Vote for the Tech CARS Awards deadline is 1/31.

Tech CARS Winners Best Autonomous, Battery, Security & LiDAR: Toyota RI, Fisker, Karamba and AEye

AUTO Connected Car News honors new technology that makes driving, safer, more secure, easier and less worrisome with new technology. The car of the future will need new technology and sophisticated software in order to efficient and trusted. The results of the autonomous driving philosophy, cybersecurity, battery and LiDAR categories reveal the important role technology plays in connected and autonomous cars of the future.

Best Safest Implementation and Philosophy of Testing Autonomous Driving

There is great pressure on automakers to deliver autonomous driving capabilities, mainly from mobility services in order to cut out the driver to make more profits. What is the best safest implementation and philosophy of testing autonomous driving? The following companies were nominated.

  • Waymo’s software and hardware using Chrysler Pacifica minivans, creating a virtual safest driver.
  • Cruise Automation GM on-road testing and fast deployment in two-years.
  • Toyota Research Institute’s use of two separate systems Chauffeur (autonomous) and Guardian (ADAS) with Guardian backing up Chauffeur.

Winner: Toyota Research Institute.

Toyota’s Dr. Gil Pratt at AutoMobility LA

The voters for the Tech CARS Awards understood the need for two systems to run at the same time to insure safety for people in cars, voting for Toyota Research Institute, making their philosphy the winner.

The philosophy of how Toyota Research Institute is developing its autonomous driving system is best illustrated in Dr. Gil Pratt’s presentation at AutoMobility LA during the LA Auto Show which many of our readers attended.

“Dr. Pratt’s clear logical presentation at AutoMobilty LA lessened fears and apprehension about autonomous car technology,” said Lynn Walford, Editor of AUTO Connect Car News,”Researching two complimentary technologies at the same time with human drivers makes a lot of sense.”

Director of Toyota’s Research Institute,  Dr. Gill Pratt laid out Toyota’s program to autonomous driving through two separate systems “Guardian” and “Chauffeur.”

Guardian refers to advanced safety systems and chauffeur is full-self driving.

Using a grid display showing the advantages of each system Dr. Pratt pointed out the heart of all the technology is safety. Guardian software and hardware watches out for human drivers with a completely separate software. Important factors in the grid comparing Guardian and Chauffeur were safety, traffic, access, convenience, environment, productivity, responsibility, performance required, performance desired and technical difficulty.

He rated the factors of each approach. For example Chauffeur in the future could transport disabled elderly drivers while Guardian can help older drivers stay safe on the roads today. Guardian systems can also help parents be less worried about teen drivers.

There are advantages to each each system but the ultimate advantage is that since both systems are separate, when Chauffeur mode is running Guardian will watch out for the self-driving system, creating the safest driving scenario. Guardian can be safely deployed with the present laws while “Chauffeur” laws are clearly defined.

Pratt debunked myths in the automotive and tech industries. He explained why there so much money invested in self-driving cars–because mobility companies can make much more money without a driver in the driver seat.  Automakers make roughly one cent a mile selling a 150,000 mile vehicle. The average cost of a ride in the U.S. is $1.50 per mile, while the average cost to vehicle driver is $0.85 per with  65 cents to ride-sharing service. The profits without paying for the driver could be much greater noted Pratt.

Dr. Gill Pratt is Toyota Executive Technical Advisor and CEO of Toyota Research Institute. Prior to joining Toyota, Dr. Pratt was program manager in the Defense Sciences Office at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) from January 2010 through August 2015.

Best New Battery Technology

Batteries are very important to electric vehicles and keeping our air clean and free of pollutants. One of the major drawbacks for electric vehicles are the batteries. and how long it takes to charge them. There were some great new battery technologies launched

  • Bosch’s new 48-volt battery for hybrids.
  • Solid Power Solid-State (2-3X greater energy than Li-On storage, lower cost and inorganic.
  • BMW Wireless Charging for the high-voltage battery will be made available as an option in 2018.
  • Fisker Inc. patents solid-state 2.5x Density, 500 mi per charge and charging in 1 minute battery tech.

Winner: Fisker Inc.

Fisker Inc. won for its patent-pending n flexible solid-state battery technology The new batteries deliver 2.5 times the energy density of typical lithium-ion batteries, can potentially of cost one third of the 2020 projected price of due to advances in materials and manufacturing. The battery will deliver a vehicle range of more than 500 miles on a single charge, with charging times as low as one minute. Solid state battery technology has 25x more surface area.

“The charge time is probably the most exciting element of Fisker’s battery technology,” said Lynn Walford, Editor of AUTO Connected Car News, “I drive an EV and when I tell people I need four hours to charge my car when I drive 50 miles to Riverside, they look at me like I’m crazy.” Walford notes that drivers are used to spending a few minutes filling up at gas station and then not having to re-fuel for 300 miles. She says that when voters saw the 500 mile range of Fisker’s new battery technology, the voted to make it a winner.

“There is no better way to get an award than when it has been voted by the readers themselves. Especially AUTO Connected Car News readers who are heavily into technology, and truly understand and appreciate the deeper details of the technology behind the Fisker EMotion. I want to thank everyone who voted, with great appreciation that the Fisker Inc. team takes these awards. We are greatly honored!” said Henrik Fisker.

Early results show that Fisker’s solid-state technology enables the construction of bulk three-dimensional solid-state electrodes with 25 times more surface area than flat thin-film solid-state electrodes and extremely high electronic and ionic conductivities – enables fast charging and cold temperature operation. As a result, Fisker’s battery delivers 2.5 times the energy density of typical lithium-ion batteries and is less expensive to make than traditional batteries.

Best Automotive Cybersecurity Solution

Cyersecurity is important to the safety of connected and autonomous cars. The top consideration when buying a connected car is security according to Thales.

The nominees for best automoitve cybersecurity solution were:

  • Kaspersky Secure Communication Unit (SCU) gateway control unit.
  • BlackBerry Security Framework.
  • Panasonic’s automotive intrusion detection and prevention systems.
  • Karamba Security SafeCAN in-vehicle network authentication with zero network overhead.

Winner: Karamba Security SafeCAN

Karamaba Security’s Suite at CES

Karamba’s SafeCAN won the cybersecurity category with a whopping 47% of the votes. The solution offers authentication with zero network overhead.

“Our team appreciates Auto Connected Car News and its leadership role in hosting the awards. We are grateful to its active community of readers, who gave their time and thought to all the nominees. We were in good company. Their vote of confidence confirms that we are succeeding in helping solve a real challenge faced by car manufacturers,” said Ami Dotan, Karamba Security CEO.

“To protect the car’s safety systems from hackers, the industry is demanding the capability to authenticate CAN bus traffic. However, the biggest barrier to overcome is CAN network saturation,” said Dotan. “Traditional authentication technologies require additional network throughput, which is unacceptable in the CAN. Karamba’s patent-pending SafeCAN software offers zero network overhead for ECUs that should be authenticated.

SafeCAN ensures that safety systems will not accept commands from un-authenticated sources, and addresses OEMs’ concerns of being held liable even if attacks originate from compromised third party dongles, physical hacks, or hacked OTA in-vehicle updates.

“The technology is also forward-compatible with CAN-FD, Flexray and networks still to come,” concluded Dotan.

Best Newly-Offered LiDAR Solution

LiDAR measures distance to a target by illuminating the target with pulsed laser light and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor which is very important for autonomous driving systems. There many new entries to the LiDAR market that were nominated for a Tech CARS Award including:

  • Quanergy S3 solid-state LiDAR sensor.
  • SLAM on Chip, Renesas’ image processing, low-power automotive R-Car system-on-chip (SoC) with Dibotics’ 3D simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology.
  • Innoviz High-Res 3D LiDAR with Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), detection range of up to 250 meters and a frame rate of 25 frames per second.
  • AEye’s iDAR (Intelligent Detection and Ranging) combines MOEMS LiDAR, pre-fused with a low-light camera and embedded artificial intelligence.

Winner AEye’s iDAR

The winner is AEye’s iDAR (Intelligent Detection and Ranging) that combines MOEMS LiDAR, pre-fused with a low-light camera and embedded artificial intelligence.

AEye’s iDAR mimics how a human’s visual cortex focuses on and evaluates potential driving hazards: it uses a distributed architecture and at-the-edge processing to dynamically track targets and objects of interest, while always critically assessing general surroundings. That enables accessible direct detection for every pixel and voxel in each frame.

iDAR provides higher accuracy, longer range, and more intelligent information to optimize path planning software, enabling radically improved autonomous vehicle safety and performance at a reduced cost.

“AEye’s groundbreaking iDAR system is the first to use intelligent data capture to enable rapid perception and path planning,” said Luis Dussan, AEye CEO. “By pre-fusing a low cost solid-state agile LiDAR with best of breed camera tech and embedded AI, we have created a next-generation perception system that dynamically adapts to real-time demands, a first in the industry, and a boon for AV safety and reliability.  It will change the way all robots, big and small, perceive the environment.”

“It’s great to win,” said Jennifer Deistch, director of marketing at AEye, “Thank you for the nomination and votes.” She noted that it was nice to see that AUTO Connected Car News’ readers appreciate hybrid sensors that work more like the human brain.

AEye was founded by Luis Dussan, who previously worked at Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. AEye is recently announced the iDAR Development Partner Program for OEM customers.

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