Video: Driverless Cars Spin Out on a Georgia Track

Burney Simpson

Check out this video from Georgia Tech of an autonomous car test.

It’s not exactly C.L. Pritchett on a dirt track. Course, CL didn’t have algorithms, GPUs, and sensors.

The Georgia Tech researchers are pushing autonomous vehicles to their limits to find how much speed and rough handling they can take before losing control.

These tests, however, stand out from a typical Mcity autonomous run. Georgia’s two test vehicles are one-fifth scale size, and the run at speeds up to the equivalent of 90 mph for a model car.

The cars run at top speed, spin into turns, drift, and even try to jump, according to the Georgia Tech News Center.

The scientists hope to learn just how far an autonomous vehicle can go before it careens out of control.

Learning that can help develop better autonomous cars, according to the researchers from the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering (AE) and the School of Interactive Computing (IC) at Georgia Tech.

“An autonomous vehicle should be able to handle any condition, not just drive on the highway under normal conditions,” said Panagiotis Tsiotras, an AE professor. “One of our principal goals is to infuse some of the expert techniques of human drivers into the brains of these autonomous vehicles.”

(That’s kinda what the Bandit did with the Trans Am. To be clear, the test cars are not chased by Sheriff Buford T. Justice ).

The custom-built vehicles are about three feet long and weigh about 48 pounds.

They use algorithms and are outfitted with sensors to keep them firmly earthbound. The researchers call their method MPPI, for model predictive path integral control.

The MPPI algorithm continuously samples data coming from global positioning system (GPS) hardware, inertial motion sensors, and other sensors, all processed by a GPU on the vehicle.

The system conducts real-time analysis of possible vehicle movements, and controls handling decisions to keep it on the track.

The research was conducted at the school’s Autonomous Racing Facility, and was sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Office.

Here’s a video for dirt track fans.

Photo: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech. Left to right Georgia Tech students Sarah Selim, Brian Goldfain, Paul Drews, Grady Williams.

Top 5 Driverless Startups – AI from Budapest to San Francisco

Burney Simpson

Agree or disagree – the top 5 self-driving startups are AdasWorks,,, Nauto, and nuTonomy?

That’s the conclusion of the new analysis from CB Insights “Who’s Who in the Rise of Autonomous Driving Startups.”

CB Insights selected the five by using its ‘CB Insights Company Comparison Tool’ to look at small, early-stage startups that have raised funds this year. (It chose to disregard Zoox because it has already raised $100 million with a goal of garnering more than $200 million.)

Each firm has its own zing but the term artificial intelligence regularly arises as core to its work. In brief:

  • Budapest-based AdasWorks develops advanced driver assistance systems software for vision, artificial intelligence and navigation technologies. It has raised more than $8 million from such investors as Bosch Venture Capital, Nvidia, and Draper Associates.
  • San Francisco-based plans to sell an aftermarket autonomous kit so owners of standard vehicles can get in the game. It is led by George Hotz, and backed with $3.1 million from Andreesen Horowitz.
  • Artificial intelligence software creator was founded by a group at Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. It was recently granted a license to test its vehicles on California roads. It has raised $12 million from undisclosed investors.
  • Nauto is based in Palo Alto, Calif., and has raised nearly $15 million from Draper Nexus Ventures, Playground Global, others. Nauto says it is building the “onramp to autonomous driving” with its “artificial-intelligence powered” connected camera network utilizing the Cloud. Targets fleets, insurance companies, professional drivers.
  • MIT spinoff nuTonomy is in the midst of testing autonomous taxis in a Singapore business park. It has raised nearly $20 million from Fontinalis Partners, Samsung Ventures, others.


CB Insights chose the five startups after it “mines terabytes of data and knowledge contained in patents, venture capital financings, M&A transactions, hiring, startup and investor websites, news sentiment, social media chatter, hiring activity, and more.”

Photo: Mercedes-Benz R&D Center by Design Milk, 2015.




Nvidia Video of Self-Driving Car in Rain, Unmarked Lanes

A new video from Nvidia researchers offers an extended view of an autonomous car driving on public roads in

Nearly all of the 14-minute video presents the point of view of a car observing the autonomous vehicle. There are a few minutes showing the autonomous car’s view as it travels a curving country road.

The researchers used an Nvidia DevBox and Torch 7 for training and an Nvidia Drive PX self-driving car using a Torch 7. The system operates at 30 frames per second.

The video shows the vehicle on a multilane highway, a curving country road, moving through a tight curve, driving in the rain, and on an unmarked dirt road.

The video was shot around Matawan and the Cheesequake State Park in N.J.

Much of the video shows the autonomous vehicle in a business park, and in what appears to be a parking lot that may have blocked off standard-driving vehicles.

The new video is linked to a paper “End to End Learning for Self-Driving Cars” from 13 Nvidia researchers based in the firm’s regional office in Holmdel, N.J., an old Bell Labs site.

The paper abstract reports the researchers “trained a convolutional Neural Network (CNN) to map raw pixels from a single-front-facing camera directly to steering commands.”

This system soon learned to drive on local roads “with and without lane markings,” on highways, and on unpaved roads, the researchers report.

The researchers says their system automatically learns how to detect road features with minimal human intervention.

They conclude that their system will bring better performance and smaller systems because “the internal components self-optimize to maximize overall system performance, instead of optimizing human-selected intermediate criteria, e.g., lane detection. Such criteria understandably are selected for ease of human interpretation which doesn’t automatically guarantee maximum system performance.

“Smaller networks are possible because the system learns to solve the problem with the minimal number of processing steps.”

Driverless Innovators Gather at Autonomous Track Day

Burney Simpson

A blue-chip group of autonomous gearheads will gather in northern California May 28-29 for the first ever Autonomous Track Day at Thunderhill Raceway Park.

This gathering of the autonomous tribes is in Willow, Calif., about 175 miles north of San Jose.

According to the Self Racing Cars website, organizers are seeking to attract those that want to test autonomous vehicles, drivetrain innovation, sensors and cameras, software and algorithms, connected cars, and other technology surrounding driverless technology.

Organizers list the following as signed on to attend:

Custom engineering firm Ansync Labs,

Hardware house AutonomouStuff,

Autonomous car developer,

Electric race car builder EV Race Systems,

Camera and cloud sensor developer Nauto,

Software platform PolySync from Harbrick,

Auto OEM Renovo Motors,

‘Stabalized’ camera firm Revl,

LiDAR firm Scanse,

3D camera house StereoLabs,

Autonomous shuttle/car Varden Labs,

Venture capital guys Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory,

Autonomous car developer Zoox,

That much brain power in one place could tilt the Earth’s axis.

The event lead is Joshua Schachter, the founder of Angel Investor and creator of the community bookmarking website, and Tasty Labs. Yahoo purchased in 2005, and Walmart Labs acquired Tasty Labs in 2013.

Schachter said in an email that the event is “a test day. There will be sessions for vehicles to test on track. There are also sessions for the data acquisition companies to record data for publishing.”

The Track Day is not intended for racing, though “there may be informal lap time measurements,” according to Schachter. “I don’t think any of the cars can deal with other vehicles on track yet.”

Other Track Day organizers include Harbrick’s Josh Hartung, Renovo CEO Chris Heiser, and Innovect’s Mark Dadgar.

There may be future events, even racing, if the first Track Day goes well.

Image by Renovo Motors.

Mobileye, Peloton, Savari Named Top Young Innovators

Burney Simpson

Influential driverless firms Mobileye, Peloton and Savari have been chosen as three of the 60 young firms worldwide that are leading technology innovation.

The list of 60 Young and Reinvented Companies Set to Transform the Technology Marketplace was released recently by ABI Research, an international business research and analysis firm that covers technology.

Firms chosen were not “mega companies driving core markets” but instead were those “smaller–harder to see–young and reinvented companies that are enabling real, sustainable change from the margins of industry,” according to ABI.

Savari was chosen due to its mix of technology in the Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure communications arena (V2I), said James Hodgson, industry analyst, autonomous driving and location tech, with ABI.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Savari provides onboard units for vehicles along with the street-infrastructure devices needed for V2I communication to work, said Hodgson.

And Savari has some bottom-line business connections that give it an advantage, he said.

It is on the preferred vendor list of the U.S. Department of Transportation as connected tests rollout. Plus its contract with Cadillac times well as the auto OEM prepares to release the 2017 CTS with V2V communication technology.

Mobileye bends the concept of the 60 list a bit, acknowledges Hodgson, as it is a publicly-traded firm that’s comparably larger than some of the other 60 firms.

He likes what he calls Mobileye’s realistic approach to creating a map of the world by using cameras on vehicles. Mobileye announced at the CES 2016 in January its plan to partner with GM, Volkswagen, and other auto OEMs to create maps for autonomous vehicles.

That lays the groundwork for images that can support semi-autonomous vehicles in the 2025-2030 timeframe.

In comparison, competitors like HERE seek to use LiDAR and other sensors to build maps.

“We’re not ready for that, there aren’t enough vehicles on the road with LiDAR,” argues Hodgson.

The work of Peloton also fits the realistic approach to implementing autonomous and connected technology, said Hodgson.

Peloton’s Truck Platooning System electronically couples pairs of freight-hauling trucks by using V2V communications, radar-based braking systems, and proprietary vehicle control algorithms.

Tests have shown paired trucks save on fuel due to better aerodynamics, and the monitoring of the vehicles means safer driving.

“This technology makes for a safer, more efficient way of moving goods around,” said Hodgson. “This is not 20-30 years from now. It’s achievable in the short term. It can transform its industry.”

Daimler Gets Moovel-ing on Mobility As A Service

Burney Simpson

Daimler launched a Mobility as a Service (MAAS) firm in North America called moovel, with promises to offer a choice of transportation options at the push of a smartphone app button.

Moovel is designed to link riders with providers of public transportation, car-sharing, ridesharing, bike sharing, and other forms of transportation.  

Moovel was launched as a pay-as-you-go service, with consumers having the ability to use their smartphone as a payment device for trips.

The concept of MAAS is evolving. In general it refers to a subscription-based, phone app-accessible mix of transportation options for users. The mix can include public transit, privately-held firms like Uber and Lyft, bike share programs, traditional taxi firms, and car-share firms like car2go.

Major auto OEMs are investing in MAAS-style services following the growth of non-traditional transportation offerings, especially among younger consumers.

Daimler operates car2go in about 30 cities in Europe and North America. Rival BMW announced this month it had begun operating its ReachNow car-sharing service in Seattle, and would possibly expand it to nine more cities (See “Siren of Mobility Entices BMW, Jaguar, Peugeot”).


Daimler said its launch of moovel is in response to the growth of urban populations worldwide, and to the rise in rides on public transportation. In 2014 there were nearly 11 billion public transportation rides, the highest ever, says Daimler.

For riders, moovel will offer mobile ticketing and payments for public transit agencies. For transit agencies, moovel helps them integrate with ”last mile/first mile options like bike share and on-demand car services,” according to Daimler.

The creation of moovel comes from Daimler’s 2014 purchase of transportation app provider RideScout. Last June, RideScout bought GlobeSherpa, a mobile book and ticketing service for public transit.

Moovel inherits from its two parents a number of agreements with public transit agencies in major metropolitan areas.

For example, in the Chicago area moovel has a relationships with the Chicago Transit Authority, the suburban PACE bus service and the metro-wide Metra train service.

In California, moovel has deals with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System and the North County Transit District.

Plans call for moovel to eventually offer Ridetap, a software development kit or SDK, that app developers can build on to assist users get to their final destination.

RideTap is currently operating only in a private beta mode in Portland, Ore. A program there allows users to request a Lyft ride, or reserve a car2go. Moovel says RideTap will be launched more widely later this year.

In Germany the moovel app offers access to car2go, the car-sharing firm Flinkster, the taxi booking and payments app mytaxi, the German railway company Deutsche Bahn, and public transportation, says Daimler.

Nat Parker, co-founder and former CEO of GlobeSherpa, is now CEO of moovel NA. Joseph Kopser, co-founder and former CEO of RideScout, is now president of moovel Group GmbH.

New $30 Million Challenge to Cut Future-Car Energy Use

Burney Simpson

Think you have a plan that will reduce the energy consumption of autonomous and connected vehicles? The U.S. Department of Energy may want to invest in your future-car project.

Be prepared to move fast. The deadline for turning in a project concept paper is May 24, 2016.

The DOE announced today it will provide up to $30 million in funding to spur those who are creating new technologies for automated and connected vehicles that will cut their energy consumption by at least 20 percent.

There may be one, multiple, or no awards, according to the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the office that is overseeing the project. “Awards may vary from $250,000 to $10 million,” ARPA-E reports.

This project is called NEXTCAR which stands for Next Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated on-Road Vehicles. (I get NGETCARV). ARPA refers to the vehicles as future-car.

Visit this DOE brief for more information. It includes a link to a NEXTCAR FOA Concept Paper pdf that provides project details and application requirements.

“We must continue to invest in programs that encourage the scientific community to think boldly and differently about our nation’s energy future,” ARPA-E Director Dr. Ellen D. Williams said in a press release. “The NEXTCAR program’s focus on exploiting automation to improve energy efficiency in future vehicles and the ROOTS program’s exploration of carbon capture using crops demonstrate ARPA-E’s unique and forward looking approach to energy innovation.”

ARPA is also providing $30 million in funding opportunities for ROOTS, the Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration (That does come out as ROOTs). It has to do with developing crop breeding approaches that help plants store more carbon in the ground, and that should reduce emissions of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas.

(I have enough trouble growing tomatoes.)

ARPA-E advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. Awardees are developing new ways to generate, store, and use energy.

Congress established ARPA after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the agency that helped to create GPS, the stealth fighter, and computer networking.

eTrans Launches V2X Software for Automated, Connected Vehicle Apps

eTrans Systems, a leading developer of software solutions for connected and automated vehicles, has launched VSDP, a revolutionary new V2X Software Development Platform.

VSDP provides tools for the rapid development, testing and maintenance of cutting-edge V-to-Everything (V2X) and Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) solutions. It features robust apps for DSRC messaging, input data generation, simulation, and resulting data analysis.

VSDP allows for applications to be coded once for a variety of hardware platforms including Renesas, Cohda Wireless, and Arada/Lear.

Users can apply VSDP’s integrated test environment for testing in the lab, over the air and on the road. This translates into a fast turnaround of system changes. In addition, a variety of display options means quick insight into what is happening within your application.

“With VSDP, companies can cut down their development and test time by over 50 percent,” says Robert Baily, eTrans Systems CTO. “That means faster time to market and lower costs.”

Fairfax, Virginia-based eTrans Systems specializes in the development of secure, connected vehicle systems for driverless cars, connected vehicles, and other technologies. Company founders each have over twenty years of experience in software solutions, software development and testing.

The VSDP consists of three main components:

  • The VSDP Driver is a set of tools for driving input data into applications. It works with both simulated data and captured, over-the-air data, and includes apps to generate over-the-air test data.
  • The VSDP Chassis is an application environment and middleware that handles core V2X functions. Its APIs include ASN.1 message handling and flow, unit conversion and management, and Bluetooth and Ethernet backend communication.
  • The VSDP Mirror offers Display, Analysis, and Data Capture tools for verification of applications.

eTrans’ VSDP is configurable and flexible, and can be installed locally or via the Cloud. Built-in tools allow for communication to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s warehouse and clearinghouse.


Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Growing in the EU

Burney Simpson

The Mobility as a Service concept is gaining adherents in Europe.

The start-up MaaS Finland garnered 2.2 million Euros ($2.4 million) in an early funding round last month with hopes of going back to investors for more this fall, according to release from the firm.

French transportation giant Transdev and Turkey’s commercial auto manufacturer Karsan Otomotiv Sanayii and Ticaret AS, each own 20 percent of MaaS Finland.

MaaS Finland officially opened its doors in February. It plans to deliver its services in Finland and two other countries this year, then expand in 2017.

Proponents believe MaaS will bring greater efficiency to transportation services, lower public reliance on autos, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The European Mobility as a Service Alliance says that MaaS offers travelers “tailor made mobility solutions based on their individual needs. … for the first time, easy access to the most appropriate transport mode or service will be included in a bundle of flexible travel service options for end users.”


Consumers access their MaaS provider through a smartphone app. The provider creates and manages a trip for the user by finding the right solution with a combination of public transport, car-sharing, ride-sharing, taxi, and bicycle-sharing.

In one business model the gateway firm purchases the rides/transport on a volume basis from the individual providers. The gateway firm also conducts data analysis on the subscriber’s preferences, and uses the information to develop more efficient trips for the customer.

The consumer receives either a single bill for the trip, or becomes a monthly subscriber to the service.

The MaaS concept takes advantage of the move away from car ownership by millennial consumers, and the corresponding growth in transportation sharing services like Uber and BikeShare.

“(A)sk yourself: ‘What would happen if I gave up my car?’” MaaS Finland CEO Sampo Hietanen, who holds a 10 percent stake in the company, said in a release.

“For one hundred euros [per month], you could have unlimited access to public transport services plus limited access to taxi rides and a rented car for a given number of kilometers.”

Other MaaS Finland shareholders include InMob Holdings of Cyprus; Neocard; Korsisaari; GoSwift; MaaS Australia; Goodsign; IQ Payments; and Delta Capital Force, according to a company release.

The European Mobility as a Service Alliance was launched at the 2015 ITS World Congress in Bordeaux, France. The Alliance was founded by 20 organizations, including AustriaTech, Ericsson, Helsinki Business Hub, Connekt, MOBiNET, Xerox, and ITS Finland and ITS Sweden.

The early provider UbiGo tested its MaaS service in Gothenburg, Sweden. It reported 70 subscribers made 12,000 transactions in six months. No customers cancelled the service after the test. Volvo was one of the partners in the test.

UbiGo says consumers pay only for what they use, without the hassle of owning a car.

Last May UbiGo was awarded the Promising Innovation award by the International Transport Forum of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development.

Photo: (Untitled) by Caitlin H, 2011.

Valeo’s Intuitive Driving = Autonomous Driving + Connected Car + HMI: a Q&A with Amine Taleb

Editor’s note: This is another in DT’s series of Q&As with leaders in the automated, connected, and driverless vehicle industry.

ATalebMug1Dr. Amine Taleb is the manager of advanced projects for Valeo’s Comfort and Driving Assistance (CDA) Business Group in North America, where he leads the advanced engineering in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) applications. He has more than 20 years’ experience in advanced technologies with technical expertise in the opto-electronic field. Dr. Taleb graduated from the University of Michigan with a doctorate in Physical Chemistry.  

 Valeo is an automotive supplier dedicated to the reduction of CO2 emissions and to the development of intuitive driving. In 2014, the company generated sales of $16.7 billion. It has 133 production sites, 50 research and development centers and 15 distribution platforms in 29 countries.

Sustainability is a major goal for Valeo. How do you incorporate sustainability in your development of autonomous technology?

Research and development plays a fundamental role in such a goal, by innovating in areas that lead to greener and more efficient mobility. This is why Valeo is focusing its efforts on developing solutions for the reduction of CO2 emissions and pioneering “Intuitive Driving,” which includes autonomous driving as one of its three pillars. The two other pillars are connected car and advanced human-machine interface (HMI). To accomplish this, recruiting the best talent and building a solid expertise foundation are key. In addition, listening to the consumer and partnering with technology leaders, who share common principles, are key towards these goals.

SightstreamCarAValeo in December purchased the German firm peiker, known for its expertise in mobile communications technology. How will this help Valeo as countries build V2V and V2I communications?

The acquisition of peiker is another step on our journey towards the connected car. Peiker is a market leader in automotive telematics connectivity solutions, and coupled with our on-board electronic know-how, it will help us develop innovative vehicle connectivity and telematics solutions. One of the examples in connectivity is V2X, which is gaining more and more traction worldwide, with the U.S. leading the V2V efforts for safety applications. We see V2X as a key element towards the connected and automated car, and also towards smarter mobility. This is very much in line with our vision of Intuitive Driving.

In November you partnered with Capgemini to offer mobility for corporate fleets and car rental firms. Where is this available? How does it work?

Valeo InBlue technology is a vehicle smart-key access system using smartphone technology. One feature is secure virtual key sharing suited for various car-sharing models. Capgemini has an expertise in digital solutions and IT integration that will enable the development of customizable mobility solutions with applications for corporate fleets and car rental.

The InBlue mobility solution will be tested out on a smaller scale with Parcours, a French leasing services company. InBlue is packed with an extensive suite of tools such as vehicle access and start, geo-localization, remote vehicle data access, etc., which will benefit end-users and fleet administrators.

You showcased a number of forward-thinking products at CES 2016. Your Sightstream camera system is designed to replace rear view mirrors. How does Sightstream work? Can this be sold in the U.S. where vehicles must have rear view mirrors? What clients are using the technology?

Sightstream7smallThe Valeo Sightstream camera system relies on the combination of high resolution camera and display to fulfill, to a minimum, the visibility requirements of conventional exterior mirrors. The exterior mounted camera projects the captured rear view scene onto the display located in the interior of the car. Innovations that improve vehicle aerodynamics are one of the keys to achieving the U.S. regulatory fuel efficiency target of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Sightstream enables automakers to improve aerodynamic drag by five percent which improves overall vehicle fuel economy.

Compared to conventional exterior mirrors, Sightstream also provides an enhanced visibility based on its wider field of view, which can potentially lead to the elimination of the blind spot. Other advantages are improved visibility in daytime, nighttime, and even in adverse weather driving. This technology may also increase driver situational awareness when other advanced safety sensors are added.

Rearview mirrors are federally regulated safety devices so any updates to the standards are necessary to allow such technology on the road. The Sightstream camera system utilizes mature technologies already in production. Because of the benefits I have highlighted, and with the maturity of these key components, it is just a matter of time before we would see camera monitoring systems in production cars, potentially as early as 2017 in Europe.

Cruise4U manages steering, accelerating and braking, and it allows drivers to switch between manual and autonomous control. What clients are using this, and when will it be available?

Valeo Cruise4U is a demonstration vehicle that highlights the simple integration of two unique ADAS sensors, namely front camera and Scala laser scanner, which are key building blocks for the sensor fusion architecture of Level 2 and higher automated driving. Both of these sensors are production intent technologies with the Scala to be launched by a major OEM in early 2017. While I am not at liberty to discuss details of any ongoing collaboration we might have with any carmaker, we are a key partner to major OEMs in the development of automated parking and automated driving solutions.

Scala was developed with Ibeo, Mobileye, and IAV. What is Valeo’s approach to partnering with other tech providers?

The Valeo Scala laser scanner provides unique features such as its wide field of view, detection range, high precision in object detection and tracking while driving up to highway speeds. Also, objects in its field of view, moving or not, are classified, thus enabling a precise path planning and maneuver.

The Scala was developed for automotive high-volume OEM applications through our exclusive partnership with Ibeo, a leader in high-tech laser scanner technology for automotive applications. In addition, the front camera, such as the one used on Cruise4U, will take advantage of Mobileye’s EyeQ chip vision technology.

By partnering with IAV, an engineering firm and vehicle integrator, we were able to integrate these advanced sensors in our Cruise4U.

In a very fast moving market, strategic partnerships with world leading companies are essential to effectively build up cutting edge capabilities necessary for autonomous driving technologies.

Your Mobius 2 product also allows for switching from manual to autonomous driving. With Mobius 2 the driver can interact with their tablet or smartphone while in autonomous mode. Is the world ready for this much distraction?

WebviewA-smallOne of the benefits of automated driving is not only to provide safe driving, but also to eliminate the driving boredom of being stuck in a slow-moving traffic or mundane long distance highway driving. Mobius enhances the user experience, while keeping safety in mind. By mirroring the smart device to the instrument cluster during autopilot mode, the driver is able to interact with it using the reconfigurable steering wheel switches. That ensures the driver’s eyes are in the direction of the road and his hands are in proximity of the steering wheel. That allows for a very quick takeover, if requested by the vehicle. That is important, particularly for Level 3 automation.

The Valeo Mobius was tested on a simulator at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. Test drivers’ takeover time was measured while interacting with the smart device via the Mobius, versus holding the smart device in their hands while the car was in autopilot. The results have clearly shown that takeover via the Mobius was 500 milliseconds faster than when holding the device in their hands. This could mean life or death at highway speed.

Mobius 2 has a camera monitoring the driver for signs of distraction and fatigue. Has there been pushback from clients/consumers on technology that watches the driver?

WebViewC-smallThe Mobius cockpit concept was subjected to tests by more than 60 end-users during worldwide clinics last year. We have not heard or felt pushback by any of them for having the camera monitoring their distraction or signs of fatigue. On the contrary, and especially in the takeover transition phase from automated to manual, end-users expected to be monitored and validated as capable to take back control of the car. The benefit seen by the driver exceeded the perceived annoyance of being monitored. In our findings, driver monitoring was found to be necessary for the increased trust in automated driving.

Moreover, if we focus on safety benefits of a driver-monitoring camera, in addition to other types of monitoring sensors such as steering wheel sensing in the Mobius, I believe these have an enormous advantage in protecting the driver from being distracted by smartphone and tablet usage while driving in manual mode. Every car should be equipped with such technologies to ensure the “eyes on the road” and “hands on the wheel,” and deter the crashes and fatalities caused by such distractions.

How do you break down doors at auto OEMs that aren’t using your driverless technology?

With our global footprint, and innovation in our DNA, our goal is to be partners with all the major OEMs, as well as emerging ones, in accomplishing autonomous driving. While each OEM might have different strategy towards automated driving, our innovation roadmap allows us to adapt our functions and products for each customer. The Scala is a good example of our strategy as it is the first automotive-grade laser scanner, soon to be on the market for automated driving.

To summarize, the car of tomorrow should be safer, cleaner, and more intelligent, and driving should be more fun and enjoyable. That’s our Intuitive Driving approach.

Thanks Amine.


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