Autonomous & Self-Driving Vehicle News: May Mobility, Oxbotica, Valeo & Waymo

In autonomous and self-driving vehicle news are May Mobility, Oxbotica, Valeo and Waymo.

May Mobility Partners with Stantect

May Mobility, a leader in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, and  Stantec, a global leader in sustainable design and engineering, announced today a partnership to create innovative transportation solutions through AV microtransit. Combining their strengths, the companies will collaborate on infrastructure developments and formally pursue opportunities to implement AVs across a range of commercial and municipal locations globally

“Stantec shares our vision of changing the global landscape to better benefit people and the environments we live in,” said Manik Dhar, chief commercial officer for May Mobility. “Working together, we can create and implement innovative AV solutions for different communities and deliver turnkey AV deployments that are optimized for each location. We will be able to scale our business more efficiently to the benefit of customers and riders.”

Stantec’s AV consulting arm, GenerationAV™, advises communities and businesses preparing to integrate AV technology into their operations, as well as providing post-deployment support. The GenerationAV suite of AV planning and deployment tools such as their deployment playbook, Operational Design Domain (ODD) risk assessment, and operational safety tools will support May Mobility’s efforts to introduce AV microtransit in cities, campuses, airports and more around the globe.

“May Mobility is a global technology leader in autonomous mobility and we’re proud to partner with them to establish and scale a complete AV deployment system,” said Corey Clothier, Founder/Director of Stantec GenerationAV. “Our partnership with May Mobility is an important next step in our mission to bring safe, equitable and accessible autonomous transportation solutions to communities around the world.”

The companies share a vision for developing smart and transformative transportation solutions. Coinciding with this goal, May Mobility will also work with Stantec to discover opportunities to implement additional sustainability and accessibility initiatives globally.

Oxbotica Partners with Google Cloud

Oxbotica, the British-based autonomous vehicle software developer,  announced a new strategic collaboration with Google Cloud that will help accelerate the deployment of its autonomous software platform to customers around the world.

The partnership will combine Google Cloud’s expertise in cloud infrastructure with Oxbotica’s market-leading autonomous vehicle software to create scalable, safe, and reliable autonomous driving solutions for any business with transportation in its value chain. These businesses include last-mile logistics, light industry, and public transport.

Oxbotica plans to use Google Cloud products—compute, storage, networking, and leading data and analytics products like Vertex AI—to help develop, test, validate, and verify its self-driving technology. It will also leverage Google Cloud’s proven cyber-security technologies to help ensure secure use of autonomous mobility technology.

Alongside the core development of its self-driving platform, Oxbotica will use Google Cloud to generate digital twins in Oxbotica’s MetaDriver, an AI-powered metaverse that connects and controls virtual and physical fleets together, sending real-time analytics on performance.

Oxbotica’s MetaDriver automatically generates a vast bank of virtual scenarios to help ensure the safety of autonomous vehicles. Google Cloud will provide the data and machine learning tools to enable MetaDriver to apply Oxbotica’s proprietary generative AI tools to the extensive bank of virtual scenarios including unusual edge cases that are often economically, environmentally or physically impractical to discover in conventional testing. For instance, a user can create a full, 24-hour, day-and-night cycle of sensor data, along with seasonal and extreme weather conditions, from one single data capture run.

By tapping into the scalability of the cloud, Oxbotica will be able to rapidly analyse and process these large datasets to learn across different use cases. This will speed up time-to-insights and allow for more testing and experimentation, which in turn will help improve the safety of the technology.

“We are thrilled to partner with Google Cloud to accelerate bringing autonomous driving solutions to market globally. Google Cloud is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and using its cutting-edge technology and AI powered tools will strengthen our proposition for our customers,” said Gavin Jackson, CEO of Oxbotica.

Oxbotica targets industrial use cases, where there is an urgent need to make the transition to autonomy today. Real-world applications of Oxbotica’s technology include passenger shuttles operating 24/7 on fixed routes in cities, where there is a driver shortage but increasing demand for services. For instance, in the UK, almost 1 in 10 bus driver positions are vacant, leading to shrinking bus networks across the country.

With Google Cloud, Oxbotica’s customers will be able to easily and quickly scale from single prototype vehicles to full fleets. In addition, the collaboration will enable Oxbotica to explore the larger impact of autonomous vehicles on congestion, public transit, and more.

Oxbotica intends to use Google Cloud infrastructure to make available application programming interfaces (APIs) for autonomous driving, which will enable its customers to create new lines of business (such as applications and other products), as well as more easily manage their existing data and services.

“The combination of Oxbotica’s leading technology and our reliable infrastructure and AI and data-enabled cloud platform has the potential to accelerate autonomous mobility in a variety of industrial use cases,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “From last mile logistics to public transportation, we look forward to working together to positively impact the lives of end users.”

Valeo SCALA 3 News

Valeo SCALA 1 and 2 made conditional autonomous driving in traffic jams a reality. SCALA 3 dramatically increases the domain of operation – and therefore the customer value – of private vehicles thanks to a wider scope of use and higher speed support. Valeo is also positioned as a leader in robotaxis equipment as SCALA 3 enables our clients to make robotaxis a reality at scale, using a proven, best-in-class technology in mass production.

Valeo was the first, and remains the leading company in the production of automotive LiDAR sensors and perception software on an industrial scale. Our clients recognize our ability to deliver on our ambitions.

Marc Vrecko, President of Valeo’s Comfort and Driving Assistance Business Group said: “With over 10 years of experience in development and 5 years of production, Valeo’s LiDAR technology is proven to be reliable and protected by more than 575 patents filed. These new orders show that our technology meets the expectations of different markets, being individual cars or robotaxis. But it also confirms our world leader position in the domain with clients in Europe, Asia and North America. We are excited to be working with new partners to bring safer and more automated mobility around the world.

Valeo SCALA 3 LiDAR is the perception centerpiece of the next generation of highly automated systems. It will expand the domain of operation of conditionally automated vehicles (level 3) to wider areas and higher speed (up to 130 kph), and make robotaxi (level 4) deployment at scale possible.

Thanks to its laser-based system, Valeo SCALA 3 generates a 3D image of the vehicle’s surroundings delivering a point cloud of a yet unparalleled resolution for an automotive system. Boasting more than 12 million pixels per second (x16 compared with the SCALA 2) and a detection range of 200 meters for low reflectivity objects and 300 meters for high reflectivity objects, it sees almost everything, especially objects that are invisible to the human eye.

In addition to its hardware capabilities, SCALA 3 comes with a suite of software modules, including perception and artificial intelligence based algorithms. Its LiDAR functions guarantee unparalleled safety and reliability through blockage detection, rain & spray detection, online calibration or misalignment detection. It can identify objects – such as a tire – left on an unlit black asphalt road more than 150 meters ahead that neither the driver, cameras nor radars can reliably detect. It finally identifies, classifies and tracks objects, giving the car fusion system the full 3D mapping around the car, and finally making autonomous driving possible. These software modules can easily be embedded on major SoC platforms and run on dedicated ECUs or domain controllers.

The ADAS market is expected to grow by 17% per year to reach 60 billion euros in 2030, driven by enhancements in safety and comfort. Valeo develops software and the most complete suite of sensors (ultrasonic sensors, cameras, radars, LiDARS) and computing units (domain controllers) that enable the vehicle to make the right decisions.

Waymo Goes All EV

In late April, Waymo will deploy the Jaguar I-PACE and  fifth-generation Waymo Driver in the Phoenix East Valley, making the entire Waymo One ride-hailing fleet fully electric. We’ll retire the previous-generation Waymo Driver from our service, as we have done with similar platforms in the past.

With this fleet update, Waymo joined the White House EV Acceleration Challenge to support the administration’s efforts in this historic transition to electric vehicles. For many, hailing a fully autonomous ride with Waymo may be the easiest way to access an EV.

Electric vehicles like the I-PACE generate less carbon emissions than their gas counterparts, but with the average vehicle in the U.S. parked 95% of the time, their full benefits are often unrealized.

“Focusing our service on an all I-PACE fleet helps us better optimize our technical and operational support to be more efficient in the near term as we prepare future vehicles like the ZEEKR mobility platform. Our machine learning-based fifth-generation Waymo Driver learns more with every mile traveled, so deploying our existing I-PACE fleet into the East Valley will only further advance the performance and reliability of the Driver as we continue to scale,” reported the Waymo blog.

The East Valley – primarily Chandler, Tempe and Mesa, AZ – have played a critical role in Waymo’s history, and we are excited to bring our latest and greatest Waymo Driver to these communities.