It was an exciting two days at the inaugural ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo in Silicon Valley last week, arguably the epicenter of high technology and innovation.
Held at the McEnery Convention Center on Wednesday, September 7 and Thursday, September 8, the exhibition provided the platform to showcase the latest technologies, developments and solutions to enable and accelerate end-to-end autonomous and ADAS applications, including testing tools, simulation, software, sensing and AI. The adjoining conference presented challenges and industry insights covering innovations for safe autonomous driving, AI, software, regulations, law and standards, real-world testing and its implications for virtual testing, connectivity, 5G, IOT, V2X and more.
Renowned hard drive specialist, Seagate Technology, demonstrated its recently announced Gen 6 lidar, a high-precision, high-performance 120° FOV lidar designed for next-gen ADAS and autonomous vehicle applications.
David Burks, general manager at Seagate, revealed live at the expo, “Seagate has spent the last 15 years creating a new hard drive technology (heat-assisted magnetic recording), mounting tiny lasers to a hard drive read/write head to increase storage capacity on a hard drive. With our background in lasers and photonics, the company has significant synergies in lidar tech for autonomous vehicles and has designed a lidar that uses similar suppliers to a hard drive. We can therefore develop a lidar focused on gaps in the market, a complex and high-volume mechanical device designed for manufacturability, cost and reliability.
“Lidar works in the dark like radar and under adverse weather conditions, and has better resolution at range, for example with small objects. Different types of lidar have different types of range. Solid-state lidars are very affordable but the biggest challenge for solid-state lidar is range; it is difficult to have long range in solid-state lidar. The Seagate mechanical lidar is going to fulfill the need for long-range lidar in the automotive sector.”
Seagate also showcased its Seagate Lyve Mobile storage arrays that, according to Burks, “allow mass amounts of storage in test cars to capture invaluable field data used in training ADAS decision systems.”
According to Martin Booth, lidar sales and marketing at Seagate, “The San Jose ADAS/AV show was a great place to demonstrate Seagate’s Lyve Mobile data storage solutions and lidar product to the automotive industry. We had a very positive response from the visitors and non-stop demonstrations and discussions over the two days. California is the heart of leading-edge technology development in this space and we would definitely recommend this show as a great place to do business.”
Other product launches included new, next-gen ADAS targets for developing and testing active safety systems from AB Dynamics, together with its sister company, Dynamic Research Inc (DRI). The first was the Soft Motorcycle 360 powered two-wheeler (PTW) target while the second was the Soft Pedestrian 360. The targets will be used for developing and testing active safety systems by vehicle manufacturers, test houses and regulatory bodies. The Soft Motorcycle 360 is being officially launched on September 14, 2022.
Trimble, a leading provider of precision equipment for civil engineering and the automotive industry, showcased its high-accuracy global precise point positioning (PPP) and orientation system, for nearly any environment. The proprietary RTX technology can deliver 2cm accuracy for certain applications, with better than 10cm performance for lane-level positioning on the road.
According to Marc Davis, head of marketing communications at Trimble, high-accuracy positioning and orientation are crucial to any safety-critical application. If onboard relative sensors such as radars or cameras go offline or are impeded by inclement weather conditions such as a driving snowstorm, absolute precise positioning still contributes data to the vehicle to help maintain lane-level positioning. To date, the technology has enabled well over 30 million miles (48 million km) of incident-free autonomous driving for OEMs.
Trimble decided to exhibit in California following its exhibition at the ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo in Stuttgart earlier this year, which Davis said proved to be a good venue for the company to engage with OEMs and their extended technology ecosystem.
Brenda Vargas, senior solutions marketing manager, automotive (transportation: validation), at NI, revealed live on Day 2, “It is really important for us to show at an ADAS-focused event, talk to OEMs and follow trends, as the AV industry is changing so fast, with lots of startups. The Bay Area is a good gathering of these companies. The NI system is a customized, open platform and its ecosystem helps them go to market faster. It provides a complete solution, bringing best-in-class partners and helping to break the silos into their workflow.”
By combining its strengths with those of trusted third-party experts, NI works with customers to build a connected ADAS and automated driving (AD) validation workflow to get vehicles to market faster. NI recently launched a fleet of ADAS vehicles equipped with the high-performance in-vehicle data recording and storage solution from NI and Seagate Technologies, with integration services from ADAS experts Konrad Technologies and VSI Labs. The collaboration enables a connected workflow by combining best-in-class technologies across the global ecosystem.
NI’s ADAS recording vehicle was on display in San Jose to show attendees how these industry leaders are working together to improve the data challenges facing ADAS and autonomous driving engineering teams. The company also demonstrated its new ADAS replay and HIL solution aggregating recorded or synthetic data to validate perception software on ADAS ECUs.
One of the highlights at Technica Engineering’s booth was its next-generation switch with multiple ports, otherwise known as the Enhanced Ethernet Switch (EES). “The EES is the first automotive-grade switch with AVB and TSN functionalities, designed to meet important use cases in terms of time synchronization, traffic shaping, bandwidth reservation and gathering traffic from multiple Capture Modules,” explained Anthony Morrone, COO at Technica Engineering. “It also fulfills the use cases of the Media Gateway, such as providing double-tagged VLANs, forwarding specific messages, or acting as a breakout box to log traffic between different automotive Ethernet ECUs. The switch supports TECMP protocol to allow seamless use of the EES together with Technica Engineering’s Capture Modules.”
MD Elektronik chose to show its data cable solutions for high-quality, reliable, real-time data transmission, and revealed that ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo in California gives it a platform to detect mobility trends at an early stage and be one of the first companies to develop suitable solutions in very close contact with OEMs and technology drivers in the area of data transmission.
Humanetics showcased its comprehensive portfolio of active safety test equipment, including its ultra-flat overrunnable (UFO) platform robots, soft target vehicles and self-driving driving robots.
Kelli Baird, marketing and communications at Humanetics, revealed that the company’s booth displayed “three of the four UFOs we have in our portfolio, including the UFOnano – which just received full Euro NCAP approval. This means that it is now the world’s smallest platform robot for VRU tests listed in TB029, as well as the only one that has the ability to turn on the spot. This allows the small, handy, state-of-the-art nanorobot to replace the previous rope pulling systems, offering 2D maneuvers for realistic pedestrian behavior.” The UFOs represent just part of the total active safety suite Humanetics offers, further proving the commitment it has to protecting humans.
Data acquisition specialist Dewesoft showcased its high-accuracy GPS that, in conjunction with correctional data from inertial measurement systems, provides exceptional correlation with indicated positions, both as absolutes as well as relational to objects within sensing proximities. This enables a greater degree of accuracy in respect of ‘tuning’ for the safest and most efficient implementation of ADAS.
Dave Gallop, business development manager ground vehicles/autonomous systems at Dewesoft, revealed live at the expo, “we chose ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo CA to present our GPS-based position measurement technology primarily because Dewesoft is one of the few companies that offers a complete solution, from lidar interfacing to thermal monitoring on brakes at the same time and time aligned. Additionally, Dewesoft has placed more effort into the simplification of extremely complex analytical processes into a user interface that is both friendly, intuitive and feature rich.”
Visitors to rFpro’s booth found out about the company’s large-scale simulation technique, Data Farming, which enables vehicle manufacturers and sensor providers to generate complete training data sets virtually. According to operations director Matt Daley, it covers the full vehicle system where every sensor is simulated at the same time. The data is synchronized across all sensors, even with the most complex hardware designs. It is named after Render Farming, which has revolutionized the economics of popular animation. “ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo is one of the leading AV conferences in the world. Data Farming is set to revolutionize the development of autonomous vehicles and the conference is the perfect opportunity to inform the industry about it.”
Daley spoke on Day 1 of the conference in a session titled ‘Accelerating autonomous vehicle development in the AI age: using simulation to produce high-quality synthetic data and propel your training and testing capabilities’.
Keysight Technologies demonstrated its award-winning radar scene emulation with sharpened vision that boasts up to 512-pixel resolution.
“Keysight’s Radar Scene Emulator is truly an amazing new product for autonomous vehicle testing,” said Steve Mango, Keysight Technologies’ automotive market industry manager, on Day 1 of the show. “The RSE system lets you bring real-world driving scenarios into the lab where you can test and evaluate radar performance in a safe, repeatable and realistic environment. Many radar target simulators only allow for a few targets to be evaluated at one time, while the RSE can emulate an entire scene with up to 512 radar targets.”
Keysight’s RSE system has already been awarded the Tech.AD Europe Award for Best Project in Testing, Validation & Safety, the American Business Award for Achievement in Product Innovation 2022 and the Malaysia Technology Excellence Award 2022 for Automotive Hardware.
LeddarTech demonstrated LeddarVision, its raw-data sensor fusion and perception solution designed for OEMs and Tier 1s, and its automotive lidar enabling solutions for lidar developers and Tier 1s and 2s: LeddarSteer and LeddarEngine. According to Hannah Osborn, director of America sales and business development, on Day 1 of the show, “LeddarSteer is a solid-state automotive-grade digital beam steering technology based on liquid crystals and polarization gratings. The solution is suited for both retrofit and new lidar development and can work with and without MEMS and on a wide range of frequencies. What makes LeddarSteer unique is its on-the-fly performance adjustment capabilities, enabling a lidar to focus on different regions of interest depending on the driving situation and on-demand resolution enhancement. Furthermore, LeddarSteer reduces the size, cost and complexity of the lidar, reinforcing why LeddarSteer is not a ‘nice-to-have’ but a ‘must-have’ for lidars.”
ACE – Ontario Tech University used the expo to reveal more about its moving ground plane that enables full vehicle aerodynamic testing in a controlled environment. The moving ground plane boasts impressive specifications, measuring 1,178-1,696mm in width, with a maximum speed of 210km/h, belt force measurement of up to 8000N per wheel and weighing 68,038kg. It will give both the motorsport industry and OEMs the tools to conduct research in a high-tech environment, helping companies and researchers create new, energy-efficient products such as active aero, in addition to maximizing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.
“Many of the autonomous vehicle and ADAS companies in California have been conducting testing at ACE for years,” said Andrew Karski, marketing manager. “ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo is an opportunity to meet with our current clients and develop new relationships in person where these companies are located and to present our newest test capability. In addition, ACE has participated in Automotive Testing Expo in Novi, MI for a long time and we knew from that experience that this expo would have value for ACE and our customers.”
The expo’s dedicated conference provided an excellent opportunity to network with experts from across the sector, including leading speakers such as Carrie Bobier-Tiu, from Woven Planet, Nils Katzorke from Mercedes-Benz AG, Abhishek Lal from Google, Tarik Bolat from GPR, Matt Daley from rFpro, Zoran Jandric from Seagate, Ajay Vemeru from Spirent Communications, Marcus McCarthy from Trimble, Stefano Marzani from Amazon Web Services and Gordan Galic from Xylon.
With the 2022 event a resounding success, dates have been announced for next year. ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Expo and Conference will head to in Santa Clara on September 20 & 21, 2023. Don’t miss out, save the dates now.
Looking forward to a great event in Santa Clara in 2023!
For further information from this year’s event, click here.