Wind River, delivering software for the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced that Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the largest government-owned defense and aerospace company in Israel, relied on the Wind River VxWorks Cert Platform real-time operating system (RTOS) and Wind River Professional Services for its innovative semi-autonomous airplane towing vehicle, TaxiBot.
IAI offers solutions for a variety of requirements in space, air, land, sea, and cyberspace, for both commercial and defense applications. In collaboration with Airbus and TLD Group, the company developed the TaxiBot, which enables airplanes to taxi from the gate to the runway without using their own engines, dramatically reducing fuel consumption and costs, CO2 emissions, and noise.
From a technology perspective, the challenge for IAI was to optimise control capabilities while achieving operational simplicity; and from a certification perspective, the challenge was to achieve safety certification under avionics software standard DO-178B. With VxWorks Cert Platform and Professional Services, Wind River represented a one-stop shop for everything from the operating system to support and services, all the way through certification.
“Addressing our challenges started with the choice of an operating system and development partner that could not only meet the exacting performance demands of the TaxiBot, but also streamline the certification process, reduce licensing costs, and accelerate development, said Ran Braier, project director at IAI. “We found VxWorks to be the most reliable operating system to meet our requirements; it enabled us to ensure safety using a multi-redundancy approach with software at the heart of the system. Today we can say with confidence we are at least five years ahead of our competitors.”
According to IAI, TaxiBot has the potential to save the airlines hundreds of millions in fuel costs and a reduction in foreign-object damage to jet engines. At the Heathrow Airport, British Airways is saving more than 20 million dollars per year. The vehicle’s electric driving system cuts CO2 emissions by as much as 85% compared to airplanes waiting for takeoff. And carriers can recoup their investment in about 18 months.
“Because TaxiBot was an unprecedented solution, IAI needed a partner like Wind River that was experienced and committed to helping them deliver something completely new to the industry, and that could meet their vision for the coming decades and beyond,” said Dinyar Dastoor, vice president and general manager of operating system platforms at Wind River. “Our certifiable, licensed software and services have proven reliable in countless aviation and transportation applications in which safety is critical.”
Part of the Wind River product portfolio of safe and secure operating systems, VxWorks Cert Platform is an RTOS for safety-critical applications that require RTCA DO-178, EUROCAE ED-12, or IEC 61508 certification evidence in avionics, transportation, industrial automation, and medical device industries.