Autopilot and LIDAR

Cosmacelf

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One interesting technology that we haven't heard much about from Rivian is their autopilot.

News stories suggest that Rivian will use a third party software stack (there are plenty of self driving start ups willing to OEM their systems), whereas when I talked to an engineer at the LA Auto Show, it sounded like they were developing their self driving software completely in house. This struck me as ambitious for a startup with many other things on their plate.

Regardless, the other oddity was that they are using LIDAR, and not just any LIDAR, but the small little ones on the front bumper that no other autonomous vehicle is using since the technology isn't quite mature enough yet (AFAIK). Maybe they think the small cheap LIDARs will be ready in two years.

At any rate, I'm in the Elon camp that thinks that LIDAR shouldn't be used. It'll be interesting to see how this part of the Rivian technology evolves over the next two years.
 

lookmtb

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I'm interested to hear more about what they hope to accomplish with their autopilot. Are they planning on full level 5? Or are they shooting for something lower? I agree with you about LIDAR though. Can't wait to hear more!
 

Cosmacelf

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I'm interested to hear more about what they hope to accomplish with their autopilot. Are they planning on full level 5? Or are they shooting for something lower? I agree with you about LIDAR though. Can't wait to hear more!
They’ve said level 3.
 

Cougs

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I found this article regarding LIDAR and its uses for auto pilot in general. The article states that Cars use cameras and lidars and radars because these three sensor types have complementary strengths. Fascinating. I think that it may be too soon to say that Auto pilot will be 100% safe. Computers will face unusual circumstances where alogarithms cannot act fast enough to save the day.

A company have developed a Hybrid Lidar/camera to use.

55

The 64-laser version of Ouster's OS-1 lidar.

Link to the article:
This lidar/camera hybrid could be a powerful addition to driverless cars

COSMACELF mentioned LIDAR pricing stating cheap LIDARS may not function as well. True. This article states that a company has a 16-LIDAR for $3500 and a 64-LIDAR cost $12000 other company 64 LIDAR is priced at $75000.

" Ouster has two lidars, a 16-laser model for $3,500 and a 64-laser model for $12,000. And believe it or not these prices are competitive. The industry leader, Velodyne, has been cagey about their pricing but as recently as last year Velodyne's 64-laser unit was rumored to cost $75,000."
Prices can come down very fast if demand for the better LIDAR is increased. In addition new technology to make anything cheaper and better can be developed. I found this expert opinion:

However:
"Some experts believe the key to building lidar that costs hundreds of dollars instead of thousands is to abandon Velodyne's mechanical design—where a laser physically spins around 360 degrees, several times per second—in favor of a solid-state design that has few if any moving parts. That could make the units simpler, cheaper, and much easier to mass-produce."
With that said may be RJ (Smart CEO) is ahead of the curve and committed to this cheaper Solid State technology from a start up company(I do not know what Rivian is going to use).


This Article explains LIDAR technology and its history. WOW!!

Why experts believe cheaper, better lidar is right around the corner
 
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icmurf

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"Relax and take in a movie!" - direct from the technology section of the rivian.com site. I feel like this is one of the boldest statements on the site. Cramming 180 kWh of battery into a full-sized vehicle? Aggressive but feasible. Fully autonomous, hands off the wheel. eyes off the road driving by the release date? A bit harder to swallow.

"We'll take the wheel, you take in the scenery. Level 3 autonomy-capable hardware will be available on every Rivian vehicle. By allowing you to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road, you’ll get to see more of the world as you cruise through it. Don’t feel like driving after a day of hiking or cycling? Relax with a movie or turn your attention to your companions while on the highway."
 
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Cosmacelf

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"Relax and take in a movie!" - direct from the technology section of the rivian.com site. I feel like this is one of the boldest statements on the site. Cramming 180 kWh of battery into a full-sized vehicle? Aggressive but feasible. Fully autonomous, hands off the wheel. eyes off the road driving by the release date? A bit harder to swallow.

"We'll take the wheel, you take in the scenery. Level 3 autonomy-capable hardware will be available on every Rivian vehicle. By allowing you to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road, you’ll get to see more of the world as you cruise through it. Don’t feel like driving after a day of hiking or cycling? Relax with a movie or turn your attention to your companions while on the highway."
I agree. Pretty bold. Especially seeing how long it is taking Tesla is do what they are doing, and Tesla has developed their own AI chip too.
 

Cougs

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It is bold but I would not be watching a movie while the level 3 autonomous driving car is on the road. It can end up in an instantaneous situation in which I need to intervene otherwise I am in a bad situation. Level 3 is great as a starter but need level 5 in order for me to watch a movie and allow the car to drive itself.
 

Manolo

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"Relax and take in a movie!" - direct from the technology section of the rivian.com site. I feel like this is one of the boldest statements on the site. Cramming 180 kWh of battery into a full-sized vehicle? Aggressive but feasible. Fully autonomous, hands off the wheel. eyes off the road driving by the release date? A bit harder to swallow.

"We'll take the wheel, you take in the scenery. Level 3 autonomy-capable hardware will be available on every Rivian vehicle. By allowing you to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road, you’ll get to see more of the world as you cruise through it. Don’t feel like driving after a day of hiking or cycling? Relax with a movie or turn your attention to your companions while on the highway."
Here’s the thing about autonomous driving to me... when I take this baby off road and through mud, I want to experience the thrill of driving it. Maybe on the freeway if I take it but very difficult to take my hands off the wheel along with my grin.. can’t wait to experience it in person one day soon. What a ride this will be.
 
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