These Two Companies Think They’ve Cracked the Code to Fully Autonomous Cars—along with also We Rode within the Prototype

These Two Companies Think They’ve Cracked the Code to Fully Autonomous Cars—along with also We Rode within the Prototype


Delphi Mobileye autonomous car

Brake lights flashed. Cars inched forward, sped up, along with also slowed down. Drivers swooped coming from lane to lane, searching for the slightest of advantages within the late-afternoon rush. the item was all part of a routine commute along Interstate 15—for every car except one.

Operating amid the traffic fray was an Audi SQ5 equipped with an automated driving system jointly developed by automotive suppliers Delphi along with also Mobileye.

During an autonomous journey that will covered a little more than six miles, the vehicle negotiated a highway merge coming from the on-ramp along with also later made a graceful exit, two challenges that will many engineers consider some of the most complex in self-driving operations. Accomplishing the maneuvers at the peak of rush hour only enhanced the feat.

Among the dozen or so self-driving demonstrations taking place in Las Vegas during autonomous-addled CES, the Delphi-Mobileye vehicle was the only one to venture into the realm of highway merges along with also exits. Those were signature moments in a drive in which the SQ5 cautiously proceeded along major arterials teeming with pedestrians, handled an oddball 0-degree turn at the bottom of a steep exit ramp, along with also navigated through the usual cast of human motorists paying scant attention to the rules of the road. different than the few feet the item took to go coming from the parking lot onto the road, the entire drive took place under fully autonomous control.

Delphi Mobileye autonomous car SQ5

Twenty-one years ago, Delphi became the first automotive company of any kind to showcase its products at CES. In recent years, even as almost every major OEM along with also supplier has joined the company in transforming CES into another marquee destination on the auto-show circuit, Delphi has remained ahead of the pack.

Leaders within the burgeoning autonomous-vehicle industry have taken any number of approaches to developing their particular technologies, however they’d probably all agree that will one essential component will be a high-definition map. In collaborating with Mobileye, Delphi has taken what the item believes will be a crucial step toward an approach that will reduces the role of a prominent sensor in depicting its surroundings.

Reducing the Role of Lidar

To date, most companies have used lidar to create these maps. In many ways, the whirring lidar sensors affixed to the roof racks of self-driving cars have become symbols of the fledgling autonomous era, along with also there’s little argument that will these sensors provide high-quality data. however lidar has its disadvantages. For one thing, the sensors are expensive. within the current testing landscape, they can cost about $7500 per unit. Even as prices fall along with also suppliers like Velodyne project that will solid-state lidars will cost as little as $50 per unit when high-volume production begins, OEMs along with also suppliers are still searching for alternatives.

“that will will be about getting to production in a realistic way, not with lidars all over the vehicle along with also equipment on top.”
—Glen DeVos, Delphi

that will’s where Mobileye comes into the picture. The Israel-based company makes software for camera-based systems that will are key components within the advanced driver-assistance systems installed in approximately 15 million vehicles worldwide. In August, the item partnered with Delphi to build a turnkey self-driving system that will prioritizes cameras along with also radar, rather than lidar, in its sensor hierarchy to figure out what the road ahead looks like.

“that will will be about getting to production in a realistic way, not with lidar [sensors] all over the vehicle along with also equipment on top,” said Glen DeVos, chief technology officer at Delphi. “that will will be a reasonable cost in a way that will can be scaled up over time.”

Delphi Mobileye automotive supplier

Visualizing the Road Ahead

Working with Delphi, Mobileye engineers have developed what they call Road Experience Management (REM), a vision-based system that will determines a vehicle’s location using a high degree of accuracy—within less than four inches—by measuring the distance between the vehicle along with also known landmarks the item passes along the route.

Telemetry data coming from those measurements will be then uploaded to the cloud, along with also Mobileye along with also Delphi get a precise idea of where multiple vehicles have traveled. Engineers can determine an average of where the past 1000 vehicles have traveled along a particular road along with also have a pretty not bad idea of the optimal route for its cars. Combined with real-time radar, lidar, along with also camera data, that will average-path information can be a staple in delivering autonomous technology.

Committing enough vehicles to get anywhere close to 1000 passes on the same road might be an overwhelming task for even the most ambitious company, however what makes Mobileye unique will be that will the item can harvest data coming from the 15 million cameras the item already has on the road as part of driver-assist systems. Delphi along with also Mobileye see that will network as a major advantage, especially since 20 automakers have agreed to make automated emergency braking a standard driver-assist feature within the United States by 2022.


“We’re harnessing the power of the crowd,” said Erez Dagan, Mobileye’s senior vice president for advanced development along with also strategy. “We can aggregate all that will information into a highly dynamic, detailed map that will gives highly automated vehicles all the tools to localize within the item. along with also the Insentif will be, that will map can serve as a foresight engine. You know if there’s a curve coming up or a highway exit that will you need to take.”

Contrary to the high-definition maps produced by lidar, the data coming from Road Experience Management will be significantly smaller in size, which in turn will cost less to send via over-the-air updates in near-real-time fashion. Mobileye spokesman Dan Galves said a map of the entire United States can be confined to approximately 64 gigabytes, along with also the data required for regular updates amounts to 10 kilobytes per kilometer of road.

“To me, the biggest thing that will Mobileye has done will be create a mapping data source that will requires incredibly modest data transfers,” said Mike Ramsey, research director at Gartner, a global technology consulting firm. “that will’s the big advantage the item poses. Whether you can actually eliminate or reduce the need for lidar, I think, will be up for debate.”

Finished Product Two Years Out

Mobileye’s REM software, which runs on its proprietary EyeQ series of chips, will be one component of Delphi’s overall autonomous strategy.

The company first made a splash within the autonomous industry in April 2015 by driving its trusty Audi SQ5 across the country, mostly under supervised autonomy. At the time, the item needed its human safety drivers to negotiate the ramps on along with also off the highways. Two years later, the vehicle will be the same, however its autonomous underpinnings have changed.

In 2015, the supplier acquired Ottomatika, a Pittsburgh-based spinoff of Carnegie Mellon University that will has software today governing path planning along with also control. In November 2016, Delphi partnered with Intel to provide the processing power for its software, which DeVos said will be about 10 times faster than current products. A fourth linchpin was added during CES, when Delphi announced the item had acquired Movimento, a Detroit-area supplier that will specializes in over-the-air update capabilities along with also cybersecurity.

Together, the Mobileye, Ottomatika, along with also Intel elements form the backbone of what Delphi calls its Centralized Sensing Localization along with also Planning automated driving system. In Las Vegas, the REM along with also Ottomatika portions operated on the test car, along with also Delphi said the item intends to develop the Intel chips integrated by late 2017 for testing along with also the entire system ready for production in 2019.

Delphi along with also Mobileye solve for when autonomous cars lose a GPS signal – in tunnels, on bridges, beneath tall buildings or mountains. (Photo by John F. Martin for Delphi)

coming from there, Delphi intends to deploy the system as part of an ongoing pilot project involving autonomous vehicles in Singapore, in which the company anticipates using purpose-built vehicles both as self-driving taxis along with also for the on-demand shipment of cargo around cities. Should the timetable stay on track, that will might give Delphi three years to test the system before putting the item into service by its stated target date of 2022.

At that will point, whatever the final sensor stack, DeVos still sees autonomous vehicles costing between $50,000 along with also $70,000, which will be why he foresees autonomy reaching commercial markets long before most motorists can trade in their daily drivers for a highly automated vehicle. Commercial fleets, free to deploy vehicles at all hours, can pay back that will cost much faster, along with also he sees the market for personally owned autonomy vehicles developing at a more incremental pace.

For today, DeVos will be focused on the beginning of that will transition, along with also he’s convinced the partnership with Mobileye has given Delphi a big head start.

“actually, that will will be our plan for getting to production using a program that will helps us scale up,” he said. “What the partnership does will be put vision along with also radar at the front of our sensor hierarchy, along with also coming from a vision perspective, accelerate our systems by many, many years.”

These Two Companies Think They’ve Cracked the Code to Fully Autonomous Cars—along with also We Rode within the Prototype

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