Motional selects Ambarella CVflow AI vision processors for its driverless vehicles

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Motional has selected Ambarella’s ‘CVflow’ family of AI processors for its driverless vehicles. The processors work with Motional’s network of lidar, camera and radar sensors to enable the vehicles’ safe operation in diverse and challenging road conditions.

Ambarella’s CVflow system on chips (SoCs) will be part of the central processing module in Motional’s driverless vehicles, providing image and computer vision processing for cameras in the sensing suite, including the front-facing cameras.

The CVflow AI engine will enable Motional AI algorithms to perform complex computer vision tasks, such as object detection, classification and image segmentation, with industry-leading power efficiency, according to Ambarella, which adds that its advanced image processing will allow Motional vehicles to operate in challenging lighting conditions, including low-light and high-contrast situations. The SoC’s H.264 encoding will also enable the efficient logging of video data from all cameras in the vehicle.

Ambarella’s CVflow SoC family offers an open and programmable platform for differentiated high-performance automotive systems. It includes AEC-Q100-qualified processors, as well as processors enabling systems with ISO 26262 ASIL-B (D) functional safety levels. A complete set of tools is provided to accelerate the development and optimization of neural networks, with support for industry-standard training tools including Caffe, ONNX, PyTorch, and TensorFlow.

Motional recently became among the first in the world to put driverless vehicles on public roads, and announced a landmark agreement with Lyft for the largest deployment of robotaxis on a major rideshare network.

The company’s driving record includes navigating more than 1.5 million miles in diverse environments, and providing more than 100,000 public rides with zero at-fault incidents. It has also led the establishment of industry-leading safety standards, having co-published the Safety First for Automated Driving white paper.

“We’re at the forefront of commercializing robotaxis, and it’s critical that our vehicle architecture allows us to scale, while maintaining the highest possible safety standards,” said Joaquín Nuño-Whelan, VP of hardware, Motional. “Ambarella’s processors provide the AI performance, low power consumption and advanced image processing necessary for the camera perception to perform well under all conditions. This supports the safe operation of our vehicles as we bring driverless technology to consumers worldwide.”

“We are proud to partner with Motional, a leader in driverless vehicle technology,” added Fermi Wang, CEO of Ambarella. “Motional’s autonomous vehicle expertise, including advanced AI algorithms running on our CVflow SoCs, will enable driverless vehicles that combine safety with exceptional performance.”

Ambarella’s products are used in a wide variety of human and computer vision applications, including video security, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), electronic mirror, drive recorder, driver/cabin monitoring, autonomous driving and robotic applications.

Ambarella says its low-power system on chips (SoCs) offer high-resolution video compression, advanced image processing and powerful deep neural network processing to enable intelligent cameras to extract valuable data from high-resolution video streams.

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With over 20 years experience in editorial management and content creation for multiple, market-leading titles at UKi Media & Events (publisher of Autonomous Vehicle International), Anthony has written articles and news covering everything from aircraft, airports and cars, to cruise ships, trains, trucks and even tires!

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