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Seoul Robotics introduces V2X sensor tower to automate BMW fleets at Munich manufacturing facility – FiratNews

Seoul Robotics introduces V2X sensor tower to automate BMW fleets at Munich manufacturing facility – TechCrunch

Seoul Robotics, an AI-based notion software program firm, desires to show first- and last-mile logistics hubs for automotive and trucking into thoughts hives, whereby one sensor tower controls the actions of a fleet, like a conductor of an orchestra, guiding a whole lot of automobiles into place.

After two years of piloting its tech with BMW, the startup introduced at CES its first industrial deployment with the German automobile producer to automate fleet logistics at its manufacturing facility in Munich, deploying know-how that it refers to as “autonomy by way of infrastructure.”

The automobiles which are guided by Seoul Robotics’ latest product, the Stage 5 Management Tower (LV5 CTRL TWR), aren’t autonomous themselves. All that’s required of them is to have an automated transmission and connectivity, in accordance with HanBin Lee, CEO of Seoul Robotics.

An internet of sensors and computer systems with Seoul Robotics’ 3D notion software program, “Sensr,” is strategically positioned on infrastructure all through a facility. That infrastructure then perceives details about the atmosphere surrounding the automobiles, performs computations, makes predictions and sends instructions to the automobiles themselves, which Lee mentioned might be accomplished right this moment safely with out a human security operator or human within the loop in any respect.

At BMW, the LV5 CTRL TWR depends primarily on round 100 lidar sensors which have been positioned by way of the power, however Lee mentioned sooner or later, the corporate desires to introduce cameras and radar for sensor redundancy.

Most autonomous automobile firms are fully targeted on creating self-driving automobiles, full with all their very own sensors and onboard compute energy that may allow a automobile to drive in city environments and on highways. At the very least for autonomous freight, these firms nonetheless require a human to take over at sure factors, like navigating inside logistics hubs or, within the case of BMW, shifting newly manufactured automobiles from the meeting line to automobile distribution facilities.

Autonomous trucking firm TuSimple simply efficiently accomplished its first driver-out program, driving on an 80-mile stretch of freeway from facility to facility, however the startup nonetheless requires people to handle sure operations on the bottom. Waymo is constructing autonomous trucking hubs to facilitate its switch hub mannequin, which entails a mix of automated and handbook driving during which human drivers deal with first- and last-mile deliveries.

LV5 CTRL TWR isn’t meant to be deployed on highways. Quite, it goals to fill within the gaps and minimize prices for OEMs, trucking firms, automobile rental firms, and doubtlessly even airports on the first and final mile.

“The character of the power is that it’s very tightly packed parking zone, and it’s a fleet of automobiles making an attempt to drive round on this small facility – any individual must orchestrate it, any individual must be the management tower and ensure the automobiles are going into the designated spot on the proper timing,” Lee instructed FiratNews. “Even when these automobiles turn out to be autonomous in the future, the Stage 5 Management Tower is critical as a result of it’s a automobile administration system. To not point out Stage 4 and Stage 5 is fairly far off, whereas this technique is offering the profit straight away of principally being a robotaxi inside a really confined area.”

OEMs, automobile rental firms and trucking firms dedicate hundreds of workers to easily shifting automobiles from Level A to Level B inside their very own amenities. Not solely is that this an pointless use of labor, however plenty of harm and accidents additionally happen when folks — possible locals taking part-time gigs reasonably than extremely skilled drivers — drive in congested areas, mentioned Lee.

By offering info from a number of vantage factors, like behind vehicles and round corners, the sensor tower ought to get rid of blind spots, thus lowering collisions and making a extra dependable course of, the corporate mentioned.

One of many challenges firms creating Automobile-to-All the pieces (V2X) software program run up in opposition to is latency points. Out on this planet, V2X controls are being shared with automobiles by way of public 4G and 5G LTE, however as a result of Seoul Robotics operates on non-public grounds, like these owned and operated by BMW, it sends info on non-public networks the place it may well guarantee bandwidth is devoted to its personal use circumstances. Moreover, the automobiles at these amenities are solely allowed to drive as much as 13 miles per hour.

A perk of utilizing superior V2X to automate on non-public property is that there isn’t any must work with the federal government on securing driver-out permits, and virtually no danger of weak street customers succumbing to an accident, in accordance with Lee.

One other problem V2X firms have confronted previously, significantly on public roads, is the prices related to buying and putting in {hardware}, however Lee mentioned from a logistics standpoint, the unit economics work out.

“Lidar is less expensive these days, at solely $1,000 to $2,000 per sensor, and the total deployment of the system prices a pair million {dollars},” he mentioned. “OEMs pay upfront for the {hardware} price, so we don’t pay for {hardware} or set up, and as soon as the system is put in, we’re principally being paid an set up price and a licence-per-vehicle month-to-month price. Due to the cash they’re saving on labor and potential harm, their ROI might be as brief as one or two years.”

Different firms are engaged on comparable know-how. In 2019, Bosch and Daimler joined forces to pilot automated valet parking, and Lee mentioned there are a selection of startups which have but to publicly announce their tech however that additionally bid for the BMW gig.

Read more about CES 2022 on FiratNews

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