Voyage announces second-generation autonomous vehicle
Voyage serves communities with autonomous vehicles, including door-to-door transportation for senior citizens in a community of 125,000 residents. For the last year, the company has worked along with its communities to refine its self-driving taxi service. Now, Voyage is introducing a second-generation (G2) vehicle.
The G2 vehicle is based on the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid mini-van and is paired with a first-of-its-kind partnership with Enterprise to super-charge the scaling of Voyage’s autonomous fleet. Voyage says the G2 features new sensor technology from Velodyne, best-in-class safety systems, and Voyage’s own autonomous driving technology.
Enterprise will procure, lease, and service Voyage’s ride-hailing fleet of about 12 G2 autonomous vehicles. The lease allows Voyage to retrofit vehicles with its self-driving hardware. When the lease term is up, Voyage returns the vehicle to Enterprise and recycles any vehicle equity back into expanding the fleet. The partnership will also give Enterprise an entry point into driverless cars.
“Enterprise Fleet Management is excited to provide vehicles and maintenance management to support the expansion of Voyage’s operations, said Brice Adamson, Senior Vice President at Enterprise Fleet Management. "Like Enterprise, Voyage understands that world-class fleet management is fundamental to the long-term success of autonomous fleets. Our partnership ensures that the Voyage team is able to focus on what they do best—developing autonomous technology and providing transportation services to community residents—without having to worry about acquiring and maintaining those vehicles.”
Voyage’s first generation autonomous vehicle, referred to as “Homer,” featured a Velodyne HDL-64E LiDAR. The HDL-64E was sufficient for building a prototype vehicle, but it always required a test driver to be present. To make the leap to driverless, Voyage required a sensor with higher resolution, longer range, and improved reliability: the Velodyne VLS-128.
With 128 channels (or lines) of resolution and 300 m (984 ft) of range, this sensor enables the algorithms to process a dense, 3D view of the world in 360 degrees. The Velodyne VLS-128 reportedly produces more than 3x the number of points of any commercially available ultra-long-range LiDAR sensor.