Autonomous & Self-Driving Vehicle News: Cruise, Wayve, Teamsters,Lotus Tech, FAW, Mobileye, FEV, dSpace, Omnitorn & Silex

In autonomous and self-driving vehicle news are Cruise, Wayve, Teamsters,Lotus Tech, FAW, Mobileye, FEV, dSpace, Omnitorn and Silex.

Cruise shows ADA-Friendly WAV

Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt introduced  “WAV,” in an X video claiming its the world’s first self-driving, wheelchair accessible vehicle.

He reported, “Designing a self-driving vehicle that accommodates as many wheelchair users as possible is a distinct technical challenge that has never been done before.”

Cruise developed this vehicle in close partnership with GM and the disability community, including BraunAbility, Q’Straint, and members of our Cruise Accessibility Council, who provided feedback on the key components of its design, user experience, and securement systems.
Cruise is gearing up for closed-course testing next month, and aim to start with a pilot next year.

Wayve LINGO-1

Self-driving technology company Wayve has launched LINGO-1, a first-of-its-kind vision-language-action model (VLAM) for self-driving that is set to revolutionise the learning and explainability of its AI Driver technology powering self-driving vehicles.

Prior to LINGO-1, end-to-end AI neural nets have been criticised as black boxes, providing limited insight into why and how they make decisions. Gaining deeper insight into the decision-making and reasoning capabilities of its AI models is critical to ensuring that Wayve can build a safe driving intelligence for self-driving. Wayve’s LINGO-1 opens up new capabilities to dramatically enhance the interpretability of Wayve’s AI Driver.

Trained using real-world data from Wayve’s expert drivers commentating as they drive, LINGO-1 can explain the reasoning behind driving actions. Incorporating language in this way provides a new type of data for interpreting, explaining and training AI models.

In addition to commentary, LINGO-1 can respond to questions about a diverse range of driving scenes. This feature allows Wayve to make improvements to the model through feedback. For example, you can ask LINGO-1, “Why did you slow down?” The answers given allow Wayve to evaluate the model’s scene comprehension and reasoning, which can enable Wayve to more efficiently pinpoint improvements, as well as help build confidence in the system.

Natural language can revolutionise autonomous driving by offering the potential for better, safer autonomous driving. Using LINGO-1, Wayve could incorporate natural language sources, such as the Highway Code and other safety-relevant content, to make retraining its AI models easier and simpler. By improving the raw intelligence of its AI Driver, Wayve can accelerate the learning process, enhance accuracy, and increase the technology’s capacity to handle diverse driving tasks.

Wayve is currently testing its self-driving technology daily on UK roads and is undertaking Europe’s largest last-mile autonomous grocery delivery trial with Asda, benefitting 170,000 residents across 72,000 households in London. Developments like LINGO-1 will help make the commercial deployment of self-driving vehicles a reality. Explaining decisions in natural language will transform the learning and explainability of self-driving technology. Adding natural language as a modality will accelerate the development of this technology while building trust in AI decision-making, and this is vital for widespread adoption.

Alex Kendall, Co-founder & CEO of Wayve said:“LINGO-1 marks a big step for embodied AI: aligning vision, language and action to deliver more intelligent and trusted autonomous vehicles. We are excited by the capabilities we observe from LINGO-1 today and we believe natural language will provide a powerful step change in how we understand and interact with robotics.”

“At Wayve, we’re investing in pushing the boundaries of cutting-edge science to deliver a safer, smarter and more sustainable future of transport, resulting in LINGO-1. LINGO-1 opens up many possibilities for self-driving, improving the intelligence of our end-to-end AI Driver as well as bridging the gap of public trust – and this is just the beginning of maximising its potential.”

For more information on LINGO-1, please check out Wayve’s blog.

Teamsters Guide Federal AV Policy

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters released a guiding document for federal policymakers to address issues with autonomous vehicles (AVs). The framework, Autonomous Vehicle Federal Policy Principles, arrives at a critical time when accidents caused by self-driving cars and trucks increasingly harm families and put communities at risk across the nation.

“Hundreds of thousands of Teamsters turn a key for a living, so we are fiercely committed to working with Congress and federal regulators to get AV policy right,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “Strong federal AV policies must prioritize both workers and safety. Any legislation that puts workers and the general public at risk will be met with aggressive opposition by the Teamsters and our allies.”

The Teamsters have outlined five key principles for Congress and federal regulators to follow for a federal AV policy that protects workers and enforces safety standards, including:

  • Regulating the vehicle: The federal government has authority over vehicle manufacturing and performance standards and must apply these authorities to self-driving cars and trucks;
  • Regulating the operator: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the driver of commercial vehicles, and the circumstances and safety conditions in which they operate;
  • Regulating operations: The Dept. of Transportation and FMCSA possess numerous regulatory authorities related to the safe operations of vehicles and the ability of carriers to receive authority to begin and continue operations;
  • Interaction with other laws: Congress must consider issues that may arise from the relationship between existing law and the efforts to legislate and regulate AVs; and
  • Workforce impacts: Congress cannot entertain any legislative package dealing with self-driving cars and trucks that does not directly and forcefully address issues related to the workforce, and any changing operational or economic conditions that occur as the result of AV commercialization.

Congress must act as a strong appetite exists among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to address issues with AVs. Later this week, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit will hold a hearing to discuss self-driving trucks.

“On behalf of the 1.2 million Teamsters who either drive a truck or are expected share the road with AVs, we strongly urging the adoption of these proposals. Lawmakers need to step up and get this done now,” O’Brien said.

Teamsters Support AV Bill in Cali

Teamster-supported legislation that would require a trained human operator in autonomous vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds overwhelmingly passed the California Senate on Tuesday, September 12, with strong bipartisan support. California Assembly Bill 316 (AB 316), first introduced in January by Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), and Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), received votes in favor from all but four state senators. It now heads to Governor Gavin Newsom.

“During the pandemic, Gov. Newsom thanked Teamster truck drivers for risking their lives to keep the economy afloat. But he actually needs to prove that he cares about workers by signing AB 316. If Gov. Newsom vetoes this bill, he is putting the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of truck drivers at risk, while jeopardizing public safety,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “The Teamsters rightfully stand against such dangerous technology. We will fight to make sure AB 316 becomes law.”

“I am thrilled that AB316 passed the California Senate with bi-partisan support,” said Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D – Winter). ‘The people of California have spoken – they are scared of moving too fast with this technology, before it cane be proven to be safe. Furthermore, the rush to profits while ignoring the impact on public safety and jobs must not happen.”

The vote comes on the heels of new public polling showing that nearly three-fourths of Californians across party lines, gender, geography, and all other demographics support AB 316, which would help keep California roads safe and protect good-paying jobs. The poll also highlights that an overwhelming number of Californians are uncomfortable being on the road alongside driverless vehicles. The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development recently voiced opposition to AB 316 via an agency letter, indicating that top officials in the Newsom administration aren’t listening to the concerns of California voters.

The Teamsters will rally in Los Angeles and Sacramento next week, alongside thousands of labor allies, elected officials, and California public safety officials in support of AB 316.

Collisions and accidents with self-driving vehicles continue to occur throughout San Francisco. Earlier this month, the California Public Utilities Commission approved the permits for autonomous vehicles companies Waymo and Cruise to expand driverless operations in San Francisco, even amid public outcry from local leaders and public safety officials. However, it only took a matter of days before havoc hit San Francisco, including a fatal accident where two Cruise taxis stopped on a one-way street and blocked an ambulance with a dying patient.

Lotus Tech Robotics Licenses Software

Lotus Technology Inc. (“Lotus Tech” or the “Company”), a leading global luxury electric vehicle maker, announced today that its intelligent driving arm, Lotus Robotics, has been designated to license several leading automakers to provide them with its intelligent driving technology and software. The announcement demonstrates the R&D prowess that is driving the growth of Lotus Tech’s technology-related revenues as the Company executes its Vision80 business transformation strategy.

Lotus Robotics has advanced software capabilities and develops key intelligent driving algorithms, as well as testing and simulation tools. Its self-developed intelligent driving systems are used in all of the Company’s luxury lifestyle electric vehicles, including Eletre, its first fully electric hyper SUV, which began deliveries globally in March this year, and Emeya, its first electric hyper-GT, which was unveiled in New York on September 7. These vehicles feature innovative technologies, such as the world’s first deployable LiDAR system, and are fully embedded with best-in-class hardware that supports end-to-end intelligent driving solutions across scenarios ranging from highway, urban, to parking, which are expected to be integrated into the vehicles as premium functions through over-the-air updates.

Mr. Qingfeng Feng, Chief Executive Officer of Lotus Tech, said, “We’re glad to see Lotus Robotics’ cutting-edge technologies being applied beyond our own luxury electric vehicles as we join our peers in advancing the development of intelligent driving solutions. These partnerships demonstrate Lotus Tech’s technology-related growth potential and further Lotus’s transformation under its Vision80 strategy into an intelligent, all-electric provider of sustainable luxury mobility ahead of its 80th anniversary in 2028.”

Lotus’s intelligent driving research and development commenced in 2018, and is committed to building the best platform for advanced intelligent driving technologies. Lotus Robotics has developed best-in-class hardware, award-winning algorithms and software, and powerful cloud solutions supported by its teams across Germany and China. Lotus Robotics has won awards in world-class competitions, including the CVPR 2023 Online HD Map Construction Challenge and the 2022 Argoverse Motion Forecasting Competition.

As announced in January 2023, Lotus Tech entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger (the “Merger Agreement”) with L Catterton Asia Acquisition Corp (“LCAA”) (NASDAQ: LCAA), a special purpose acquisition company formed by affiliates of L Catterton, a leading global consumer-focused investment firm. The transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement are expected to be completed later this year and would result in Lotus Tech becoming a public company with a pro forma enterprise value of approximately US$5.6 billion.///

V.A.S. and Boliden have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which both companies will collaborate on various projects, the first of which will be the implementation of an autonomous transport solution at Garpenberg that will be used to move rock fill from an on-site quarry.

“Whether it is removing people from hazardous environments, 24/7 operations unencumbered by working hours or reducing emissions through better utilization of resources and assets—autonomy offers several benefits that can help the mining and quarrying industry address its most pressing challenges. We are excited to partner with Boliden and support their journey towards a future where autonomous vehicles and humans work side by side to make Boliden’s operations safer, more efficient, and sustainable,” says Nils Jaeger, President of Volvo Autonomous Solutions.

“Autonomous solutions benefit both safety and productivity. The partnership with V.A.S. is therefore of great strategic importance and we are of course delighted with the project in Garpenberg already underway. Demand for base metals will increase going forward and sustainable as well as competitive solutions will be key in the value creation of mining,” says Mikael Staffas, President and CEO, Boliden.

As a part of the implementation, V.A.S. will deliver a complete autonomous transport solution that includes vehicles, hardware, software, control room, repair and maintenance, and training. The solution will be based on V.A.S. in-house developed virtual driver and the Volvo Trucks’ premium truck range. In addition, V.A.S. will provide a wheel loader for the loading operation.

To prepare the site for the implementation of self-driving trucks, Boliden will adapt its operations and build the necessary infrastructure.

The project will commence in 2023 with a testing and development phase followed by implementation and fully autonomous operations.

FAW & Mobileye

FAW Group, one of the largest Chinese automotive groups, and Mobileye (Nasdaq: MBLY), a global leader in autonomous driving solutions, have announced a new strategic partnership leveraging their respective industry advantages in software, hardware and technology products. The two sides will work together to create new products based on Mobileye SuperVision™ and Mobileye Chauffeur™ platforms, to empower customers with safe, enjoyable driving experiences.

two companies will start working together on FAW Hongqi brand vehicles, bringing the Mobileye SuperVision highly advanced automated driving assist platform to key models of the Hongqi brand. That will be followed closely by work toward integrating the Mobileye Chauffeur “eyes-off, hands-off” driving technology for specified domains into the much-anticipated E701 vehicle. The Mobileye SuperVision projects are expected to be deployed by end of 2024, with the Mobileye Chauffeur projects targeted for launch by the end of 2025.

Meanwhile, other brands of FAW Group are in line to gradually follow, using Mobileye’s platform solutions. In addition, the parties will conduct comprehensive discussions on feasible plans to further deepen their cooperation.

As a pioneer of China’s automotive industry, FAW Group has always been committed to building a world-class, green and intelligent mobility service company that consumers love. Throughout its 70 years of development, FAW Group has been constantly refreshing the user experience through technological innovation and service upgrades.

Mobileye SuperVision will be an integral part of FAW’s advanced driver assistance systems, promising an unparalleled driving experience in its category. Upon its integration Mobileye Chauffeur can provide “hands-off, eyes-off” autonomy on specified operational domains, with adaptive eyes-on driving in other settings, using the Mobileye SuperVision cameras paired with a front-facing lidar and Mobileye imaging radar. Both systems will utilize Mobileye’s EyeQ™6 SoC, RSS™-based driving policy, a comprehensive 360-degree camera system, and precision mapping.

“The target of the cooperation between FAW Group and Mobileye, both leaders in their respective fields, is to provide cutting edge ADAS and AV solutions in the Chinese market. This cooperation will deepen the partnership and alliance between the companies. Mobileye’s products will be first equipped on the Hongqi brand, and later expand to the other brands within the FAW Group,” said Mr. Qiu Xian Dong, Chairman of BOD & secretary of the CPC FAW Group Committee.

“FAW’s selection of Mobileye for this venture underscores the magnitude of this collaboration,” said Prof. Amnon Shashua, President and CEO of Mobileye. “Between the scale and expertise FAW has built over the past seven decades and our world-class technology, this alliance could shape the future of autonomous driving in the region and beyond. Drawing from our extensive experience of delivering our technology to more than 150 million vehicles globally, we see a future where autonomous driving improves transportation safety, convenience and accessibility for millions.”

More details about the projects will be shared in the months ahead.

FEV & dSpace

FEV, a globally leading engineering provider in the automotive industry, and dSPACE, one of the world’s leading providers of simulation and validation solutions, have entered into a technology partnership. The two companies signed a cooperation agreement, that will enable the partners to provide customers in the automotive industry with customized power HIL test benches that are perfectly integrated into test centers.

Together, FEV and dSPACE offer worldwide planning and implementation of turn-key solutions for the validation of power electronics assemblies, including full electrical power tests in addition to comprehensive software validation. The range of services extends from facility planning, to the provision and integration of hardware and software to commissioning.

FEV Test Systems contributes its extensive know-how as a global development service provider in the automotive test bench sector and sophisticated automation and real-time solutions. With its MORPHEE automation system, FEV offers a proven test bench software that is specially adapted to the customer’s needs. In its latest version, MORPHEE provides a unique real-time measurement performance with a sampling capacity of five million individual values per second. This is especially crucial for test benches for e-mobility applications to detect and verify electrical and mechanical phenomena, such as the charging/discharging behavior of a battery. dSPACE completes the offering with decades of Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) experience and established power HIL test systems as ready-to-use solutions for testing and validating power electronics assemblies at full power.

“Offering highly flexible system solutions at competitive cost while demonstrating superior performance is key to success in this business,” said Dean Tomazic, President FEV North America.

“Our global customers will benefit from technologically leading Power Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) technology that is seamlessly integrated into the dSPACE HIL world with its extensive real-time models, enabling intuitive test automation,” added Peter Waeltermann, CEO dSPACE Inc.

To learn more about FEV and dSPACE power HIL solutions, visit booth #2863 at The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo as it returns to the Suburban Collection Showplace this September 12-14 in Novi, Michigan.

Omnitorn & Silex

Omnitron Sensors, the pioneer in MEMS sensing technology for high-volume, low-cost markets, today announced that it will work with Silex Microsystems on the manufacture of its microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) scanner for LiDAR.

“We’re seeing massive demand for low-cost and reliable LiDAR from manufacturers of automotive ADAS, drones and other robotic systems,” said Eric Aguilar, co-founder and CEO, Omnitron Sensors. “Our selection of Silex Microsystems—the world’s largest pure-play MEMS foundry—signifies our market-readiness to deliver the first MEMS scanner that meets the accuracy, reliability, size, cost and volume requirements of LiDAR in diverse applications.”

Solving MEMS manufacturing challenges

Manufacturing MEMS devices is notoriously difficult. Problems with size, reliability, durability and repeatability—and the fact that process technology is unique for each new MEMS device—make MEMS manufacturing expensive and slow design-to-delivery cycles. Omnitron’s core IP solves these challenges. As a new topology for MEMS, Omnitron’s IP rearranges manufacturing processes and supports them with new packaging techniques. This speeds volume production of a wide range of small, low-cost, precise MEMS sensors—from scanning mirrors and inertial measurement units (IMUs) to microphones, pressure sensors, and telecom switches.

“Omnitron’s new topology for MEMS—which features the clever rearrangement of silicon process steps and a new packaging method—is a major step forward for the microelectronics industry because it mitigates the manufacturing complexity that has limited the growth of MEMS to date,” said Aguilar. “By leveraging the standard tools and processes already found in the Silex fab, Omnitron clears the way for robust, reliable and affordable MEMS devices that are delivered to market quickly and at high volume.”

MOGO Buses for GEO-7

Hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Second Policy and Outlooks Authors Meeting for the Seventh Global Environment Outlook (GEO-7) was held on September 4-7, 2023. Participants from more than 30 countries and regions met in Shanghai to discuss the trends and prospects of global environmental governance. China’s leading autonomous driving company MOGO,as the Exclusive Official Vehicle for Automated Driving at The GEO-7, MOGO BUS is proud to provide shuttle service in the field trip during the event.

MOGO BUS, the Official Vehicle for Automated Driving at The GEO-7

As an important part of the meeting, participants from Shanghai Municipal Government, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Ministry of Science and Technology, and National Development and Reform Commission, as well as renowned environmental scientists from all over the world had a field trip at YISD by MOGO BUS. This is the first time that self-driving service has been used at UNEP’s GEO-7 meeting.

Participants getting on the MOGO BUS

The two latest models serving this meeting are MOGO BUS M1 and MOGO BUS B2, the world’s first pre-installed mass-production self-driving buses equipped with the vehicle-road-cloud integration system and developed independently by Mogo. Both models have so powerful V2X capabilities, e.g., real-time interaction with MOGO AI Station and MOGO Cloud, that they can significantly improve driving safety and mobility efficiency.

MOGO V2X Self-driving Bus providing shuttle service at the GEO-7

MOGO V2X Self-driving Bus has showed the world a Chinese solution to self-driving, that is, vehicle-road-cloud integration. By connecting to MOGO AI Station and MOGO Cloud, the vehicle can have a wider and farther view, so as to ensure better safety. The vehicle-road-cloud integration system also plays a key part in increasing the overall traffic efficiency, reducing congestion, and saving energy.

At present, several countries and regions, including China, the United States, the European Union, Japan, and South Korea, have proactively introduced policies in an attempt to lead the race of autonomous driving. Chinese companies have also begun to appear on the world stage on after another, making breakthroughs in public transport, shuttle bus, sightseeing, sanitation, security, retail and other scenarios.

Based on its industry-leading vehicle-road-cloud integration technology and standard products, Mogo has been launching the vehicle-road-cloud integration project in Tongzhou, Beijing, in an effort to build a Digital Tongzhou; operating China’s first city-level autonomous driving project in Hengyang, Hunan; and building the first vehicle-road-cloud integration intelligent tourism project in Dali, Yunnan. Recently, the tech company has provided self-driving shuttle service for the 31st FISU World University Games in Chengdu, becoming the first company of its kind to sponsor such a global event; and so far, Mogo has expanded its vehicle-road-cloud integration projects to 19 provinces across China, including Beijing, Shandong, Hubei, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Shaanxi.

The vehicle-road-cloud integration technology coincides with the objective of this year’s GEO-7 meeting: to cut carbon emissions, reduce pollution, expand green development, and pursue economic growth Self-driving buses not only have a significant advantage over human driving in reducing energy consumption, but the digital transportation system built on the vehicle-road-cloud integration system can also make a positive contribution to the decarbonization in the transportation field.

This is the second time that MOGO BUS has served a world-class event after the Chengdu 2021 FISU Games