Autonomous driving software specialist Zenuity will team up with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to develop autonomous vehicles that can make predictions and decisions faster to help improved safety, the supplier said in a release.
This is crucial to Zenuity as its long-term goal is to help automakers create AVs that have zero collisions and cause no injuries and fatalities.
The safety of AVs has been questioned following a non-fatal accident last month in Vienna, Austria, involving a driverless bus and a pedestrian, and a fatal crash in 2018 in which an Uber Technologies self-driving test vehicle killed a pedestrian in Arizona.
Zenuity, which is a joint venture between Volvo Cars and Veoneer, knows that a major challenge for AVs is giving them the power to accurately interpret the huge quantity of data generated by the vehicle’s cameras, lidar and radar during normal driving conditions.Scientists at CERN face a similar challenge because when the center’s Large Hadron Collider smashes sub-atomic particles this also generates a huge amount of data to assess.
To address this challenge CERN uses so-called Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), a hardware solution that executes complex decision-taking algorithms in microseconds.
FPGAs will now be used in connection with autonomous driving.
“It says something important about the collaborative nature of science that an organization like CERN that conducts high-energy particle collisions can work with a company that is dedicated to completely eliminating collisions … in traffic,” Zenuity CEO Dennis Nobelius said.
In addition, Zenuity and CERN will collaborate on so-called “deep learning,” which is a class of machine learning algorithms. In recent years such algorithms, commonly referred to as artificial intelligence (AI), have been applied to a multitude of fields with great success, even exceeding human performance on certain tasks, the supplier said.
Zenuity hopes the collaboration with CERN will reduce the runtime and memory footprint of the relevant deep learning algorithms without reducing accuracy, while simultaneously minimizing energy consumption and cost.
“I personally view this collaboration as a manifestation of the fact that this rapidly developing technology not only spans across different industries but also across the boundary between scientific research and industry, and this kind of cross-disciplinary collaboration is needed to reach ambitious goals,” Zenuity CEO Dennis Nobelius said in the release.