driveblocks presents new release of Mapless Autonomy Platform at CES®
The start-up driveblocks is working on automation solutions for the commercial vehicle industry and will present the latest version of its self-developed "Mapless Autonomy" platform at CES in Las Vegas. The software platform, which is based on a modular approach, includes algorithms for object recognition, environment perception, sensor fusion and trajectory planning. The new version features enhanced functionality for fusing multiple sensor sources in the environment model as well as improvements in line and object detection. Showcases of these new features will be presented at booth #10175, North Hall, at CES.
Algorithms without high-definition maps as a success factor
"The strength of our software platform is that the vehicle's environment is reconstructed based on sensor data at runtime, rather than being taken from high-definition maps. These maps must be pre-recorded and streamed to the vehicle while driving. Our approach relies exclusively on sensor data, enabling better scalability, higher robustness and increased safety in unknown driving situations, so-called edge cases," says Stephan Matz, CEO and co-founder of driveblocks.
Using this "Mapless Autonomy" approach, the software currently achieves a range of about 100 meters based on camera technology. By adding LIDAR and RADAR sensors, the range is expected to be increased significantly in the future.
The visualization below shows the driveblocks environment model within a sensor setup with two cameras on a test truck on German highways. The colored "patches" form the basis of the algorithm and are continuously refined based on sensor data.
Testing the algorithms under real conditions
Alexander Wischnewski, CTO and co-founder of driveblocks, explains the next steps in the development process: "After the primarily simulation-based development of the algorithms, the first tests were carried out at a pilot customer in December 2022. The knowledge gained from this is currently being used to prepare for extended real-vehicle trials in the second quarter of 2023."
These tests are to be carried out on a semi-hauler truck (shown below), which is currently being retrofitted with sensor and actuator technology for automated and autonomous driving together with the partner pepper motion. After successful commissioning, experience is to be gained in regular operation through cooperation with a freight forwarder.
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