Automotive Supplier Magna Unveils Driverless Car System
Automakers may be hustling to get autonomous technology onto their vehicles, but automotive suppliers aren't too far behind, as they're utilizing the same technology at hand. Magna, a global automotive supplier that's headquartered in Canada, has unveiled a customizable, fully integrated, and scalable autonomous driving platform that can enable vehicles to perform at up to Level 4, according to the SAE, autonomy.
The MAX4 Is A Real Glimpse Into The Future
The MAX4 system utilizes Radar, LiDAR, ultrasonic sensors, and cameras that are designed to be fully integrated onto any automaker's platform, which includes EVs and hybrids. In addition to the fully-integrated hardware suite, Magna's software platform is also upgradeable, flexible, and scalable for mass production, and, according to the automotive supplier, only requires a fraction of the power requirements as other alternatives on the market.
As Tech Crunch reports, Magna CTO Swamy Kotagiri believes the system is close to going into production, as all of the technology that makes up the MAX4 is already or close to being in production. "The platform consists of multiple enabler subsystems, such as radars, LiDARS, cameras, compute platform, etc.," Kotagiri said. "All of these enablers are either fully or nearly production ready."
While the majority of autonomous vehicles on the road today are covered in sensors and cameras, one of the crucial aspects of Magna's MAX4 platform is the fact that it is nearly invisible on a car. The automotive supplier showcased its new platform on a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and it's hard to spot. The easy-to-spot group of LiDAR sensors is missing from the top of the vehicle and the SUV isn't wearing any noticeable cameras.
As CNET claims, Magna's MAX4 hardware is built directly into the Grand Cherokee. The solid-state LiDAR system, for example, is hidden away in the front and rear bumpers, as is the platform's radar system. There are also a few cameras in front of the rearview mirror.
In addition to wanting to maintain a vehicle's OEM look, Magna wanted to make its platform usable for a variety of different users. The automotive supplier wanted to ensure that users could easily get in and out of the vehicle's autonomous mode. Engaging the car's autonomous driving mode can be done by the push of a button, which Magna claims is similar to using a conventional cruise control system. And disengaging the system is just as simple, as users can either push the brake pedal or an emergency button to regain control of the vehicle. A display indicates whether the vehicle is being driven on its own.
Magna's introduction of a Level 4 capable autonomous vehicle may seem like it's coming out of nowhere, but the supplier decided to delve further into camera production for driverless cars earlier this year. The Canadian company has been supplying automakers with cameras for numerous years, but is looking to grow its income from $450 million to $1 billion.
And the supplier, with some help from Continental, became one of the first to cross international borders with an autonomous vehicle. While automakers and well-known technology companies get a lot of recognition for developing new driverless technology, major automotive suppliers like Magna may be in the best position to introduce self-driving cars first.
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