Pony.ai unveils autonomous computing unit
Pony.ai says it has developed a complete autonomous computing unit built on the Nvidia Drive Orin system-on-chip (SoC), marking a significant milestone in its move from industrial-grade to automotive-grade hardware. The unit should accelerate the roll-out of Pony.ai’s Level 4 capabilities. The next generation of the company’s autonomous vehicle (AV) hardware will be automotive grade and mass-production ready with the start of production slated for the end of 2022.
The autonomous computing unit features low latency, high performance and high reliability. The company says it is one of the first in the AV industry to create a product portfolio featuring multiple configurations with one or more Orin processors and automotive-grade Ampere architecture GPUs.
Luminar partners with Mercedes Benz on lidar integration
Auto tech company Luminar is to partner with Mercedes-Benz to accelerate the development of future automated driving technologies for Mercedes passenger cars. Its Iris lidar technology, which is currently being prepared for series production, is expected to improve vehicle safety and the technical capabilities of highly automated driving systems. The partnership represents a major commercial win for Luminar.
“This partnership is a landmark moment in the industry, demonstrating how substantially increased safety and autonomous driving functions on consumer vehicles are going from sci-fi to mainstream,” said Austin Russell, company founder and CEO, Luminar. “Mercedes-Benz has always been a technological leader and first mover for the industry, with the brand synonymous with automotive innovation, safety, luxury, and quality.”
“Luminar is the perfect addition to our existing roster of first-class cooperation with leading and cutting–edge tech companies,” added Markus Schäfer, CTO responsible for development and procurement at Mercedes.
Former SpaceX engineers raise US$49.55m to build autonomous battery-electric rail vehicles
Parallel Systems, a company founded by former SpaceX engineers to reimagine the US railroad system, has raised US$49.55m in Series A funds to build autonomous battery-electric rail vehicles that move freight. The company states that the funds will be used to construct a fleet of rail vehicles, execute advanced testing programs and grow its team.
“We founded Parallel to allow railroads to open new markets, increase infrastructure utilization and improve service to accelerate freight decarbonization,” said Matt Soule, co-founder and CEO, Parallel Systems.
“Our business model is to give railroads the tools to convert some of the US$700bn US trucking industry to rail.
IIHS creates new ADAS ‘partial automation’ safeguard ratings
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the USA has developed a new ratings program that evaluates the safeguards that vehicles with partial automation employ to help drivers stay focused on the road. The safeguards will be rated good, acceptable, marginal or poor.
To earn a good rating, systems will need to ensure that the driver’s eyes are directed at the road and their hands are either on the wheel or ready to grab it at all times. Escalating alerts and appropriate emergency procedures when the driver does not meet those conditions will also be required.
IIHS expects to issue the first set of ratings in 2022.
Sophia Velastegui joins Aptiv as chief product officer
Aptiv, a global technology company focusing on creating a sustainable future of mobility, has announced that Sophia Velastegui will be joining the company as its chief product officer. Velastegui will leverage her expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), software architecture and product development for technology leaders such as Microsoft, Google and Apple to expand and commercialize Aptiv’s brain and nervous systems portfolio – accelerating growth opportunities for Aptiv with an industry-first, complex automotive software system that minimizes cost and maximizes flexibility.
“The early moves Aptiv made to align our portfolio to the safe, green, connected megatrends taking place today has put us in a position of strength,” said Aptiv president and chief executive officer Kevin Clark.
Interview: Dean Phillips, Amazon Web Services
Automotive manufacturers are exploiting cloud resources for computationally demanding development tasks, as Dean Phillips, worldwide technical leader for automotive at Amazon Web Services, explains how to process simulation workloads of over one million cores
Cloud-based resources are revolutionizing the way engineers access computing power. Rather than having to house HPC (high-performance computing) hardware in-house, with the associated support staff and infrastructure demands this entails, it is now possible to access an à la carte menu of capabilities from a whole host of suppliers.
One of the biggest hitters in the game is Amazon, via its Amazon Web Services (AWS), which generated US$45.4bn revenue in 2020.
Autonomous trucking: Achieving safe deployment of Level 4 systems
Why the development and deployment of self-driving trucks and services is a marathon, not a sprint. With Daimler Truck’s CTO of the Autonomous Technology Group
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the USA has seen the tonnage of goods shipped by trucks increase by 56% over the past decade. This number is expected to almost double in the next two-and-a-half decades. Additionally, the industry is facing an increasing truck driver shortage. These developments contribute to a growing need for safe, reliable, cost-effective trucking solutions.
As the inventor of the truck, Daimler Truck revolutionized the transportation of goods 125 years ago.
National Highways Illuminate project tests intelligent lighting as part of CAV infrastructure
National Highways, the UK government company that plans, designs, builds, operates and maintains England’s motorways and major A roads, known as the strategic road network (SRN), has revealed that it has conducted a trial into how streetlighting could be used to pave the way for autonomous vehicles in the future.
Featuring closed-circuit television and wireless technology stored inside roadside streetlight lanterns, the ‘proof of concept’ trial took place on the M40 Junction 15 (Longbridge Roundabout) near Birmingham in the UK Midlands. The ‘Illuminate’ project ran for five months in 2021 and successfully proved the concept, with the technology able to communicate data to office equipment and tablet computers.