What is your name, title, and role at your company?
David Barnett, I am the VP of Products and Markets. My responsibilities are managing our product strategy and our plans for advising different vertical markets. These can include medical devices, autonomous and electric vehicles, industrial automation, aerospace, and defense. I assist in making sure all of these align as we target markets and build a product that aligns with those markets.
What does your company do?
RTI provides a software framework for autonomous, real world systems. This is a system that typically interacts with the real world in applications such as sensors and takes that sensor data, processes it in real time, and then does analysis on this data. An example of this is the advanced driver assistance in your car such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping, emergency braking. The characteristics of these are they make decisions without human intervention or faster than a human would. This is all to set up our market. The software we provide specifically addresses the challenges we face in these systems.
The software within these systems have millions upon millions lines of code and when you are talking about autonomous vehicles you are looking at hundreds of millions lines of software code. This code can be running on devices, computers, microprocessors, just to name a few. Obviously one person isn’t writing this but it’s a team and maintaining the system over time. There are two challenges that we address with this type of system and software. First we provide an efficient way to develop, integrate, and evolve these systems over time through allowing our customers to modularize the development of these parts. Our customers tend to be innovators and we want to let them innovate over time therefore we have created a system that allows it to be adjusted without disrupting and minimizing the impact of changes moving forward. The other benefit we provide is that of reliability, high performance, scalability, and security for these systems that have to operate faster than a person can think.
What are some neat projects that your company is currently working on?
We are working with a ton of automotive OEM’s and particularly those that are building electric vehicles and building the very types of applications that I spoke of before. Medical applications are a big application for us. We are in a ton of surgical robotics systems. We have seen that a computer can do things much finer than a surgeon could. Additionally, we are working in medical device connectivity. The idea is that if you go look in a surgical room you will see tons of devices. Most of those devices are not connected to each other but oftentimes you hear a ton of device alarms going off. Everything is manually configured however by connecting all of these devices together, the physician can get a clear picture of what is going on and do much smarter alarming. This signals much smarter alarming where you do not have as many false alarms happening.
How would you describe your company’s culture?
RTI has a very unique culture. We have a strong commitment to absolute honesty that is true to our customers, partners, and internally. It is extremely essential that we maintain and earn the trust of our customers from day one. Our sales and life cycle process can last a generation and very well outlast the developers who choose this system. Internally we have an extremely collaborative culture where we go out of our way to avoid conflict. We actually have a tagline that sometimes gets leaked to our twitter feed which is “ #1 RTI” this is meant to emphasize that we are truly on one team.
How does your company differentiate itself from your competitors?
We build our software from scratch specifically to target the needs of these autonomous systems and the very demanding performance, scalability, reliability, and security requirements for each system. Most competing or similar technologies were designed for traditional IT technology systems. We talk about real time data but it can have a very different many in different contexts such as human perception to a physics perspective. Self driving cars have been in the news much more the last couple of years whereas at RTI has been working on these autonomous systems for over 20 years. When our customers come to use, they are not only getting technology but taking advantage of the expertise and wide breadth we have of being focused on these topics for quite some time.
What are some things you are excited about for your company for 2022?
One thing that we are excited about is a ton of the applications we have been working with for years are beginning to see the light of day. Autonomous systems have been under the radar where they have been in critical infrastructure however not many applications where people can relate to on a daily basis. These autonomous systems are coming to market and people are becoming quite familiar with them which is exciting. We are also seeing new markets adopting the technology as well.
Is there anything additional you would like to share about your company?
We are in an extremely diverse industry such as automotive, medical, aerospace, and defense. Customers across all of these industries share common goals. The reason for implementing autonomy is to make these systems safer, more sustainable, and overall leading to a healthy planet. What motivates us is working with our customers and achieving that mission.