“Mobile IoV” & “Partially Automated Driving” Expected to Be Widely Applied
Yesterday, the organizers and exhibitors of the World Artificial Intelligence Conference 2019 (WAIC 2019) opened the site for the media to pay a visit. The picture shows several people visiting the AWS (Amazon Web Services – a cloud computing service platform under Amazon) booth at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center.
The Intelligent and Connected Vehicles (ICVs) are the product of empowering cars with emerging technologies such as AI. At the AI Governance Forum of the WAIC 2019, two business representatives in this field will give a report to present the progress made during their participation in the construction of Shanghai National Pilot Area for the Innovative Development of New-Generation AI.
Next month, the “New Baojun” IoV system co-built by SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile (SGMW) and Shanghai PATEO is about to enter the market, which will allow the public to experience the intelligence of the first “Mobile (portable) IoV” in China, while rapid progress is being made on the partially automated driving system, an achievement of the collaborative R&D of SAIC Motor and Shanghai Geometry Partner Intelligent Driving Co., Ltd. (Geometry Partner), which will be featured with unmanned parking, automatic car-following on congested road sections and highways, autonomous lane change & detour and other functions.
Principals of both PATEO and Geometry Partner hold that Shanghai needs to step up its efforts to introduce enterprises in the IoV and automated driving fields, while promoting industry chain collaboration and building a stronger ICV industry by means of needs release, cooperation & matching, and so on; furthermore, smart sensing & autonomous driving technologies such as civilian radar can be introduced into the higher education system, to cultivate more talents for this industry.
Cars under R&D Capable of Automatic Parking & Car-Following
At the 2019 Pujiang Innovation Forum, the construction of Shanghai National Pilot Area for the Innovative Development of New-Generation AI was launched. This is a major measure taken by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), P.R.C. and Shanghai Municipal Government to implement the national New-generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan. With regard to the innovative application of AI as well as the test of empowering industries with AI, solutions for transportation, healthcare, community, manufacturing, finance and other fields will take shape in Shanghai in the next five years.
It was learned from Xue Dan, CEO & founder of Geometry Partner, that they are working with SAIC on iterations of the technologies designed for high resolution 4D millimeter-wave vehicle radar, highly integrated radar-vision all-weather sensor fusion module, software module that integrates sensing, decision and execution, software and hardware integration system, etc., and create passenger & commercial vehicles that are oriented at level 3 autonomy and equipped with partially automated driving functions. As the cost of the entire domestically produced autonomous system is strictly controlled, this passenger vehicle model is not expected to be sold at a high price, so likely to enter tens of thousands of families and households.
Autonomous driving is divided into 5 levels: the L5 autonomous vehicles, representative of the highest level of driving automation, are able to realize unmanned driving under all kinds of road conditions; while the L3 ones are only capable of partially automated driving. Shi Songhua, Chief Application Officer & co-founder of Geometry Partner, is a radar expert and used to work in Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST). The L3-oriented passenger vehicles that were researched and developed by his team are equipped with a sensing system consisting of 5 high-resolution millimeter-wave radars, 6 cameras and the like as well as multi-sensor fusion software and intelligent decision-making software, etc. Under the support of this set of domestically produced autonomous software & hardware integration system, the car is endowed with the capabilities of automatic parking & car-following with the positioning accuracy of up to 10-20 cm. This means that it can automatically reverse into most parking spaces; and on congested road sections, the driver no longer has to step on the gas or brake from time to time, but only needs to press a button, then the car will automatically follow the preceding one.
Getting Smartphone and IoV System Connected and Integrated
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This System also boasts many other features, e.g., starting and locking the vehicle through the mobile phone software, so that the owner will no longer need the physical car key. It has been introduced that this is the first “Mobile IoV” system in China. The so-called “Mobile IoV” means getting the smartphone and the IoV system connected and integrated, to use the cell phone to replace the IVI and control the IoV, then the IVI is slimmed down to a screen. This innovation is derived from the conception of Shen Yang, General Manager of SGMW: “Why can’t the IoV access time be extended from 2 hours to 24 hours?” After more than a year of R&D, PATEO has turned it into reality. Ken pointed out that the mobile phone, with its computing power about 20 times that of the IVI, is in a better position to control the IoV, also with its update frequency much higher than that of the IVI, is conducive to the intelligent upgrade of the IoV. “With the IVI becoming needless and abandoned, the ‘Mobile IoV’ could reduce the cost by RMB 800-1,600 yuan per unit for the complete vehicle manufacturers. For an OEM with a production capacity of several million units, that means an increase of 800-1,000 million yuan in profits,” said he.
In Ken’s opinion, the automotive industry will be driven by intelligence in the future, therefore the IoV market will have broad prospects. As an important gateway to mobility, the IoV will be in a position to collect more and more information, and promote the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries including car manufacturing, retail and insurance. With respect to the automated driving, Shi Songhua holds somewhat similar opinions with Ken; at the same time, he suggests that the government departments set up platforms to collect and release the needs of various enterprises in the industry chain, and promote the inter-enterprise linkage & collaboration, thus expanding the automated driving ecosphere with concerted efforts.