What happens if self-driving cars don't arrive this decade?

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As a companion to yesterday's article about why the death of self-driving has been exaggerated here is an article asking what happens if the doomsayers are right, if people can't pull off a usable robcar and robotaxi for a decade more more.

There are lots of easier, more tractable opportunities out there, and I list a number of them.

Read What happens if self-driving cars don't arrive this decade?

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Geely Holding's premium electric vehicle (EV) brand, ZEEKR, announced via its WeChat the self-driving all-electric vehicle model it co-developed with Waymo made its official debut on Nov. 17 in Los Angeles, the U.S.

The cooperative model is built on the basis of the ZEEKR M-Vision, which will be prepared for volume production in 2024, the EV maker said.

The latest model premiere marks a significant advancement for the cooperation ZEEKR and Waymo formed in December 2021. Per the agreement, both parties would collaborate on the development of a new battery-electric vehicle (BEV) for deployment in the Waymo One autonomous ride-hailing fleet in the U.S. The model rides on ZEEKR's SEA-M architecture.

ZEEKR claimed the SEA-M as the world's first BEV architecture specifically designed for self-driving mobility service, boasting an exceptional expansibility available for a wide wheelbase range of 2,700mm to 3,300mm and diverse seating arrangements. The architecture has access to Level 4 and higher levels of autonomous driving systems, and is compatible with various autonomous driving technology solutions.

The ZEEKR M-Vision is jointly designed by ZEEKR's R&D facility, namely CEVT (China Europe Vehicle Technology Centre) in Gothenburg, Sweden, and an R&D team from China. It will have two driving solutions, under which a steering wheel and the steering-wheel-free design will be offered, respectively.

The ZEEKR M-Vision features an advent-garde capsule-style front design and power sliding doors that make passengers easily get into and out of the vehicle.

ZEEKR said the ZEEKR M-Vision features a super-long designed service life of 5 years/500,000 kilometers, which indicates 16 hours of non-stop driving per day.

17 miles per of operation per hour for 16 hours a day is 3 fares per hour per in-service vehicle.

Stellantis Accelerates Autonomous Driving Journey with Acquisition of aiMotive

Volkswagen Delays Key Trinity Project which may delay Level 4 consumer AV.

Volkswagen Group new CEO Oliver Blume plans to push back the automaker's key Trinity flagship EV project from 2026 toward the end of the decade because new software for the project won’t be ready in time. ....

... VW software unit Cariad “will gain some time” to work on a new cross-brand platform and architecture, dubbed SSP, Cariad’s Chief Executive Dirk Hilgenberg Hilgenberg said in an internal letter to employees seen by Bloomberg.

The comments suggest Volkswagen is taking a cautionary path in developing the SSP architecture, which is also supposed to enable Level 4 autonomous driving.

www dot teslarati dot com/vw-autonomous-cars-mainstream-2030/

"Waymo's lost ~$11 bil cumulatively and Cruise ~$7 bil
....
Uber operates at ~~100,000 times the commercial trip scale of Waymo & Cruise."

Continental will offer ADAS solutions based on the CV3 SoC from Ambarella.

Continental’s ADAS systems Ambarella SoC will be showcased for the first time at CES 2023 in Las Vegas in January 2023.

CV3 has been in the hands of potential customers for evaluation for only 4-5 months and is the first announced design win for Ambarella's SoC, unveiled back in January of 2022 at CES.

Competitive SoCs from Qualcomm and Mobileye also debuted at CES 2022.

not exactly timid writing

www dot haaretz dot com/haaretz-labels/cutting-edge/2022-04-27/ty-article-labels/trailblazing-self-driving-into-the-tangible-present/00000180-85e5-d95b-ada5-8fff32490000

Israel based Autobrains, Ambarella, and Continental have all been exploring technologies with each other for the last 12-24 months.

Continental, Toyota, BMW iVentures, as well as Knorr-Bremse AG have an investment in Autobrains.

Autobrains has developed 3 commercial perception software stacks.

Autobrains is said to have between 120 and 150 employees.

article labeled as promoted content is at least honest.

"However, it’s been reported that Mobileye and others have several shortcomings – most notably problems with biases and errors which lead to an inability to cope well with edge cases, as well as high power and computing requirements, and a problematic gap between perception to decision.

All the while, Autobrains has been quietly developing an ADAS system at accelerated pace that is not only significantly safer than competing solutions but is also dramatically less expensive.

After being tested on millions of miles by top automakers, Autobrains has proven itself to be safer than the competition. In particular, it demonstrated superior performance in edge cases, including bad weather conditions and incidents where pedestrians are hard to discern, to name a few.

Along with improved safety, Autobrains’ additional advantage is the significantly lower costs that it offers its customers. By reducing reliance on labeled data, Autobrains’ technology requires far less computing power and can be produced at a fraction of the cost of current deep learning systems on the market (up to 40% lower).
...
Autobrains’ self-learning AI operates in a fundamentally different way from traditional deep learning systems. Autobrains’ signature-based approach simulates how the human brain functions, shifting from labels to generic representations. The sensory information is indexed by compressed, generic neural responses and later used for various semantic tasks. This lean approach is highly efficient, and more robust in edge cases than traditional approaches. With self-learning replacing supervised learning, neural networks are not reliant on extensive manually labeled data and it does not require the massive brute force typical of supervised learning AI – so the learning process is much quicker and immune against human error.

...Unlike supervised artificial intelligence, Autobrains’ system learns from the surrounding environment in real-time and updates its databases accordingly.
...
As a result of the technology’s successful testing and the global interest that it is attracting, Autobrains partnered with the most innovative companies in the automotive industry. To this end, Autobrains has already signed several important collaboration agreements with leading Tier-1s, automakers and Silicon players to work together to make autonomous driving safe and affordable for all."

12 firms initiated coverage

Citigroup Initiates Coverage On Mobileye Global with Buy Rating, Announces Price Target of 77

Evercore ISI Starts Mobileye at Outperform

Mizuho Securities Starts Mobileye at Buy

BofA Starts Mobileye at Neutral

Cowen Starts Mobileye at Outperform

RBC Capital Starts Mobileye at Outperform

Goldman Sachs Starts Mobileye at Equalweight

Morgan Stanley Starts Mobileye at Equalweight

Raymond James Starts Mobileye at strong buy

Needham Starts Mobileye at Buy

Autobrains IP (unsupervised learning in perception algorithms) must work if Continental and Ambarella have incorporated the technology.

"The budding relationship soured as Ford and VW grew wary that Amazon would divert Argo’s talent and attention, said the people, who asked not to be identified revealing internal deliberations. The companies also struggled to come up with a governance structure for how they would share control of Argo. Additionally, the retail giant was turned off by the high cost of Argo’s technology, one of the people said."

"Argo and Amazon first began working together with a pilot project in Miami in 2019. A test fleet of Ford Fusion hybrids outfitted with Argo’s self-driving system ran predetermined routes from an Amazon warehouse to final destinations — dry runs of so-called last-mile delivery. No packages were actually delivered, but Amazon liked what it saw, said the people familiar with Amazon’s involvement.

By early this year, there was so much optimism that Amazon would do a deal with Argo that the self-driving firm staffed up to work on outfitting the Rivian vans with autonomous technology, the people said. Argo hired about 150 people to work on the Amazon business, bringing its global workforce to more than 2,000.

The plan called for Amazon to steadily increase its investment in Argo as the partnership achieved major milestones, the people said."
But by spring, Ford and VW still hadn’t agreed to terms on sharing Argo with Amazon. Ford would eventually acquiesce. VW remained wary that Amazon — with a reputation for dominating partnerships — would draw talent and resources away from the German automaker’s ambitious self-driving strategy, according to the people. "

"There was one glimmer of hope. VW considered an 11th-hour bailout of Argo this fall when Ford determined it would no longer fund the self-driving firm, the people said. VW looked at covering Ford’s investment in Argo and taking it over completely. Instead, VW invested $2.3 billion to set up an autonomous driving joint venture with China’s Horizon Robotics."

Nvidia 2023 CES autonomous presentation Jan 3

Cognata and Foretellix announced new collaboration and both are Nvidia partners, coincidental?

Waymo, Cruise, Nvidia show sophisticated computer based simulation techology in public yet Mobileye does not but the company is proud of the use of 2600 annotators

"Tesla is scaling the number of FSD simulations per week exponentially. From ~250k simulation per week in 2020 to 2 million simulations per week today (across 5 datacenters)."

Gill Pratt, chief scientist, Toyota Motor Corp. and CEO, Toyota Research Institute, noted, “No one really knows” when fully automated vehicles will reach production.

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