Vendors scaling down robo-taxi operations to focus on advancing ADAS technology
ABI Research forecasts that 26 million consumer vehicles will ship with some form of SAE Level 2 technology in 2022, some of which will be significantly more advanced than others, as a result of the scale down of more advanced robo-taxi technology.
“OEMs and, in particular, Tier One and Tier Two suppliers have realized that the significant short-term opportunity lies in scaling down their complex fully autonomous technology,” said Shiv Patel, Smart Mobility Analyst at ABI Research. “Top end ADAS packages such as advanced traffic jam assist systems are not living up to consumer expectations, performing inconsistently and often poorly, leading to poor uptake for the most advanced systems. By scaling down the more advanced autonomous technology currently used in robo-taxis, OEMs can significantly improve their current top-end ADAS performance and thus increase uptake.”
Robo-taxis use significantly more sensors and computing power than the most complex of ADAS packages currently available in consumer vehicles. By scaling down some of the principles used in robo-taxi operations (i.e., more sensors and increased computing power), OEMs can significantly increase the performance of their current ADAS packages, according to the research. The companies that are likely to benefit most from this scale down will be the sensor providers and computing hardware providers that can supply components for the immediate ADAS market rather than waiting for commercialization of robo-taxi operations.
“NVIDIA, for example, announced key partnerships with Continental, ZF ProAI, and Volvo to supply DRIVE Xavier processors as well as DRIVE software that can provide highly advanced SAE Level 2 Plus functionality as well as scale to SAE Level 4 functionality. Meanwhile, Mobileye is also promoting the idea of SAE Level 2 Plus, stating at CES 2019 how it’s Road Experience Management Mapping and RSS technology, primarily designed for robo-taxi operations, could be incorporated into current ADAS,” Patel explained.
The research says that the combined lack of legislation for SAE Level 3 systems and the pertinent question of how beneficial SAE Level 3 systems are to consumers has meant that OEMs have been hesitant to employ SAE Level 3 technology in vehicles. Furthermore, given that Euro NCAP is pushing to incorporate lane-steering support technology in its safety testing in 2020 and Regulation 79 (ECE/TRANS/WP.29/GRRF/82) is expected to permit Emergency Steering Functions in vehicles in Europe by 2020, the need to put more advanced lane keeping and steer-by-wire control systems into current consumer ADAS within the next couple of years could not be greater.
These findings are from ABI Research’s ADAS and Automation Market Data report, which is part of the company’s Smart Mobility & Automotive research service.