, or are there any interesting technologies from startups, universities, or other commercial parties that we would like to adopt and integrate into the Aptiv solution.”

Baumann, who earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Leibniz Universität Hannover, is fascinated with and passionate about machine learning. When he was six, Baumann’s father gifted him a computer, igniting his lifelong passion for technology. By his teenage years, Baumann had built a pair of electrified roller skates and numerous radio-controlled toy helicopters and airplanes. “I built, programmed, and destroyed them – and then built them back up again,” Baumann recalled.

“I was in touch with technology early on, which made me decide to study electrical engineering.”

The Value of Machine Learning

As described by Baumann, the focus for many automotive companies is on creating a consolidated data structure and optimizing cloud strategy and data management. Once that is achieved, machine learning can be applied to save time, reduce cost, and improve overall efficiency. Baumann noted that the challenge of collecting high-quality data in the automotive industry is the vast number of equally essential steps, including prototype vehicle deployment across a multitude of locations and conditions with a margin for corner case considerations. “You must record and pre-process the data, then ingest it into the data center and prepare it again,” Baumann explained.

“You need to curate the data to understand the quality of what the vehicle was driving in because you are not interested in irrelevant scenarios but instead are looking for those corner cases.”

The labeling, also described by Baumann as the “bounding box” process, is particularly time intensive, requiring a team to view the data and draw boxes around which objects the algorithm should detect. After additional labeling and annotations, training and measuring the machine learning algorithm’s performance takes precedence, though it’s a delicate process that is sometimes prone to failure. “You have to restart the process again, which means sending out vehicles and driving in the exact scenarios where the algorithm’s  performance is lacking,” Baumann said. “However, if you have an end-to-end data processing toolchain where all these steps are connected without manual intervention, you can develop much faster with reduced costs because the process is fully automated.”

Creating a Memorable Experience

As the Chairperson for the 2023 ICA Summit, Baumann will guide attendees throughout the event by encouraging open dialogue during Q&A segments and presenting a lessons-learned session at the end of the day. He also plans to help attendees and companies identify mutual synergies and make introductions to foster new relationships. Baumann said he wants to make the 2023 ICA Summit enjoyable for attendees, just as his past experiences have been.

“I was leaving the conference last year with a good feeling as I made a lot of connections to customers and partners,” Baumann recalled. “I was getting in touch with great companies out of Europe, including smaller startups, to elevate their solutions and potentially integrate them into the Aptiv stack.”

Attending The 2023 ICA Summit

The 3rd annual ICA Summit is set for May 15th and 16th at the Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg in Frankfurt, Germany. Building on the first and second editions, the agenda for the 2023 ICA Summit is the most comprehensive yet. More information on becoming a speaker is available here, while sponsorship opportunities are available here.

The regular admission package provides attendees unlimited access to the 2023 ICA Summit, including food and beverages and a special evening event.

“My goal is to create a great conference for the audience and speakers,” Baumann said. “That is something I am looking forward to.”

Carl Anthony is the Managing Editor of Automoblog and AutoVision News in Detroit. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the Society of Automotive Historians, and on the board of directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan

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