driveblocks provides Mapless Autonomy Platform to TIER IV autonomous highway trucking initiative

MUNICH, May 02, 2024 – driveblocks, a technology provider for autonomous driving software, today announced that its Mapless Autonomy Platform will be integrated within the new TIER IV highway trucking initiative. TIER IV has launched this program as a response to driver shortage challenges facing Japan’s cargo industry and plans to conduct proof of concept (PoC) tests on Japan’s public highways, starting in Japan’s fiscal year 2024. By developing a reference design for commercial truck manufacturers, TIER IV is fully dedicated to facilitating the deployment of autonomous driving. The technology provided by driveblocks will function as a safety layer for situations where HD maps are not available.

As a key step within this project, TIER IV will develop a reference design that encompass the core functionalities of the open-source software, Autoware*, as well as advanced features developed through collaborations with partner companies, such as driveblocks. For the upcoming PoC tests, TIER IV is including the driveblocks Mapless Autonomy Platform into its AD software. Using driveblocks’ software allows AD platforms to navigate using perception, rather than high-definition (HD) maps, a method proven effective in Europe’s challenging routes, such as the Brenner Pass.

The integration of driveblocks’ technology is particularly valuable for TIER IV’s highway trucking initiative, as it creates a redundant safety layer and a secondary path for situations where HD maps become unavailable or outdated, including new construction areas. Recent closed-loop PoC tests conducted on a multi-lane test track in Japan demonstrated the combined power of the companies’ technologies for highway trucking scenarios.

TIER IV and driveblocks have also conducted a PoC test on highways, achieving reliable perception and accurate road corridor modeling at speeds up to 100 kilometers per hour (kph) under various driving conditions, including standard highway scenarios and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-denied environments like tunnels and other low-light settings.

Being selected as a partner for the TIER IV highway trucking initiative is a major milestone in driveblocks effort to provide safe production grade functionalities for mapless autonomous driving in the commercial and industrial vehicle sector. The work done within this initiative is providing valuable data from international highway scenarios to the driveblocks foundation model for machine learning applications as well as serving as a long-term test and validation platform.

*Autoware is a registered trademark of The Autoware Foundation.


TIER IV, the pioneering force behind the world’s first open-source software for autonomous driving Autoware, offers a range of advanced AD products and solutions, encompassing both software and hardware across multiple platforms. The company is steering the development of safe and efficient autonomous driving technology, aiming to reimagine intelligent vehicles through the art of open source. A founding member of the Autoware Foundation, TIER IV conducts cutting-edge research and development in collaboration with partners worldwide, harnessing Autoware to accelerate the rollout of autonomous vehicles that will benefit society as a whole.

About driveblocks

Founded in December 2021 in Garching near Munich, driveblocks offers a modular software platform for automated and autonomous driving in the commercial vehicle sector. The founding team has many years of experience in the development of algorithms for automated driving. The core technology of driveblocks is a combination of Transformer Neural Networks and sensor fusion to create an environment model based on sensor data. Unlike map-based technologies, there is no need for pre-mapping and constant updating of maps in the cloud. The offering is complemented by algorithms that enable customers to fully automate their vehicles. The driveblocks platform is sold both as individual modules and as a system solution via a licensing model, enabling safe, fast and cost-effective automation of a wide range of applications - in mines, in container terminals or on the motorway.