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ELISA Ambassador: Philipp Ahmann

ELISA Ambassadors are technical leaders who are passionate about the mission of the ELISA Project, recognized for their expertise in functional safety and linux kernel development, and willing to help others to learn about the community and how to contribute. 

Each month, we’ll put a spotlight on an ELISA Ambassador. Today, we’re excited to highlight Philipp Ahmann, ambassador and TSC member within the ELISA project as well as software manager at ADIT (a joint venture of Robert Bosch GmbH and DENSO Corporation).

Background Details:

Philipp Ahmann is manager at ADIT (a joint venture of Robert Bosch GmbH and DENSO Corporation) and has been participating in the ELISA project since the start.

He has more than ten years of experience in automotive infotainment base platforms, utilizing complex multi-core system-on-chips (SoCs). Also, he is leading a group of engineers who are responsible for software integration (CI/CD), testing, development infrastructure and tooling within ADIT.

His automotive expertise started with integration of components in SoC hardware and printed circuit board (PCB) design for the same. From there, Philipp moved over to the field of software development with initial responsibility for bootloader and Linux software board bringup.

After working within the Linaro community and several years as lead of the test development within ADIT, he became software project leader. The projects mainly target OSS based in-vehicle-infotainment base platforms on various hardware variants. Nowadays also build infrastructure as well as software base platforms for autonomous driving products are in his responsibility.

Q&A

How long have you been active in open source?

My first open source work was done as a user. While I was studying in Sweden in 2006, a friend and I collected old university PCs from the electronic scrap and installed Ubuntu 6.10 on them. Afterwards we maintained and distributed them to exchange students who couldn’t afford an own laptop or PC.

Really active in open source, I became a member of the Freescale landing team within Linaro in 2011 to drive ARM Kernel and BSP development for i.mx6 SoC forward.

Tell us about your favorite open source project and what problems did it aim to solve?

It is really hard to define my favorite open source project as they are everywhere in my life. My private NextCloudPi gives me full control over my data. Home Assistant integrated perfectly with ESPHome and is helping me to automate tasks in my flat and surrounding for higher convenience and energy savings. LineageOS, CarbonROM, /e/ brought back new life to old smartphones serving as daily drivers for my kids and parents making technology more sustainable. 

Thanks to projects likes Linux Mint, which shows decent performance even on old devices, old PCs and laptops get a second life. On devices tools like LibreOffice, Red Notebook, Freeplane, Arduino IDE, VS Code and others, help me to structure my day and increase productivity. For fun and entertainment there are projects such as Kodi and RetroPie.

Overall, I am pretty sure everyone touches open source at one time or another, since open source software rules the world. It is there, where people need it. From the people for the people. A big thanks and kudos to all of you who participate in open source projects. 

What roles and/or working groups do you have or participate in?

I am acting as an ELISA ambassador and was recently elected as a technical steering committee member. 

I host meetings, act as moderator, write minutes and jump in where I can help to drive topics forward and where my support is needed or wished.  For technical content, I mainly contribute within the Automotive Working Group, where I benefit from my many years background in Linux for Automotive.

Where do you see the ELISA Project in three years?

Since I am primarily active in the Automotive WG, I would like to try to make a forecast for this group. In 3 years, we will have completed and showcased our first use case, which is a telltale application.The created work products will act as a blueprint to get the first fully Linux-based instrument cluster on the market. 

What is the biggest strength of the ELISA community?

The biggest strength of the ELISA community is the diversity, which we achieve with experts from many different working fields, domains, industries and interests from all across the globe. The diversity of perspectives, coupled with the transparency and communication, is crucial to the success of safety relevant projects. By sharing our concepts, we get a lot of feedback from e.g. the Linux and the safety community. Of course there are passionate in-depth difficult discussions, but these are open and not driven by commercial interests. Risks, potential gaps or also any other concern is addressed from the beginning. 

If we continue on this path, the results from the ELISA community can act as state-of-art technology and as a benchmark for many safety critical systems in the future. We contribute to a safer world.

What’s your favorite quote?

“Be yourself (no matter what they say)” – by Sting

3 Fun Facts:  

  • I once repaired an entertainment system of a plane during the flight and asked the pilot if he could use the internet connection in the cockpit to search for a Windows NT dll file for me. If you are curious about the root cause, get in touch with me.
  • Already twice I have been on an overseas business trip and my luggage was delayed for so long that it got delivered only the day before departing again. Luckily, I bought at least a T-Shirt in Paris before going to NYC.
  • I built an Arudino based music player with RFID and arcade button control. It took me a year from the first PoC to be robust enough for my kids. At the time I was done, my daughter learnt how to use an Android phone and preferred a touch display and cover flow. So I put a custom rom on a phone, flashed it, and removed any unintended services to make it a kids-ready data-privacy device. This took me only a week in the end.

To learn more about ELISA ambassadors, please click here