Autonomous & Self-Driving Vehicle News: Waymo, Phantom Auto, IIHS, Navistar, Plus, Scania, Zoox, Navistar, Zoox, TIER IV & Arm

In autonomous and self driving vehicle news are Waymo, Phantom Auto, IIHS, Navistar, Plus, Scania, Zoox, Navistar, Zoox, TIER IV & Arm

Waymo Rides in LA

Waymo announced it started inviting members on the waitlist to ride Waymo permanently in LA.

Waymo will be offering rides in a 63 square mile area from Santa Monica to Downtown LA, scaling  operations over time. These initial rides will be free, and with the California Public Utilities Commission’s recent approval, Waymo will transition to paid service in the coming weeks.

Angelenos have taken over 15,000 fully autonomous rides with the Waymo Driver over the past five months, across Santa Monica, Century City, WeHo, Mid City, K-Town and Downtown LA.

Phantom Auto Ghosted

Elliot Katz Co-founder fo Phantom Auto Posted this on LinkedIn

After 7 years, we have made the extremely difficult decision to wind down Phantom Auto.  A few quick thoughts:

-Despite this not being the outcome anyone wanted, I was asked yesterday if I had a time machine that could take me back to 2017, would I do it all over again?  And the answer is yes, 100 times out of 100.  And for many reasons, but most importantly, the amazing people that made up Phantom.  Insanely smart, hard-working, dedicated, and all-around wonderful people.  There are folks from my specific teams (sales/marketing/customer success) and the company more broadly that are looking for their next stop and are incredibly talented, so if you’re hiring and would like to discuss, please do reach out.

-There is a lot to be proud of, and I am immensely proud of what Phantom has accomplished the last 7 years. But, it is also important to acknowledge that we failed in seeing our mission – to enable anyone to operate anything that moves, from anywhere in the world – the whole way through.  We made a damn good start, and I hope that new and innovative companies will carry the torch forward, as it’s still a mission I very much believe in.  But we did fail.  And that is okay.  Because we were brave enough to take the shot, to do something that had never been done before, to attempt to create a new category.  And every single person in the company around the world gave it their all every day to make our collective mission a reality; nothing left on the field in terms of effort, and no regrets.  And like I said above, as I report out as a first-time failing founder, I would do it all again 100 times out of 100.  Because I know definitively today that Phantom was not too scared to fail, I was not too scared to fail, and Shai was (most definitely) not too scared to fail.  And that gives me some comfort, even on the worst day, to know that companies with the bold spirit of Phantom’s can continue to innovate, and hopefully create positive change.  So if you are seeing this and you are on the fence about doing something where the odds of success may not appear in your favor, please do not let fear of failure stop you.  I failed, but some truly incredible things were borne out of that failure, and I’ll be back on the field again some time soon.

-To our investors, partners, customers, board directors, advisors, and everyone from all around the world who cheered for us all along the way, thank you so much.

-And most importantly to the pham, best collective of people I’ve ever had the privilege to spend my days with – words cannot express my immense gratitude. Go phorth, don’t be aphraid of phailure, continue to replace “f’s” with “ph’s” when talking amongst the crew, and keep doing incredible things!

Most Self-Driving Systems Fail IIHS test

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is introducing a new ratings program to encourage automakers to incorporate more robust safeguards into their partial driving automation systems. Out of the first 14 systems tested, only one earns an acceptable rating. Two are rated marginal, and 11 are rated poor.

“We evaluated partial automation systems from BMW, Ford, General Motors, Genesis, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Tesla and Volvo,” IIHS President David Harkey said. “Most of them don’t include adequate measures to prevent misuse and keep drivers from losing focus on what’s happening on the road.”

The Teammate system available on the Lexus LS is the only system tested that earns an acceptable rating. The GMC Sierra and Nissan Ariya are both available with partial automation systems that earn marginal ratings. The LS and Ariya each offer an alternative system that earns a poor rating. The Ford Mustang Mach-E, Genesis G90, Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan, Tesla Model 3 and Volvo S90 also earn poor ratings, in some cases for more than one version of partial automation.

The ratings only apply to the specific models tested even though systems with the same names may be used on multiple vehicles from the same manufacturer.

“Some drivers may feel that partial automation makes long drives easier, but there is little evidence it makes driving safer,” Harkey said. “As many high-profile crashes have illustrated, it can introduce new risks when systems lack the appropriate safeguards.”

Vehicles with partial automation are not self-driving — though automakers sometimes use names that imply their systems are. The human driver must still handle many routine driving tasks, monitor how well the automation is performing and remain ready to take over if anything goes wrong. While most partial automation systems have some safeguards in place to help ensure drivers are focused and ready, these initial tests show that they’re not robust enough.

“The shortcomings vary from system to system,” said IIHS Senior Research Scientist Alexandra Mueller, who led the development of the new program. “Many vehicles don’t adequately monitor whether the driver is looking at the road or prepared to take control. Many lack attention reminders that come soon enough and are forceful enough to rouse a driver whose mind is wandering. Many can be used despite occupants being unbelted or when other vital safety features are switched off.”

Today’s partial automation technology — which includes designated systems like Tesla’s Autopilot and GM’s Super Cruise as well as feature bundles that provide similar capabilities — uses cameras, radar or other sensors to “see” the road and other vehicles. It combines adaptive cruise control (ACC), lane centering and various other driver assistance features. ACC maintains a driver-selected speed but will automatically slow to keep a set following distance from a slower moving vehicle ahead and then accelerate when the way is clear. Lane centering continuously adjusts the steering to help the driver keep the vehicle centered in the travel lane. Automated lane changing is also becoming more common.

The new IIHS ratings aim to encourage safeguards that can help reduce intentional misuse and prolonged attention lapses as well as to discourage certain design characteristics that increase risk in other ways — such as systems that can be operated when automatic emergency braking (AEB) is turned off or seat belts are unbuckled.

Scores are awarded based on a battery of tests conducted over multiple trials, and some performance areas are weighted more heavily than others.

When possible, tests are conducted on a closed test track. For certain tests that must be conducted on public roads, a second IIHS employee sits in the front passenger seat to monitor the driving environment and the vehicle systems.

In some cases, manufacturers are already making changes to their systems through software updates, which may result in adjustments to these ratings. The two Tesla systems evaluated, for example, used software that preceded the most recent recall in December 2023.

IIHS expects improvements to be rapid.

“These results are worrying, considering how quickly vehicles with these partial automation systems are hitting our roadways,” Harkey said. “But there’s a silver lining if you look at the performance of the group as a whole. No single system did well across the board, but in each category at least one system performed well. That means the fixes are readily available and, in some cases, may be accomplished with nothing more than a simple software update.”

Driver monitoring

Effective driver monitoring is essential to making partial automation safe. Systems should be able to detect if the driver’s head or eyes are not directed at the road and whether the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel or ready to grab it if necessary.

To evaluate this capability, IIHS engineers record what happens when the lens of the driver monitoring camera is blocked, the driver’s face is obscured, the driver is looking down, and the driver’s hands are not on the steering wheel. For systems that allow hands-free driving, the engineers also record what happens when the driver’s hands are holding a foam block the approximate size of a cell phone. Systems should not activate under these conditions, and, if they’re already switched on, they should issue an alert.

None of the 14 systems meets all these requirements, though the Ford systems come very close. Ford BlueCruise and Ford Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Lane Centering Assist immediately issued alerts when the driver’s face or the camera lens was covered, for example, but failed to detect when the driver’s hands were occupied with another task. The BMW system did not react when the camera lens or driver’s face was covered, and the Mercedes-Benz system lacks a driver-monitoring camera altogether, though both vehicles were able to detect when the driver’s hands were not on the steering wheel.

Attention reminders

Timely and persistent attention reminders are also key. When a partial automation system detects that the driver’s eyes aren’t directed at the road or their hands aren’t ready to take over the steering, it should begin a dual-mode alert, such as an audible and visual warning, within 10 seconds. Before the 20-second mark, it should add a third mode of alert or begin an emergency procedure to slow the vehicle.

Lexus Teammate, both Ford systems and GM Super Cruise meet all these requirements. For example, when the test driver deliberately looked away from the road and held the foam block in both hands, Teammate began audible and visual alerts after four seconds and began an emergency slowdown procedure after 16 seconds.

Both the hands-on Nissan ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link and hands-free ProPILOT Assist 2.0 systems and Tesla Full Self-Driving performed almost as well. The hands-on Nissan system, for example, provided audible and visual alerts about six seconds after driver disengagement, but it didn’t provide a third type of alert until around 21 seconds had passed, when it pulsed the brakes. Seven other systems didn’t even provide dual-mode alerts within the first 15 seconds.

Emergency procedures

Partial automation systems need appropriate emergency escalation procedures to minimize the danger to occupants and other road users if the driver does not respond to those attention reminders. Regardless of how many different modes of alerts they issue, systems should begin a slowdown procedure within 35 seconds of driver disengagement. Drivers who ignore alerts for this long are either in distress or misusing the system. The system should send an SOS message to emergency responders or a 24-hour help center, and the driver should be prevented from restarting the automation for the remainder of the drive.

Of the 14 systems tested, only GM’s meets all these requirements. Five systems include two of the three emergency procedures, and five include one. Lexus’ combination of Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Tracing Assist system and the two Genesis systems all fail to take any emergency action if the driver disengages from driving and does not respond to repeated warnings.

Driver involvement

Another group of requirements is aimed at ensuring drivers stay involved in decision-making. All lane changes should be initiated or confirmed by the driver. When traffic causes the ACC to bring the vehicle to a complete stop, it should not automatically resume unless the system can confirm the driver is looking at the road and no more than two minutes have passed. The lane-centering feature should not switch off automatically when the driver makes manual steering adjustments within the lane, as that can discourage drivers from being physically involved in the driving, and physical involvement can help prevent mental disengagement.

More systems performed well in these categories than any of the others. GM Super Cruise and Tesla Full Self-Driving are the only ones that will make a lane change without any driver input. Super Cruise and both Tesla systems are the only ones that switch off lane centering when the driver does any manual steering.

Many systems allow ACC to resume automatically after a stop of more than two minutes or when the driver is not looking at the road. Both Tesla systems and BMW Active Driving Assist Pro will resume ACC in both scenarios, for example, while several others will restart in one of the two situations. Volvo Pilot Assist is one of seven systems that will not automatically resume in either scenario.

Safety features

There is little evidence that partial automation has any safety benefits, so it’s essential that these systems can only be used when proven safety features are engaged. These include seat belts, AEB and lane departure prevention. For a good rating in this category, a partial automation system should not switch on if the driver is unbelted or AEB or lane departure prevention is not active. If already in operation and the driver unfastens their seat belt, the system should immediately begin its multi-mode, driver-disengagement attention reminders. Finally, it must be impossible to switch off AEB or lane departure prevention if the automation is engaged.

The hands-free ProPILOT Assist 2.0, Lexus Teammate, and GM Super Cruise systems are the only ones that meet all these requirements. The hands-on ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link and the BMW system come close, but each deactivates without issuing an alert when a key safety feature is disengaged. This is dangerous because the driver may not be aware that they need to resume full control of the vehicle.

In contrast, most of the systems fail multiple safety feature requirements. Volvo Pilot Assist, for example, deactivates without an alert when the driver unbuckles, can be activated with lane departure prevention turned off and also remains active if the feature is switched off mid-drive. The two Genesis systems fail all safety feature requirements.

Teamsters Accolades for San Fran & CA

The Teamsters Union applauds the City of San Francisco for passing a resolution in support of Senate Bill 915 (SB 915), legislation with strong bipartisan support that will allow California’s local governments to regulate autonomous vehicles (AVs). SB 915 was introduced on January 9, 2024 by State Sen. Dave Cortese (D – San Jose).

“The Teamsters commend the City of San Francisco for passing this important resolution to prioritize public safety,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters Joint Council 7 President. “Dangerous AVs cannot be allowed to operate unchecked in our communities. Cities should have the power in their hands to regulate how this technology operates on their streets, and that starts with SB 915.”

SB 915 is part of the CARS legislative package on autonomous vehicles that the Teamsters are advocating for in Sacramento to protect good jobs and public safety. The Oakland City Council, Los Angeles City Council, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and San Mateo County Board of Supervisors all passed resolutions in favor of SB 915 earlier this year. The move by San Francisco leaders is particularly significant because the city has been ground zero in the fight to regulate driverless vehicles. Within the past year and a half, robotaxis in the city have run over pedestrians, blocked first responders from their jobs, reportedly came within seconds of colliding with children, and caused traffic pile-ups.

Despite this, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Department of Motor Vehicles have refused to implement significant AV safety measures. In fact, the CPUC just approved the expansion of Waymo robotaxis in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Last month Waymo announced a recall of its robotaxi software in response to an incident where two of its robotaxis crashed into the same truck minutes apart.

The Teamsters commend Assemblymember Matt Haney (AD-17) for introducing Assembly Bill 3061 (AB 3061), legislation requiring Autonomous Vehicle (AV) companies in California publicly report any vehicle collisions, traffic violations, disengagements, assaults, or harassment involving their vehicles to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

“AB 3061 isn’t just about holding AV companies to account, it’s about holding our regulators to account, cutting out the politics and putting public safety first. We can’t keep letting bureaucrats cater to their friends in Big Tech and then look the other way when robotaxis hit people or cause mayhem on our streets,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters Western Region International Vice President and President of Teamsters Joint Council 7. “AV data transparency is a clear solution and critical to holding AV companies to a uniform standard. It’s time California passes AB 3061 into law.”

AB 3061 is the third plank of the CARS package that the Teamsters are advocating for in Sacramento, alongside Senate Bill 915, which would require autonomous vehicle (AV) companies to secure local approvals prior to starting operations, and Assembly Bill 2286, which would require a trained human operator behind the wheel of self-driving trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds. In addition to the reporting requirements for AV operators, under AB 3061, the DMV would have to publish incident reports on its website within 30 days of receipt. Operators already have to report some of the incidents AB 3061 outlines to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; AB 3061 requires the DMV to create a timeline for submissions that must be equal to or shorter than the deadlines required by the federal agency.

“AB 3061 is common sense legislation that will ensure the public has insight into all AV-related incidents. Californians are seeing firsthand the chaos AV causes on a daily basis, and they deserve full transparency,” said Chris Griswold, Teamsters International Vice President At-Large and President of Teamsters Joint Council 42. “This bill should be easy for AV companies to comply with because it’s just an expansion of information that they’re already reporting. The Teamsters commend Assemblymember Haney for introducing this bill and call on all elected leaders to join him in supporting AB 3061.”

Despite robotaxis running over pedestrians, blocking first responders from doing their jobs and causing traffic pileups, state agencies have refused to implement significant AV safety measures. Earlier this month, just weeks after Waymo announced a recall of its robotaxi software in response to two of its robotaxis crashing into the same truck minutes apart in December 2023, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved the expansion of Waymo robotaxis in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“The Teamsters applaud Assemblymember Haney for introducing legislation that will help keep California roads safe,” said Lindsay Dougherty, Teamsters Western Region International Vice President and Director of the Teamsters Motion Picture and Theatrical Trade Division. “Over the last year, two of the largest AV companies, Cruise and Waymo, have had to recall their software in California due to safety incidents. This technology is not ready for prime time, and we cannot trust AV companies to be honest about the safety or capability of their products when they’re racing towards profitability and fighting to appease shareholders. We need accountability, and that starts with AB 3061.”

Navistar Preps for SuperDrive

Navistar, Inc. (Navistar) is making progress in autonomous driving technology in preparation for the launch of an autonomous commercial pilot program with customers. As a member of the TRATON Group, Navistar is involved in a new partnership with Plus to integrate its Level 4 autonomous SuperDrive™ technology stack into International® vehicles and other branded vehicles within the TRATON Group.

Navistar recognizes that the high volume and scalability of hub-to-hub operations presents an immediate addressable market of 25 billion miles of long-distance freight on the U.S. interstate system. The company has strategically selected hub-to-hub operations as the company’s core segment for commercial viability of autonomous implementation. International trucks equipped with SuperDrive™ by Plus are being validated with a safety driver on routes in Texas. Customer pilots are expected within the year, with commercial deployments expanding incrementally along strategic U.S. corridors.

“There is a strong business case for autonomous technology in the hub-to-hub distribution model, specifically in long-haul transportation where there’s a compelling opportunity to increase operational efficiencies,” said Tobias Glitterstam, chief Strategy and Transformation officer, Navistar. “Global partnership with a company like Plus allows us to leverage the technical strides they have made as we work together to focus on the commercial viability of Level 4 autonomous driving.”

Navistar’s autonomous commercial pilot program is focused on integrated autonomous solutions. Fully developed and supported by Navistar, the autonomous technology solutions will be seamlessly integrated into customer operations, tailored to fit unique customer requirements.

“Our autonomous commercial pilot program is intended to be a safe, reliable option for customers to explore the deployment and integration of autonomous vehicles into their operations,” said Chet Ciesielski, vice president, On-Highway Business, Navistar. “As always, we are committed to being a trusted partner as we seek to develop solutions for autonomous driving technology that increase our customers’ operating efficiencies, improve road safety, and alleviate strains in the supply chain.”

The Plus Level 4 autonomous driving system SuperDrive™ is integrated into International trucks, providing solutions for maintenance, telematics, safety, and reliability.

“We are excited to partner with Navistar to build the next generation of transportation solutions enabled by our industry-leading autonomy technology,” added Shawn Kerrigan, COO and Co-founder of Plus. “By leveraging our experience deploying our highly modular and flexible autonomous driving software across the U.S., we can help accelerate the commercialization of autonomous trucks that can easily be integrated into customer operations.”

Plus for Scania & Navistar

Plus, a global provider of autonomous driving software solutions, announced  a long-term partnership with Scania, MAN and Navistar of the TRATON GROUP for the global commercial deployment of Level 4 autonomous trucks. The companies will create a Level 4 commercial autonomous transport solution using Scania, MAN, and Navistar autonomous ready base vehicles and Plus’s autonomous driving software in hub-to-hub operations.

Trucks of the TRATON GROUP brands equipped with Plus’s Level 4 autonomous driving solution, SuperDrive™, are already being tested on public roads in Europe and the U.S. with a safety driver on board. The companies will pilot commercial operations with fleets in 2024, then start series production and global commercial deployment at scale.

“We see autonomous as a key part of our offer for a full range of safe, efficient and sustainable transport solutions that can be adapted according to each individual customer’s specific needs, something which is further strengthened by our partnership with Plus,” said Peter Hafmar, Vice President and Head of Autonomous Solutions, at Scania, leading the coordination of Autonomous Solutions for the TRATON GROUP.

“Plus is thrilled to have our industry leading autonomous driving software be chosen for the TRATON GROUP’s impressive portfolio of storied and trusted global commercial vehicle brands across Scania, MAN, and Navistar,” said Shawn Kerrigan COO and Co-Founder at Plus. “Together we will accelerate the global commercialization of Level 4 autonomous trucks and bring to market safer and more sustainable transportation solutions.”

“By expanding our autonomous hub-to-hub program, we are taking a leading position in providing autonomous solutions to our customers,” added Hafmar.

The long-term partnership builds on the joint development between the TRATON GROUP brands and Plus over the last year and a collaboration that goes back even further. The teams have started testing their Level 4 autonomous trucks in the busy freight corridor between San Antonio and Dallas in Texas and will expand to other routes in the Texas triangle and I-10 corridor. Commercial deployments will expand incrementally along strategic U.S. corridors. In Europe, testing is currently on a route between Södertälje and Nyköping in Sweden, and there are plans to conduct pilot operations with customers in other European countries in 2024.

Built on Plus’s Open Platform for Autonomy, SuperDrive™ is Plus’s Level 4 software solution that enables driverless vehicles. Through its partnerships with world-class fleets, Tier-1 automotive suppliers, vehicle manufacturers, and infrastructure providers, Plus is validating and refining SuperDrive™ for integration into vehicles at the factory level and global commercial deployment.

Americans More Wary of AVs

A recent study highlighted the variance of trust levels of autonomous vehicles around the world. Individuals from ChinaRussia, and the UAE displayed the highest levels of trust, with over 80% stating that they are comfortable sharing roadways with autonomous vehicles. Individuals from the United StatesJapan, and South Korea displayed the lowest levels of trust. Nearly half of survey participants from these regions responded that they were not comfortable with sharing roadways with autonomous vehicles.

Maison Law of Fresno, CA conducted a global transportation survey to gather international input on trust, usage, and perceptions of developing transportation technologies. When asked whether respondents from the following countries are comfortable sharing roadways with autonomous vehicles, the following opinions resulted:

  • United Arab Emirates – 88% yes, 12% no
  • United States – 57% yes, 43% no
  • Germany – 71% yes, 29% no
  • United Kingdom – 74% yes, 26% no
  • Israel – 66% yes, 34% no
  • China – 94% yes, 6% no
  • Canada – 60% yes, 40% no
  • Australia – 63% yes, 37% no
  • Japan – 52% yes, 48% no
  • Russia – 89% yes, 11% no
  • South Korea – 52% yes, 48% no

Scania Pilot

Scania on 12 March 2024 expanded its strategic development of autonomous hub-to-hub transport solutions, with the launch of an Autonomous Commercial Pilot Programme. As part of TRATON Group, Scania will also be involved in a new partnership with US-based Plus, which will integrate its Level 4, fully autonomous SuperDrive™ technology stack into Scania and TRATON Group vehicles. 
The Scania Autonomous Commercial Pilot Programme is part of an increased focus on establishing customer-driven testing to demonstrate hub-to-hub technology, and creating scalable operational concepts that deliver real value in customers’ operations.

From Zoox News

“Zoox is operating on public roads in Foster City, CA, and Las Vegas, NV last year. It marked the first time in history that a purpose-built AV—with no manual controls—drove autonomously on open public roads with passengers. Since then, we’ve been hard at work in preparation for our commercial launch.

First off, we’ve expanded our Las Vegas geofence: the virtual boundary we operate our purpose-built vehicles in. This geofence spans approximately five miles from our Las Vegas headquarters to the south end of the Strip along multiple routes. It’s larger and more complicated, with three-lane roads, required lane changes, unprotected right turns onto high-speed roadways, and double-right and left-hand turn lanes. Driving in these larger areas exposes our robotaxis to the busiest conditions they’ve ever encountered and provides invaluable data and learnings as we continue to scale.

Secondly, we’ve expanded the autonomous driving capabilities of our robotaxi in Las Vegas and Foster City to include driving at speeds of up to 45 mph, in light rain, and at night. Let’s dive into each one by one.

While our robotaxi can reach 75 mph, we started out driving routes with limits of 35 mph last year and are now driving routes with a higher limit of 45 mph. Driving autonomously at a higher speed increases difficulty in all conditions. We’ve set rigorous internal safety targets, and we did not begin driving these routes until we were able to quantify that we have met and consistently exceeded those targets.

Our perception team had to overcome the challenge of reliable long-range detections when making unprotected turns onto high-speed roads. And to navigate the new geofence, we had to tackle lane changes, which require the AI stack to simultaneously plan the trajectory in space and time.

Moment-by-moment, the vehicle can adjust its behavior accordingly because the vehicle’s Prediction and Planner systems are working together.

Rain can be tricky for AVs as it could create a distraction. Our Lidar system, for example, may pick up reflections from droplets and puddles. So we had to make sure our vehicle’s Perception system was robust to such lidar distractors.

Our AI also applies what it has learned from our test fleet that’s driving autonomously in rainy Seattle, cross-correlating it with our rain data from Las Vegas and Foster City. By having data from multiple geofences, we’re set up to grow our capabilities even more.

Just like human eyes, our vehicle’s Perception system needs to adjust between daylight and nighttime, too. While radar and lidar function effectively in low-light conditions, it’s not as easy for cameras.

For nighttime driving, we needed to be able to detect unclear shapes in darkness. This requires training and refining our machine-learning models, based on data from both our test fleet and our robotaxis.

Staying in Vegas

Deploying our robotaxi in a larger geofence is a big milestone for Zoox. Operating autonomously at higher speeds, with required lane changes, in light rain, and at night are key achievements too—they’re complex scenarios that are required to operate our service.

As always, safety is foundational to Zoox, so we’ll continue to be measured and thoughtful in our approach to commercialization. These critical updates bring us closer to safely and confidently offering Zoox to the public. We can’t wait for you to experience your first ride later this year!


TIER IV, a pioneer in open-source autonomous driving (AD) technology, is excited to be collaborating with Arm, a leader in semiconductor and software design, as a key AD end-application partner.

A group of industry leaders, including TIER IV and the Autoware Foundation (AWF), have partnered with Arm to launch new virtual platforms and software solutions based on leading-edge Arm® Automotive Enhanced (AE) technologies. This partnership aims to address the growing need to shorten hardware and software development cycles in the age of software-defined vehicles (SDVs).

In this strategic partnership, TIER IV is integrating its state-of-the-art, cloud-native DevOps (development and operations) and MLOps (machine learning operations) platform for autonomous driving, Web.Auto, with virtual models of Arm processors running in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud on Arm-based instances.

Web.Auto embodies a robust suite of development platform tools, featuring AD simulators, enabling the validation of perception, localization, planning and control functions as well as a CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery) data pipeline. TIER IV’s tie-up with Arm focuses on the development side of the Web.Auto platform. On the operational front, Web.Auto boasts fleet management and remote monitoring systems. The combined capabilities of these platform tools enable the efficient development and safe operation of AD systems.

This collaboration builds upon the momentum from the CES 2024 AutowareOpen AD Kit demonstration, conducted by AWF, eSync Alliance and SOAFEE, with the participation of other key industry players including TIER IV, Arm, AWS, ExcelforeLeo Drive and Red Hat. The demonstration showcased Web.Auto’s capabilities in validating the Open AD Kit Planning container, underscoring the platform’s potential in AD technology development.

TIER IV and Arm aim to fuel the “shift left” revolution for hardware and chip development tailored for future AD applications, creating a seamless environment and system-level parity between cloud and automotive edge platforms. This effort empowers industry stakeholders, including automakers, Tier 1 suppliers and chipmakers, to harness the potential of the cloud-native Web.Auto platform to navigate key hardware and IP (intellectual property) decisions and fulfill autonomy requirements before investing in physical hardware or waiting for its availability.

Currently, TIER IV is leading efforts to deploy AD systems across Japan, toward the Japanese government’s objective of establishing driverless services in over 50 locations by 2025, and over 100 locations by 2027.

“The goal of our collaboration with Arm is to give automakers and chipmakers the tools they need to design the required hardware that will be essential to scale autonomous driving globally”, said Shinpei Kato, Founder, CEO and CTO of TIER IV. “Virtual prototyping can be a game changer, accelerating the journey from AD proof-of-concept tests to widespread commercial deployments.”

“Vehicle electronics are becoming more complex driven by growing AI and software needs, so for automakers to achieve faster time to market, a fundamental rethink of product development is needed,” said Suraj Gajendra, vice president of products and solutions, Automotive Line of Business, Arm. “Partnering with industry leaders like TIER IV allows us to bring faster and more agile development to autonomous driving built on our leading-edge Automotive Enhanced technology, accelerating development cycles and fueling faster innovation across the industry.”

*Autoware is a registered trademark of the Autoware Foundation.