Autonomous vehicle developer Aurora has released details of its next-generation hardware kit, dubbed Fusion. The company says the kit will form the foundation of its future autonomous trucking and ride-hailing operations, with commercial pilots due to commence later this year.
Aurora states that the hardware features more powerful sensors packaged in a new modular housing, coupled with an updated computer system that is said to feed the Aurora Driver software stack with higher-resolution data, at greater speed, than previous iterations. The company says the system’s development is the result of a partnership with Uber ATG and fuses the best elements of both organizations’ kits.
Among other features, Fusion incorporates Aurora’s proprietary camera systems, which combine the latest camera technology with the company’s own custom-designed lenses. The result is claimed to be better performance in challenging lighting conditions. The camera system is paired with Aurora’s FirstLight Lidar, which can track objects up to 400m away and is said to be suitable for mass production. Finally, a 3D radar system provides imagery regardless of adverse weather conditions that can foil cameras or lidar.
Data from these sensors is dealt with by a central computer that the company says has five times the processing power of its predecessor and incorporates a liquid cooling system to ensure performance regardless of ambient conditions.
Initial pilot tests will be conducted on Class 8 trucks and Aurora’s fleet of Toyota Sienna test mules.