Magna platform brings L4 autonomy to existing car designs

Magna platform brings L4 autonomy to existing car designs

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The platform, dubbed MAX4 combines cameras, radar, lidar and ultrasonic sensors with a sensor fusion and computing platform and generates the appropriate trajectories and steering commands for the vehicle. The platform is designed for easy integration with any automakers’ existing and future platforms including hybrid and electric vehicles, the technology company says. Additionally, Magna’s compute platform, scalable for high-volume production, is flexible, upgradeable and fully functional – at lower power requirements as compared to alternative solutions. The sensors are included in the package but they might be pre-series versions, the company said.

Magna has leveraged its full-vehicle expertise in its design of MAX4 to overcome traditional obstacles in the development and production of an autonomous driving platform. Crucially, integration of MAX4 retains an automaker’s existing design and styling freedom for their vehicle, including not taking up cargo space in the rear of the vehicle and personal space in the main compartment. The company’s intention is offering a production-ready yet flexible solution along with the necessary software framework.

Magna’s announcement actually is not overly detailed, but we believe that compute platforms with a roughly comparable functionality could be Audi’s zFAS or Bosch’s Vehicle Control Unit (VCU).

One of the targets for Magna was to simplify the way drivers engage with autonomous driving systems including the option of an intuitive and familiar cruise-control-like user interface that is controlled through the press of a button. A display indicates the vehicle is in autonomous mode, and drivers can disengage that mode via brake pedal or an emergency button.

Level 4 automation according to SAE International includes vehicles that can perform all safety-critical functions for the duration of a trip in a specified operational design domain with no input from a driver, save for destination or navigation input. To compare, most of the vehicles on the road today equipped with some automation features are classified by SAE as Level 1 or Level 2, requiring active monitoring by the driver.

Magna will demonstrate its autonomous enabling technologies at the upcoming 2017 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, Hall 8 booth D34.


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