Automotive companies displayed working, production-ready technology for automated and self-driving vehicles Tuesday on the second day of the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The announcements were relatively subdued compared with bombastic predictions made at CES in recent years. But companies stressed that news about real-world applications of technology such as radar and LiDar sensors, fast data processing, 5G and vehicle-to-everything – or V2X – connectivity marks a turning point in bringing self-driving vehicles to public roads.
Here are some of the impactful new products showcased at CES on Tuesday:
In one of many self-driving demonstrations on the opening day of CES, the Swiss supplier offered rides in a sedan equipped with its range of sensors and cameras. The vehicle alerted its driver to approaching sirens, avoided a pedestrian in heavy fog and offered to take control when facial-recognition software saw the driver was distracted. Veoneer has a partnership with Volvo and provides equipment for the advanced driver-assistance systems, or ADAS, in its XC40, XC60 and XC90 SUVs. The sensors are production-ready, and Veoneer plans to collect data from fleets that use its 5G data cloud and geo-fencing technology.
Clarion and Hitachi
The existing partnership between camera specialist Clarion and tech giant Hitachi already provides equipment to Nissan and other automakers. Now the two are developing next-level autonomous driving features, including extremely high-resolution backup cameras and a self-driving electronic control unit, or ECU, that will begin production this year. Clarion also demonstrated a vehicle that can be summoned from a parking spot without a driver and semi-active suspension dampers that react to potholes ahead for a more comfortable ride.
The German automaker shared more about the rider experience for its Vision Urbanetic concept once the urban mobility solution goes into circulation. An exterior turquoise light alerts passengers and other drivers that the van is in motion and displays a digital shadow of pedestrians walking nearby. The same turquoise light is featured on the Vision Urbanetic’s grille in one, two or three rings. Inside, a circular window on the roof called the “Halo” provides an outside view as well as a display that projects other data on planned stops or weather. A companion smartphone app generates an augmented- reality version of the route, surrounding city and information on nearby restaurants and attractions. Passengers even can reserve tables or buy movie tickets using it.
Intel Corp.’s subsidiary announced a partnership deal with the Beijing Public Transport Corporation for autonomous public transportation services. Powering the buses would be MobileEye’s Level 4 autonomous vehicle system known as the AV Series. The tech uses hardware such as cameras, cables, modems and GPS to enable autonomous drive. It’s powered by the company’s upcoming EyeQ5 system-on-chip device. Ongoing development of EyeQ5 and its mapping system, Road Experience Management, and Responsibility-Sensitive Safety, or RSS, algorithm is helping refine the accuracy of its advance driver-assistance systems. The company is now using RSS for automatic preventative braking to slow a car when it detects a potential collision.
The vehicles of tomorrow must handle ever-increasing amounts of data at lightning speed. Texas-based NXP Semiconductors is developing on-board computers and processors that can tackle the load. Two of the most important emerging technologies are V2X communication and the advancement of cameras, radar and LiDar. NXP recently began production of its new EVO processing chip, two of which are in the computer boxes it uses for V2X functions. It also showed off the new high-speed computers that enable radar imaging, which provides even greater range and depth than LiDar.
Not to be outdone, the telecommunications company also is entering the V2X space. The company will install the first examples of Cellular V2X, or C-V2X, in the Las Vegas area, partnering with the city and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada on the project. C-V2X differs from dedicated short-range communications V2X, or DSRC, because it is powered by cellular networks instead of Wi-Fi like DSRC. The goal is to enable vehicles to communicate with pedestrians, infrastructure and other vehicles, which will enhance safety and efficient movement. C-V2X could be ready for industry deployment later this year.