TRC completes California test facility expansion
A US$2.1m project to expand the Transportation Research Center (TRC) in California has been completed. Construction of a 2.2-mile oval test track, a one-mile city course and two large vehicle dynamics areas has transformed a portion of the former Castle Air Force Base into a fully equipped automotive testing facility.
With these latest developments – phase one of a long-term expansion plan – TRC California says it can now offer vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and innovators a range of specialized test facilities that replicate real-world highway, rural and urban driving scenarios. These improvements enable the safe testing and refinement of autonomous vehicle technologies and other advanced vehicle systems.
Motional makes virtual reality environments open source to help accelerate AV research
In 2019, Motional made nuScenes (its large-scale autonomous driving data set) open source to help spur industry-wide collaboration and further research. Since its original release, nuScenes has been downloaded by more than 12,000 academics and researchers, and referenced in over 600 publications, pioneering a movement of safety-focused data sharing across the industry.
Motional says it will now make nuReality – which consists of custom-built virtual reality (VR) environments used to study the interaction between autonomous vehicles (AVs) and pedestrians – publicly available for the research community.
The company notes that a key challenge to widespread acceptance and adoption of driverless vehicles is clear, safe and effective communication between AVs and other road users.
Daimler to move HPC workload to sustainable data center
Infosys, a specialist in digital services and consulting, says it will be responsible for transferring Daimler’s high-performance computing (HPC) workloads – used for design and simulation of vehicles and automated driving technologies – to one of Europe’s greenest data centers, Lefdal Mine Datacenter in Norway. The shift is seen as an important milestone in Daimler’s journey to deliver on its Ambition 2039 sustainability mission to become CO2 neutral by 2039.
Data centers currently account for around 1% of total global energy use and demand for their services is expected to increase by 60% by 2022. As next-generation technologies continue to develop, engineering and other high-performance workloads that run complex algorithms – such as those required for simulating sensors and journeys for autonomous vehicles – are increasingly critical to auto makers.
World Steel Association partners with Ricardo on autonomous ridesharing vehicle
WorldAutoSteel, the automotive group of the World Steel Association, and its engineering partner Ricardo, an engineering and strategic consulting company, have unveiled the exterior styling vision for a fully autonomous ride-hailing, ridesharing vehicle designed to showcase the benefits of using steel for global Mobility as a Service.
The Steel E-Motive vehicle design features battery-electric propulsion, Level 5 autonomy and four-wheel steering for maximum functionality and maneuverability. Ricardo says the design and engineering reflect likely use in a mixed environment where both manual and autonomous vehicles are operating. Vehicle specifications are geared to high-volume manufacture with vehicle producers, fleet operators and ride-hailing users in mind.
UAE university debuts autonomous campus shuttle
Khalifa University in the UAE has launched the Emirates’ first driverless, autonomous 12-seater shuttle. The vehicle will transport students and staff around the university’s Sas Al Nakhl Campus.
The driverless, electric shuttle is one of the first autonomous vehicles to be deployed in the UAE in a ‘mixed traffic mode’. The shared transportation solution will also provide a research and development platform for faculty and researchers at the Khalifa University Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (KU-CARS) to investigate autonomous driving in challenging scenarios.
H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the executive council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and chairman of the board of trustees of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, witnessed the launch and commented, “The autonomous vehicle at Khalifa University’s SAN Campus reflects the university’s commitment to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 targets toward creating a knowledge economy and making Abu Dhabi a world hub of research and development.
Toyota groups all ADAS and driving safety functions under T-Mate brand
Toyota has decided to group all its safety and ADAS products under a new umbrella name, T-Mate. The branding covers a range of systems designed to improve safety in many driving situations, from precise parking to driving on urban streets and highways. It encompasses Toyota Safety Sense with its active driving and parking assistance functions.
According to the company, the T-Mate umbrella provides a way to communicate the real-world benefits of its ADAS. The brand’s debut coincides with the introduction of the latest generation of Toyota Safety Sense, featuring several innovations and improvements. For example, Toyota’s Pre-Collision System now incorporates acceleration suppression at low speed and intersection cut-in traffic assist, as well as improved oncoming traffic detection and intersection turn assist.
Alps Alpine’s 60Ghz pulsed mm-wave radar certified in Japan
Japan-based Alps Alpine says it has acquired construction design certification for a 60GHz pulsed millimeter-wave sensor, in compliance with Japan’s radio law. The certification complies with amendments to the Japanese Radio Act permitting the use of 60GHz pulsed millimeter-wave sensors and is the first certification issued since the amendments were made in August.
The certification means that Alps Alpine is now able to mass-produce and distribute 60GHz pulsed millimeter-wave sensors within Japan’s domestic market. The company notes that its sensors have already been selected by overseas auto makers for use in applications such as tailgate kick sensors and detection of left-behind infants and delivery will begin as early as next year.
Baidu Apollo authorized for commercial operations in Beijing
Baidu has received approval for commercial operation of its autonomous car service in Beijing, as its Apollo Go service, known as Luobo Kuaipao in China, has been authorized to provide paid service in China’s first-ever demonstration zone for commercial autonomous driving.
The autonomous vehicle commercial permit granted by the head office of the Beijing High-level Automated Driving Demonstration Area (BJHAD) allows Baidu to charge fees for autonomous services offered to the public in a designated area. Baidu was among the first service providers to receive such authorization. The issuing of the permits signifies that the development of autonomous driving in China has completed the testing stage to begin wider commercial exploration.