|BMW initiates development of L3 autonomous driving in China|
|Volkswagen Group and Xiaopeng Motors Forge Groundbreaking Partnership in China’s Auto Industry|
|Backup Driver in Autonomous Uber Death Pleads Guilty|
|Hyundai And Kia Will Use Rainwater To Keep LiDAR And Self-Driving Sensors Clean|
1. BMW initiates development of L3 autonomous driving in China
- BMW’s China operation is developing Level 3 automated driving technology for the Chinese market.
- The technology aims to allow users to watch live streams and play games using the in-vehicle information and entertainment systems.
- BMW intends to globally release the autonomous system by the end of the year.
- The company is currently validating the technology in China to comply with local regulations.
- Level 3 autonomy, as per the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) rating, permits drivers to take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel at low speeds to focus on other activities.
BMW’s focus on developing Level 3 automated driving technology specifically for the Chinese market shows the increasing interest and investment in autonomous driving in China. The inclusion of in-vehicle entertainment features like live streaming and gaming indicates automakers’ efforts to enhance passenger experiences during autonomous driving.
2. Volkswagen Group and Xiaopeng Motors Forge Groundbreaking Partnership in China’s Auto Industry
- Volkswagen Group and Xiaopeng Motors have signed a long-term technical cooperation agreement in China’s auto industry.
- Xiaopeng Motors will issue approximately 4.99% of Class A ordinary shares valued at about US$700 million to Volkswagen.
- The collaboration aims to jointly develop two B-class electric vehicles based on Xiaopeng G9’s E/E architecture platform, with Xiaopeng providing intelligent driving software and hardware, and Volkswagen responsible for design, production, and manufacturing.
- The partnership focuses on integrating smart driving capabilities and deploying them through over-the-air (OTA) updates.
- Xiaopeng’s export of smart driving technology signifies China’s ability to develop cutting-edge tech independently, breaking away from traditional joint ventures and technology trade with European and American companies.
- Xiaopeng plans to generate revenue through technical service fees for its technology, potentially expanding its customer base beyond Volkswagen and aligning with its ambition to sell cars based on self-driving capabilities.
- The partnership indicates a growing trend in the industry, with other automakers also considering the external supply of autonomous driving technology.
- Volkswagen’s choice to partner with Xiaopeng is influenced by the need for localization, strong vertical integration capabilities, and an opportunity to implement technology quickly.
The partnership between Xiaopeng and Volkswagen exemplifies the increasing trend of automakers collaborating for autonomous driving technology development. Volkswagen’s decision to partner with Xiaopeng after the termination of its collaboration with Argo AI suggests a shift in strategy, emphasizing the importance of immediate usability of technology.
3. Minus Zero, an autonomous mobility startup Takes a Nature-Inspired Approach to AI
- Minus Zero, a Bengaluru-based startup, aims to enhance the adoption of autonomous vehicles (AVs) by incorporating a nature-inspired approach to artificial intelligence (AI).
- The company’s CEO and Co-founder, Gagandeep Reehal, believes that AI needs to think more like a human to be effective for human use.
- Minus Zero trains its AI models using a cognitive approach that allows them to make decisions based on multiple variables and correlations, similar to how the human brain prioritizes data.
- In simulation testing, Minus Zero’s AVs outperformed existing AI models and demonstrated the ability to navigate real-world scenarios almost as well as a human, making safer decisions in some cases.
- The company envisions a future where AVs can communicate with each other, sharing vital information to enhance overall safety.
- Minus Zero partners with manufacturers to create a fleet of AVs, offering AI-powered software, dashcams, and sensors for safe navigation.
- The startup has raised $1.7 million in funding and plans to launch in India, with potential expansion to other locations based on demand.
- Minus Zero showcased their zPod, an all-terrain vehicle capable of achieving Level 5 autonomy, at an event.
Minus Zero’s nature-inspired AI approach shows promise in addressing the challenges of autonomous mobility. With its successful simulation testing and ambitions for Level 5 autonomy, the company is poised to make a notable impact in the AV industry and potentially contribute to the widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles in the future.
4. Backup Driver in Autonomous Uber Death Pleads Guilty
- The backup Uber driver of a self-driving vehicle involved in a fatal collision in 2018 pleaded guilty to endangerment in the first fatal crash with a fully autonomous car.
- The judge sentenced the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, to three years of supervised probation for the collision that killed pedestrian Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona.
- Vasquez had been charged with negligent homicide but pleaded guilty to an undesignated felony, which may be reclassified as a misdemeanor upon completion of probation.
- Vasquez was streaming “The Voice” on her phone and looking down moments before the crash, and she claimed Herzberg “came out of nowhere.”
- The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded Vasquez’s failure to monitor the road was the main cause of the crash.
- The NTSB also cited Uber’s inadequate safety procedures, ineffective oversight of drivers, and deactivation of automatic emergency braking as contributing factors to the crash.
- The death of Herzberg led to Uber pulling its self-driving cars out of Arizona, and the state’s governor prohibited further tests of self-driving cars.
This case serves as a cautionary tale for the autonomous vehicle industry and emphasizes the need for rigorous testing, safety measures, and responsible human oversight to ensure the safe development and deployment of autonomous vehicles on public roads.
5. Hyundai And Kia Will Use Rainwater To Keep LiDAR And Self-Driving Sensors Clean
- Hyundai and Kia have jointly filed a patent for a compressor cooling system to clean exterior vehicle sensors, including LiDAR, using rainwater.
- The system operates a water pump with a rain sensor that activates a wiper when it rains, collecting rainwater flowing down the front window.
- The rainwater cools the air compressor, eliminating the need for a separate cooling tank, and is used to clean the sensor by ejecting liquid and/or air.
- The system also considers appropriate cleaning times to avoid obscuring visibility, such as not cleaning the sensor while reversing.
- LiDAR sensors are known for their accuracy in detecting hazards over long distances, and Hyundai’s luxury arm, Genesis, plans to launch a sedan with LiDAR sensors.
By cleaning the sensors, Hyundai’s system aims to maintain clear vision and accuracy, ultimately enhancing the safety and reliability of advanced driver-assistance technologies. By reusing rainwater instead of relying on additional water sources, Hyundai’s system contributes to sustainability and conservation efforts.
*Contents above are the opinion of ChatGPT, not an individual nor company