This is an SAE Level 4 autopilot for passengers cars or robo-taxis. It requires the highest level of certification and can drive conventional vehicles such as passengers’ cars.
While functionalities such as highway driving and parking are mature and already tested with customers, other functionalities such as decision making in complex intersections are still under development, but with timelines consistent with the widely accepted roadmaps that Level 4 autonomy won’t be available for at least another year or two.
PRODRIVER CAR will be certified to ISO26262 ASIL D in Q3 2022. We have started the certification process which will be achieved by the downstream trajectory validator software component PROTECT.
real vehicle testing
In this proof of concept with Thyssenkrupp Presta, we demonstrated how PRODRIVER (and in particular its high-speed module previously known as ProCruiser) can deal with a highly dynamical obstacle avoidance maneuver. This is a scenario where an obstacle is detected by a high-speed vehicle too late for full braking only to avoid an accident. PRODRIVER, using the vehicle and tire dynamical models, solves a complex optimization problem, in real time, that results in such evasive maneuver. Despite the unavoidable delays in the mechanical actuators, PRODRIVER successfully and repeatably calculates the trajectories for such double-lane change, which is a challenging maneuver even for an expert driver. The ability to do this is a necessary condition for autonomous vehicle’s safety and acceptance
highway and urban driving
CES 2020 Las Vegas, featured the announcement of Embotech’s collaboration with dSpace, NXP and ANSYS. Our PRODRIVER took part in three demonstrations at our, NXP’s and ANSYS’ booth. While ANSYS demonstrated an integration of PRODRIVER as a back up motion planner in their safety demonstration, we showcased how PRODRIVER can control the high-fidelity simulation provided by dSpace in a complex, mixed scenario. PRODRIVER was running, in real time, on an NXP Bluebox.
This motion planner has all the characteristics of PRODRIVER Car, with the additional consideration about the multi-body nature of the vehicle. Its tuning is optimized to cater for large and variable mass and for variable centre of gravity location, as well as other truck specific parameters.
PRODRIVER Truck is still under development but simulation results are already available from a project run with an OEM.
PRODRIVER Pod is likely to be used in public area, hence high certification levels will be required. However, the less dynamical nature of such application and the more controlled application area will make this motion planner be the first one deployed in public spaces.
This is a motion planner capable of not only driving but also coordinating multiple vehicles. The algorithm is typically executed in a cloud computer and a safe communication link sends actuators commands to the vehicles. There are typically two use cases: vehicle logistics and intra-warehouse logistics. In the former, localization sensrs are normally placed in the infrastructure with the only requirement for vehicles to have drive-by-wire capabilities.
Depending on the level of control of the logistic center, ISO26262 ASIL B could be the acceptable level of certification required, making this product quicker to market. We will achieve ASIL B certification in Q3 2021 via our product PROTECT
We are currently testing this product with an automotive German OEM.
The simulation video shows an example of the coordination of various vehicles in a complex environment.
Although this is only a simulation, the challenge of coordinating multiple dynamic vehicles is clear. In reality, expensive sensors such as LIDARS are installed in the infrastructure. A perception system, able to generate an environment model, runs in a cloud server. Via a secure communication link, each vehicle is connected to the cloud. The coordination algorithm and the motion planning algorithms for each vehicle are also executed in the cloud. Each vehicle then receives a trajectory to follow via its on-board motion controller.
PRODRIVER SPECIAL VEHICLES
This is a motion planner with more open characteristics. It can be tuned to drive unconventional vehicles from 400 ton haul tracks to articulated and multiple-axle vehicles.
Because of our model-based approach to motion planning, we are able to accommodate a range of vehicle configurations by changing vehicle models and tuning for the desired behavior. This motion planner is usually developed in close collaboration with the customer and adapted for the specific use case. It’s intended use is for gated areas.
We have deployed this product on multiple vehicles already, which are used on a daily basis by a mining company for automating operations.
This motion planner automates vehicle dynamic testing where repeatability is essential. It’s a software substitute of driving robots that are currently used to perform such tests. Not having to use robots increase flexibility and reduces costs.
Because testing is performed in a controlled environment, ISO26262 ASIL B would be an acceptable level of certification required.
We are currently testing this product with a German automotive OEM.
This is a motion planner designed to drive vehicles off the highway in un-smooth and low friction surfaces, often encountered in mining and constructions sites. PRODRIVER off-road has the ability to deal with low and frequently changing tire friction coefficients as well as higher level of uncertainty of the drivable space.
Accurate system parameters are essential for such applications. We have developed a set of system identification algorithms that are normally used off-line to collect the required data and generate parameters that are either not available or difficult to measure.
We are currently testing this product with OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers.
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