|Waabi moves commercialization of driverless trucks into high gear|
1. Waymo retires its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivan
- Waymo, a self-driving car company, is retiring its fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans.
- The minivans had been in operation for several years.
- Waymo will focus on its more advanced autonomous vehicles, such as the Jaguar I-PACE and the Waymo Driver.
- The move is seen as a sign of the company’s confidence in its newer, more advanced technology.
- Waymo will continue to maintain and operate some of its self-driving Pacifica minivans for testing and research purposes.
It’s a significant milestone for Waymo as they transition to an all-electric fleet equipped with their latest self-driving system. The retirement of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan marks the end of an era, but it’s a necessary step for the company to continue advancing their technology and staying competitive in the autonomous vehicle industry. The partnership with Fiat Chrysler/Stellantis helped Waymo derisk their pursuit of this frontier technology and allowed them to provide tens of thousands of rides to the public, which is commendable. It will be interesting to see how the new all-electric Jaguar I-Pace vehicles equipped with Waymo’s fifth-generation self-driving system perform on the road and what kind of impact they will have on the industry.
2. Waabi moves commercialization of driverless trucks into high gear
- Waabi, an AI company focused on self-driving technology, has received an undisclosed strategic investment from Volvo Group Venture Capital (VGVC).
- Waabi’s AI-first approach involves deep learning, probabilistic interference, and complex optimization to develop software capable of complex reasoning.
- The company’s self-driving product, Waabi Driver, is designed for long-haul trucking and aims to solve the scaling problem in autonomous trucking.
- VGVC’s investment will allow Waabi to collaborate with Volvo to discover ways to “unlock opportunities for global commercialization.”
The fact that the company has raised a significant amount of funding from prominent investors suggests that there is growing interest in the potential of autonomous trucking to transform the logistics industry. It will be interesting to see how Waabi and other companies in this spae navigate the regulatory and public perception challenges to make autonomous trucking a reality.
3. Largest ever lidar-for-tolling roll out set to begin in US
- The largest-ever rollout of LIDAR technology for tolling is underway in the US.
- The deployment is being carried out by Conduent Transportation, a provider of automated tolling and parking solutions.
- The LIDAR system is capable of accurately detecting the height and number of axles on a vehicle, which enables it to identify the type of vehicle and apply the correct tolling fee.
- The technology also has the potential to improve safety by detecting overheight vehicles and other obstructions that could damage infrastructure.
- The first system has been installed on the Dulles Toll Road in Virginia, with plans to roll out the technology to other toll roads across the ountry.
The implementation of the largest-ever LIDAR system for tolling in the US is an interesting development in the transportation industry. The use of LIDAR technology can accurately identify and charge tolls based on the type of vehicle, improving efficiency in toll collection. Furthermore, the potential for LIDAR to detect obstacles and improve safety on toll roads is an exciting prospect. It will be interesting to see how this technology will be rolled out and its impact on the transportation industry.
4. Luminar announces new lidar technology and startup acquisition
- Luminar released its machine learning-based AI Engine for object detection in 3D data captured by lidar sensors.
- Luminar recently acquired the lidar division of data storage company Seagate to improve its lidar production process; the acquisition includes lidar-related IP, assets, and a technical team.
- Luminar announced a commercial agreement with Pony.ai to improve the performance and accuracy of Luminar’s AI engine for Pony.ai’s next-generation commercial trucking and robotaxi platforms.
- Luminar combined three semiconductor subsidiaries into a new entity named Luminar Semiconductor. The technologies provided by this entity are used in the aerospace, medical, and communications sectors.
The article highlights Luminar’s efforts to advance lidar-based solutions for automotive, and the multiple announcements suggest that the company is making significant progress. The acquisition of Seagate’s lidar division and the partnership with Scale.ai show that Luminar is taking steps to improve its production process and accelerate the development of its AI engine. The partnership with Pony.ai suggests that there is growing interest in lidar-based solutions for commercial trucking and robotaxi platforms. The creation of Luminar Semiconductor also shows that the technologies provided by the company have applications beyond lidar-based solutions.
5. Valeo announces 2 new major contracts for its third-generation LiDAR
- Valeo’s SCALA 3 LiDAR has been chosen by an Asian manufacturer and an American robotaxi company, adding to the previously announced deal with Stellantis in 2022.
- The orders for SCALA 3 are now worth more than 1 billion euros, and the technology is proven to be reliable and protected by more than 575 patents filed.
- Valeo SCALA 3 LiDAR generates a 3D image of the vehicle’s surroundings, with a detection range of 200 metres for low reflectivity objects and 300 metres for high reflectivity objects.
- SCALA 3 LiDAR expands the domain of operation of conditionally automated vehicles (level 3) to wider areas and higher speeds (up to 130kph) and makes robotaxi (level 4) deployment at scale possible.
It is clear that Valeo is making significant progress in the autonomous driving space with the SCALA 3 LiDAR. The orders worth more than 1 billion euros demonstrate the high demand for the technology, and its advanced features and software modules show the company’s commitment to safety and reliability. Valeo’s expansion into different markets in Europe, Asia, and North America further emphasizes its position as a global leader in the autonomous driving domain.
*Contents above are the opinion of ChatGPT, not an individual nor company