Autonomous Driving

Suzuki Motor Corporation is collaborating with Nagoya-based startup Tier IV to develop autonomous driving technology specifically for minicars, aiming to address the unique transportation needs of Japan’s less-populated regions. This initiative is a strategic move to meet the increasing demand for compact, self-driving vehicles capable of navigating narrow and often challenging rural roads.

Investment and Partnership

Suzuki has made a strategic investment in Tier IV, contributing to a substantial 8 billion yen capital increase. This partnership will see Tier IV develop a prototype of an autonomous minicar using existing Suzuki models. The goal is to integrate this technology into Suzuki’s next-generation vehicles, leveraging Tier IV’s expertise in autonomous systems.

Historical Collaboration

The two companies have an established relationship, having jointly tested a Suzuki car equipped with Tier IV’s autonomous driving system in 2022. This successful collaboration set the stage for deeper integration of Tier IV’s technology into Suzuki’s vehicle lineup.


In a significant move for the future of autonomous driving, China has granted nine companies the green light to begin testing Level 3 autonomous driving systems on public roads. This approval comes approximately eight months after the Chinese government issued guidelines for the nationwide initiative and started accepting applications from firms interested in testing their self-driving technologies.

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has confirmed that Nio, BYD, Changan Auto, GAC, SAIC, BAIC BluePark, China FAW Group, SAIC Hongyan, and Yutong Bus have received approval to test their autonomous vehicles on restricted roads. These tests will allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel, marking a significant step towards the deployment of Level 3 semi-autonomous vehicles in China.

While Level 3 autonomous vehicles are not yet commercially available in China, these tests are expected to pave the way for the introduction of such systems for individual buyers and fleet operators. Currently, at least 10 car manufacturers in China, including Huawei and Xpeng, sell vehicles equipped with Level 2 systems.


The adoption of autonomous driving technology has indeed sparked both excitement and caution in various regions around the world. While companies like Tesla and Waymo have made significant strides in bringing self-driving capabilities to the market, concerns about safety, regulation, and legal liability persist.

British Columbia’s decision to implement a ban on autonomous driving technology beyond Level 2 autonomy reflects a cautious approach to the deployment of these advanced systems. By restricting the use of higher-level autonomous driving features, the government aims to prioritise safety and ensure that drivers remain actively engaged in the driving process.

The categorisation of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving system as Level 2 autonomy means that it falls within the permitted range of autonomous capabilities in British Columbia. However, the introduction of more advanced autonomous features by Tesla or other manufacturers could potentially conflict with the province’s regulations and face legal repercussions.


Chinese automaker Geely Holding Group announced on Saturday the successful launch of 11 low-earth orbit satellites, marking its second dispatch as part of efforts to bolster navigation capabilities for autonomous vehicles. The satellites were launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province.

Geely plans to expand its satellite network, aiming to have 72 satellites in orbit by 2025 and ultimately establishing a constellation of 240 satellites. This initiative follows the company’s first launch in June 2022.

The primary objective of the satellite network is to provide high-precision positioning support for self-driving cars. Additionally, Geely’s network will offer connectivity services to the consumer electronics sector and serve other commercial functions.

The newly launched satellites are equipped with AI remote sensing capabilities, enabling them to capture clear high-resolution imaging with a resolution ranging from 3.2-16.4 feet, as stated by the company.


BMW has announced a partnership with Amazon to utilise their cloud computing technology for the development of their semi-autonomous driver assistance system. This advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) will be integrated into BMW’s upcoming Neue Klasse electric cars, set to debut in 2025. This move underscores a broader trend among traditional automakers aiming to enhance their vehicle technology, especially ADAS, to remain competitive with Tesla.

ADAS encompasses software systems designed to assist drivers with tasks like lane changes and parking, and automakers are progressively introducing more such features as they progress toward autonomous driving. Tesla’s ADAS, known as Autopilot, serves as an example of this trend.

The effective functioning of ADAS relies heavily on data processing, given the essential hardware components like cameras and semiconductors. Artificial intelligence plays a pivotal role in these assisted driving systems.


The Mercedes-Benz EQE Saloon demonstrates its advanced capabilities through the Remote Parking Package and Mercedes me connect service’s Intelligent Park Pilot feature. This innovation offers heightened automation and driverless parking at SAE Level 4 autonomy. The Automated Valet Parking service is also available for compatible EQS Saloon and S-Class Saloon models. This marks the expansion of highly automated parking, including integration into upcoming Mercedes-Benz models like the E-Class.

The highly automated parking function offers several benefits. Firstly, it eliminates the need for manual parking, saving customers both time and hassle. This convenience is particularly noticeable in tight parking garages. Using the Mercedes me App, the driver can reserve a parking spot beforehand. Upon arriving at the parking garage, they simply drop off the car in a designated area and activate the parking process via the app. Once the Automated Valet Parking infrastructure assumes control, the driver can leave the garage.


Honda, like other responsible carmakers, has been committed to ensuring that road accidents caused by motor vehicles are reduced, if possible to zero. After all, it supplies those vehicles and therefore has to ensure that they are not only safe to use but also safe to other road-users.

It has constantly introduced new safety features and systems in its vehicles as new technologies have been developed. Today, its Honda SENSING system integrates many active safety systems to work more effectively and intelligently to assist the driver and also prevent accidents. The Honda SENSING suite was first introduced in 2015 with the CR-V and has been included with new models since then.

Honda SENSING is being continuously improved and apart from the basic system – which already consists of a number of active systems – there are additional versions such as Honda SENSING 360 and Honda SENSING Elite for more sophisticated applications in certain models.


DENSO, a company within the Toyota Group, has developed an improved version of its Global Safety Package which is an active safety system designed to improve the safety of vehicles by giving them high sensing capability of their surroundings. The system is already in use in many Toyota Group models and this latest third generation will be offered from now on.

The Global Safety Package uses the combined performance of a millimetre-wave radar sensor and vision sensor to obtain data on the various objects ahead of the vehicle. The radar sensor detects the shapes of road objects, such as vehicles and guardrails, while the vision sensor uses a camera to detect the environment ahead of the vehicle. This data is then analysed at high speed by an on-board computer which will determine the situation ahead and whether any warnings are to be given to the drive, or actions taken to prevent an accident.

Radar Sensor
In the new Global Safety Package, the radar has a wider detection angle, longer detection range, and improved speed resolution. There are also improvements such as in-antenna design and in radio wave transmission efficiency. The wider angle of coverage can help avoid collisions at intersections, whether with other vehicles or pedestrians.

The sensor’s wider horizontal field of view also assists adaptive cruise control and lane changes over a broader speed range. Moreover, the product uses artificial intelligence (AI) to improve sensing performance and assistance functions, such as headway distance control – the ability to maintain consistent distance between a preceding vehicle – and traffic sign recognition.

With reduced size and cost, this radar sensor has fewer installation requirements and can be used in more vehicle types and models. It uses fewer than half the number of parts compared to the previous generation. This has been achieved by integrating the antenna and power supply board, simplifying product structure and leveraging multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technology, which allows for a smaller antenna with fewer channels to transmit and receive radio waves.

Vision sensor
The vision sensor is a high-sensitivity, high-resolution imager with a wider horizontal field of view and longer detection range. It employs AI technology to identify drivable areas, preceding vehicles, road signs, and other solid objects based on image data. Vehicles and pedestrians in all directions, including those ahead, behind, and to the side, can be detected.

Like the radar sensor, it has reduced size and cost. The downsizing  was achieved by integrating image processing and system control functions, which reduced the number of microcomputers used. The structural design has also been adjusted to control heat emitted from the processor, while the lens design has been revised.

DENSO will continue to improve its active safety systems to eliminate road accidents and provide stress-free mobility. This will be done using cutting-edge technology with an underlying objective of pricing the systems attractively so they can be installed in more vehicles.

Daihatsu, Mazda, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota to jointly develop specifications for vehicle communications devices

For those who have not followed the changes in Cadillac, the quintessential American automobile brand, their products are no longer the huge and heavy ‘aircraft carriers’ they once were. In fact, since the 1980s, the General Motors subsidiary has been ‘downsizing’ in response to energy concerns and the need to look for socially acceptable.

It now has to transform again for the electrified era and future personal mobility. With the vast resources of General Motors to draw on for development of entirely new electrically-powered models, Cadillac will soon be coming out with new cars that maintain its reputation of premium luxury travel.

2022 Cadillac InnerSpace concept

Vision of personal autonomous future mobility
At CES 2022 this week, the company showed one vision of personal autonomous future mobility with the InnerSpace concept. This is a futuristic 2-passenger fully electric and autonomous luxury vehicle which is part of the brand’s Halo Concept Portfolio. This portfolio represents future possibilities with a range of personal autonomous options and advanced connected vehicle features. Leveraging cutting-edge technologies designed to enhance the passenger experience along with the increased personal time enabled by fully autonomous mobility, the InnerSpace grows the Halo Concept Portfolio.

“The vehicles of the Cadillac Halo Concept Portfolio are designed to provide effortless travel through extraordinary means,” said Bryan Nesbitt, GM Executive Director, Global Advanced Design and Global Architecture Studio. “They are visions for the next decade and beyond, showing the possibilities enabled by General Motors’ comprehensive approach to autonomous drive technology with the goal of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”

Cadillac Halo Concept Portfolio
Cadillac introduced the first two Halo concepts last year at CES: the PersonalSpace, a single-seat, personal vertical take-off and landing concept designed to literally move its passenger above the din and congestion of ground traffic; and the SocialSpace, a roomy, autonomous vehicle for up to six, designed to help passengers relax and recharge.

Conceptually, the portfolio repurposes how passengers use their time while traveling, providing a space for solace and respite. Full autonomy relinquishes the responsibility of vehicle control while dramatic design and advanced technologies maintain the sensation of arriving in a Cadillac.

2022 Cadillac InnerSpace concept

In fact, technologies such as biometric input and AI machine learning are harnessed and complement Cadillac’s luxury environment to support unique wellness experiences. Through software-defined features and advanced vehicle connectivity, the Concept Halo Portfolio could offer each passenger a truly personalized experience made possible by GM’s Ultifi software platform. The experiences showcased within the Halo Portfolio demonstrate the potential as both Ultifi and autonomous technology continue to evolve.

“Electrification and autonomous driving will fundamentally change the role of vehicles and the experiences customers have with them,” said Nesbitt. “We’re exploring where that will go with these innovative concepts, envisioning mobility as an ally of wellness, giving customers the ultimate luxury, more personal time rather than taking it.”

Reimagining the luxury experience
Early in Cadillac’s history, compact and personal Runabout models enabled customers to explore new and wider horizons. The new InnerSpace concept reimagines that as a vision, with a fully autonomous experience that allows the two occupants to focus on their journey rather than driving.

2022 Cadillac InnerSpace concept

The vehicle’s fully autonomous capability means they can give more attention to the world around them. Inside too, they will have more personal and tailored experiences that add new dimensions to motoring. AI-driven biometric input and interfaces, accessible via a large, immersive and panoramic SMD LED display, will allow passengers to select from Augmented Reality Engagement, Entertainment and Wellness Recovery themes for their drive. Thanks to Ultifi, Cadillac engineers and authorized third parties will be able to innovate additional themes and features that can be added over the air.

With the Ultium Platform’s wireless battery management system, the battery modules are spread about the concept vehicle, which allowed designers to optimize the cabin for spaciousness and serenity. This design freedom also allowed for a low-profile floor, providing an extremely low, sports car-like seating position.

2022 Cadillac InnerSpace concept

The InnerSpace design features expansive, panoramic glass on the roof and part of the body sides for almost unimpeded views. The roof opens with the doors for more comfortable entry and egress, and the seats also pivot outward when the doors are opened, enhancing the effect.

Even the tyres are designed to contribute to its solace. Specially developed by Goodyear for electrified vehicles, they feature SoundComfort technology designed to help mitigate soundwave resonance within the tyre for a quiet ride, while soybean oil and rice husk-based silica replaces petroleum-based oil as a key ingredient in their construction. And because autonomous driving takes away some of the driver’s connection with the road, Goodyear SightLine, Goodyear’s tyre intelligence technology, conveys important information about pressure, temperature, load and other performance factors.

2022 Cadillac InnerSpace concept

2022 LYRIQ will be first model in Cadillac’s electric-only range moving forward

Carmakers wanting to enter the US market have often found that the west coast state of California is a good place to start. It seems that consumers there are receptive to new trends and new cars, so Volvo Cars will introduce its unsupervised autonomous driving feature, Ride Pilot, to customers in the state of California first.

‘Unsupervised’ would mean that Ride Pilot offers the highest level of autonomous motoring where humans do not have to be involved at all. It’s the stuff of science fiction movies and will free up more time for the occupants to do other things. Whether we can call it ‘driving’ any longer is something that will need to be debated.

In tandem with the introduction of Ride Pilot, the company is also setting a new standard for safety, with over-the-air (OTA) software updates in combination with a state-of-the-art sensor set-up. The software is developed by autonomous driving software company Zenseact, together with Volvo Cars’ in-house team of developers, and developers from Luminar, one of its technology partners.

The sensor set-up consists of more than 2 dozen sensors, including Luminar’s cutting-edge Iris LiDAR sensor, which will be tightly integrated with the developed software. Luminar’s LiDAR sensor will complement 5 radars, 8 cameras and 16 ultrasonic sensors in Volvo Cars’ upcoming fully electric SUV. This standard sensor set-up provides excellent vision and perception reliability. Together with continuous, over-the-air software rollouts, the system will ensure full redundancy and enable Volvo Cars to achieve safe autonomous driving with Ride Pilot.

For autonomous motoring to be safe with no supervision by humans, the vehicle will have to be able to scan all round with various sensors to detect other vehicles and hazards. The sensors will include cameras mounted in the windscreen like the ones shown below.

Rigorous testing and verification
While this software-sensor combination, and the safety it enables, will be standard, available from day one on the new SUV and improved over time, Ride Pilot will be made available to customers only once it has gone through Volvo Cars’ rigorous verification and testing protocol. This includes validation of the technology as safe for use on highways in a number of varying conditions. This new flagship for the company will be revealed later this year.

As part of this verification process, Volvo Cars is already testing autonomous driving functionalities on roads in Sweden together with Zenseact, and collecting data across Europe and the USA. By the middle of this year, the company intends to begin testing on roads in California (pending approvals from relevant authorities), where the climate, traffic conditions and regulatory framework provide a favourable environment for the introduction of autonomous driving.

But where and how far autonomous driving will be permitted is not known yet. In some countries where autonomous vehicles are permitted to operate, only limited sections of public roads can be used. On such roads, the surrounding environment is properly prepared to ensure that the imagery systems can correctly function to detect and identify road hazards and signage.

More free time on a journey
The name ‘Ride Pilot’ implies what the driver can expect: when the car is driving on its own, Volvo Cars takes responsibility for the driving, offering the driver comfort and peace of mind. By using Ride Pilot, drivers will be able to free up time while driving, and spend it on secondary activities such as reading, writing, working or socialising. The feature can also help drivers arrive at their destination rested and recharged, by reducing the mental strain that may come with driving, especially in traffic jams or heavy traffic.

Without the need to supervise what the car is doing, the driver will be able to do other things like read or even talk on a phone without breaking any law. Perhaps the occupants could even sleep on the journey – but can it be called ‘driving’ then?

“We are proud to announce the planned US launch of our first truly unsupervised autonomous driving feature, as we look to set a new industry standard for autonomy without compromising safety,” said Mats Moberg, Head of Research and Development at Volvo Cars. “Having Zenseact’s brand-new AD software and Luminar’s LiDAR standard in our new fully electric SUV is a game-changer for Volvo Cars, as well as for automotive safety and autonomous driving.”

Human drivers use two eyes, autonomous cars need three eyes


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