AV & Self-Driving Vehicle News: Zoox, Plus, Aurora, Bosch & StradVision

In autonomous and self-driving vehicle news are Zoox, Plus, Aurora, Bosch and StradVision.

Zoox Road Testing in Seattle

Zoox will be testing in Seattle at L3. The data gathering will be invaluable for the continued development and generalization of its AI stack. The company will be opening an office in Seattle in 2022. The early data collected in Seattle is also crucial for  Calibration, Localization, and Mapping, Simultaneously (CLAMS) and Zoox Road Network (ZRN) teams, who will start creating a 3D map of the city and populating it with road features: bike lanes, speed limits, traffic lights, and so on. 

Plus is Now Plus Sunny

Plus (formerly Plus.ai), a global provider of self-driving truck technology, announced that the company is expanding its business presence into Europe. Plus has hired Bosch veteran and German native Sun-Mi “Sunny” Choi as Senior Director of Business Development to accelerate its European expansion as the company grows its global footprint. Choi will help deepen existing and future collaboration with truck manufacturers, suppliers, and other Europe-based partners. Plus has already started global customer deployment of its autonomous trucking technology this year.

Bosch: Continuous Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication for automated driving

One of the cornerstones of automated driving functions is secure data communication between road users. With the additional information supplied through such communication, automation systems can adapt their driving maneuvers to suit the current driving situation better than would be possible using only the vehicle’s own sensor technologies. How the flow of data in vehicle-to-vehicle communication can be kept stable and secure is a matter that Bosch, Escrypt, Kapsch, Nokia, and Telekom have been investigating over the past three and a half years in the European innovation project CONCORDA in a consortium. This was headed by Ertico – ITS Europe, a public/private partnership pursuing the development and deployment of intelligent transport systems. The primary focus here was to investigate suitable ways of ensuring continuous data transport between the road users in the vicinity of the vehicle. Previous research has concentrated mainly on occasional warning messages that were sent out in cases of imminent danger. The approach now being pursued has resulted in particularly strict requirements in terms of securing the communication network against unauthorized access. Moreover, fast and stable data communication between road users must be ensured at all times irrespective of the network quality, for instance, even when driving in tunnels. The goal of the research was therefore to determine which benefits the various communication technologies offer for continuous, secure vehicle-to-vehicle data transmission.

The objects used for testing in the CONCORDA project were trucks driven in convoy on stretches of public highways. During their journey, the trucks shared safety-relevant information, such as acceleration and braking data. The testing comprised three types of vehicle-to-vehicle communication: firstly, direct Wi-Fi-based communication (ITS-G5); secondly, cellular-based communication that is direct (LTE-V2X PC5); and thirdly, indirect communication over the mobile network (LTE). With the latter method, the truck’s signals transmitted via the LTE network were first routed to a server in the edge cloud of the mobile network and from there were then forwarded to the test vehicles.

As the trials showed, all the tested systems more than adequately fulfilled the stringent standards with regard to information security. Thanks to their high transmission speed and low latency, the two direct channels of communication are very well suited for use within a radius of up to 500 meters from the vehicle – for example, to immediately prepare the assistance systems for sudden hazards like emergency braking. Within a wider radius of up to 3000 meters, indirect communication via the mobile edge cloud offers benefits. By linking the vehicle’s own data with the data from other road users or the infrastructure, it is possible to implement additional, more advanced functions in the area of automated driving using these methods. Nowadays, most new trucks already come equipped with an LTE unit. By adding the direct, secure channel of communication, parallel use of the two technologies can provide the optimal solution in terms of stable, continuous data transmission.

The results of the innovation project will be incorporated by the project partners into the further development of automated driving functions and communication technologies for trucks and cars that will make road traffic of the future even safer, more efficient and more comfortable.

StradVision Answers AV Questions

With news arriving daily about Autonomous Vehicles and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, it can be difficult for the public to understand what’s going on and how close to reality Autonomous Vehicles are.
Junhwan Kim is CEO at StradVision — a leader of AI-based automotive vision processing technology — and he provides an insider’s view into the current state of ADAS and AVs.

Q: Who will benefit most from ADAS technology and Autonomous Vehicles?
A: As the number of vehicles worldwide expands, traffic accidents and their fatality rate are increasing. According to the WHO, more than 1.3 million people worldwide die in road accidents every year. Drivers over age 65 are 573% more likely than the average driver to die in an accident. Autonomous driving technology can significantly reduce the overall number of traffic accidents, and improve the safety of elderly drivers in an aging society.

Q: What are the latest vehicle safety innovations?
A: Regarding camera sensors, our StradVision team is increasing field of view and image resolution. Recent achievements increase highway driving safety with high-resolution cameras of 4 to 8 million pixels, that can recognize objects at a distance of up to 200 meters or more. A technology that integrates sensors to detect 360-degree directions around the vehicle is also being developed, to eliminate blind spots around the vehicle. Surround view monitoring helps implement automatic parking and parking assistance features.

Q: What role will Augmented Reality play?
A: AR technology projects ADAS warnings and navigation information onto the vehicle instrument panel or Head-Up Display to enhance situational awareness, prevent accidents and provide a safer driving environment.

Q: What role will Sensor Fusion play?
A: Sensor Fusion technology combines the versatility of a camera — which identifies information such as shape and color — with Lidar that measures distance within a few millimeters. At StradVision, we believe Sensor Fusion can dramatically improve the limitations of existing perception technology.

Q: Can governments play any role in bringing this technology to the masses?
A: Countries are devising automobile safety policies to reduce accidents and fatalities, and recommend that automakers reflect these policies in driving technology. In response to these changes in policy, OEMs are expanding the introduction of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for the safety of drivers and pedestrians. The global ADAS industry exceeded $20 billion in 2020, and may reach $49.3 billion by 2025.

Aurora News

Aurora, the self-driving company that’s planning to launch autonomous trucking and ride-hailing businesses, is sharing more about its cutting-edge technology and business at events throughout the next few weeks. The company – which plans to merge with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Reinvent Technology Partners Y (NASDAQ: RTPY) – expects to be listed on Nasdaq with the ticker symbol AUR on November 4.

On Tuesday, October 26, Gerardo Interiano, Vice President of Government Relations, will participate in a panel titled “The Future of Autonomous Vehicles” at WRLDCTY 2021. Interiano will discuss Aurora’s approach to delivering self-driving trucks and passenger cars and how these innovations in logistics and transportation will mitigate human error and are predicted to revolutionize road safety.

On Wednesday, October 27, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Innovation Alliance at the University of Texas at Austin are hosting their annual Texas Mobility Summit where Aurora’s CEO and co-founder, Chris Urmson, will participate in a fireside chat with the Executive Director of the Texas Department of Transportation, Marc Williams. They will discuss the benefits of autonomous vehicles and the role that government and industry play in the deployment of that technology.

On Thursday, October 28, Interiano will join other autonomous vehicle industry experts on an Autonomous Trucking Roundtable at the Dallas Regional Chamber to discuss the future of the global supply chain and Dallas as a major center for autonomous trucking. Interiano will share more about Aurora’s commercial pilot with FedEx. Currently, the company is autonomously hauling FedEx loads, with two safety drivers, between Dallas and Houston, a 500-mile round trip along the I-45 corridor.

On Wednesday, November 3, Nat Beuse, Vice President of Safety, will participate in a panel discussion at Transforming Mobility: The Auto Innovators Summit. The panel will discuss the policy and regulatory landscape needed to support the development and deployment of self-driving technology, as well as the existing pilots currently in play across the industry.