Autopilot and LIDAR

Cosmacelf

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
206
Location
San Diego, CA
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

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
16
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

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
206
Location
San Diego, CA
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

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
57
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
 
Last edited:

icmurf

New member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
1
"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."
 
Last edited:

Cosmacelf

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
206
Location
San Diego, CA
"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

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
57
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

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Florida
"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.
 

Cactus

Active member
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
27
I hope perfecting autonomous driving isn't one of the reasons for slow rollout. I know there's hundreds of reasons for slow rollout. Frankly, I don't care too much about autonomous driving. It's probably the toughest thing to do. Just get the R1T / R1S built and out to customers.
 

EyeOnRivian

Active member
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
32
Location
Chicagoland area
They’ve said level 3.
Fully autonomous, hands off the wheel. eyes off the road driving by the release date? A bit harder to swallow.
To clarifiy, Rivian will "eventually" provide Level 3 autonomy, but at launch it will be Level 2. I have yet to read or hear of Rivian claiming full autonomous "by the release date."

As reported by Teslarati from when Rivian was at the NY auto show and I believe this is still the current status - "The camera and radar hardware on production vehicles will be capable of Level 3 autonomous driving that’s upgradable via over-the-air software updates. Rivian’s initial vehicles will ship with Level 2 capabilities and use data accumulated from its customers’ driving sent to the cloud to develop its Level 3 transition, very similar to Tesla’s strategy. Previously, Rivian has additionally suggested Jurassic Park-style autonomous tours might be available for owners wanting a guided, real-world adventure experience. "

I hope perfecting autonomous driving isn't one of the reasons for slow rollout. I know there's hundreds of reasons for slow rollout. Frankly, I don't care too much about autonomous driving. It's probably the toughest thing to do. Just get the R1T / R1S built and out to customers.
As a lot us would like to see a Rivian in our driveway yesterday, Rivian has said since the reveal in Nov 2018 they are targeting late 2020 for production launch of the R1T with the R1S to follow (though I don't know what that means time wise for the R1S). So far that has not changed. I do know they have been doing a boat load of testing (e.g. the Tierra del Fuego in South America to LA testing trip also doubling as support vehicles for the Long Way Up film series on Harley's new LiveWire electric motorcycle) and will be starting crash testing very soon according to a Rivian team lead I spoke to at the Normal, IL event last October.

In an interview RJ had also stated they are targeting 20,000 to 40,000 EVs in the their first "full" year (2021). Let's say Rivian launches production at the beginning of 4Q 2020, that would be about 5,000 to 10,000 orders. Then adjust for assembly line problems and adjustments and those numbers could easily be cut in half. So unless you're one of the earlier pre-holders, you probably won't see your ordered filled until 2021. Again, there's nothing new here that Rivian hasn't already said that would imply any reason to suspect a "slow rollout" other than them making every effort to produce a quality EV.
 

Cactus

Active member
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
27
Yep, I’m sure Rivian will go through their own version of production hell. Sure would be nice for for folks who pre-ordered to get some kind of update every couple weeks or even once a month. Could be anything but silence.
 

Cosmacelf

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
206
Location
San Diego, CA
Yep, I’m sure Rivian will go through their own version of production hell. Sure would be nice for for folks who pre-ordered to get some kind of update every couple weeks or even once a month. Could be anything but silence.
yeah, I’m getting nervous about 4Q production. I haven’t seen any reports of factory activity.
 
Top