CES LAS VEGAS 2018: VALEO’S LATEST INNOVATIONS, AT THE EPICENTER OF SEVERAL AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY REVOLUTIONS
A CES participant for the fifth consecutive year, Valeo was one of the first automotive and mobility players to make an appearance at the major Las Vegas new technologies event four years ago. Mobility has since become a major item on the CES agenda.
This reflects the magnitude of the three technological and social revolutions that are shaping the biggest ever upheaval in automotive history: electrification, autonomous vehicles, and digital mobility. These three interrelated revolutions are bringing fast2, radical change to vehicles and the way we use them, with the car gradually giving way to the smartcar in much the same way as the phone has been superseded by the smartphone. As an innovative company offering systems for CO2 emissions reduction and intuitive driving, Valeo is at the epicenter of all three revolutions. The Group designs and manufactures technology-packed products destined to play an increasingly essential role in the vehicles of the future. Today, Valeo- developed technology is already helping to speed up the emergence of a new form of digital mobility, with Group innovations enabling companies to deliver new services and invent fresh business models. One notable example of this trend is Valeo’s secure virtual key. Transferable from one smartphone to another, it can shake up usage patterns, encourage car sharing, transform the car rental industry and make business easier for corporate fleet managers.
At CES 2018, Valeo is presenting more new technologies conducive to the development of electric, autonomous, connected cars that are widely affordable yet adaptable to individual needs and preferences. One of the many Valeo innovations on show at CES 2018 is a new low-voltage all-electric solution that is ideally suited to urban mobility (100 km range and 100 km/h top speed) and much more affordable than a high-voltage all-electric system.
Valeo has already launched volume production of several innovations shown at previous CES events, such as the InBlue® virtual key presented at CES 2015 and the SCALA® laser scanner displayed at CES 2016 , which is so far the only laser scanner in mass production. The Valeo innovations highlighted at this year’s show offer further insights into the shape that mobility will take in the future.
The autonomous and connected car revolution
The development of the autonomous car involves a series of successive stages, with widespread take-up of automated functions already well under way. The starting point for this revolution is sensors, which allow passenger cars and collective transportation vehicles alike to detect and understand information about the environment in which they are traveling.
Valeo offers the automotive industry’s widest range of sensors, comprising ultrasound sensors, cameras, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems and radars. These devices act as the vehicle’s eyes and ears. With the SCALA®, Valeo was the first, and is so far the only, automotive manufacturer to mass produce lasers scanners. The SCALA® is the only sensor on the market capable of detecting both stationary and moving objects up to a distance of 150 m and with a 145 degree field of view.
Sensing the vehicle’s environment is one of Valeo’s main specialties. Processing the data captured by those sensors is a further area of expertise. Valeo software merges the data in the same way that the brain processes information from the five senses.
Valeo also develops artificial intelligence (AI) systems that give vehicles the ability to learn by themselves. Processing algorithms and artificial intelligence systems are coupled to enable the vehicle to make its own decisions. To further enhance its AI expertise, Valeo this year announced the launch of Valeo.ai, a global research center in artificial intelligence and deep learning dedicated to automotive applications.
Valeo technologies aim to make the car as intuitive as a touch tablet. This means that drivers will gain free time at the wheel, as solutions are developed that enable them to delegate driving to the machine during tiresome phases, such as in traffic jams or parking maneuvers.
Valeo My Mobius, the Valeo take on smart driving
For Valeo, a smartcar is a car that can learn from what is happening around it, predict and dynamically anticipate situations, issue suggestions to its driver, make life easier, and ensure driver and passenger safety. The Valeo My Mobius test cockpit features embedded technologies developed in partnership with machine learning specialists CloudMade.
The vehicle records data collected by Valeo sensors on what is happening both outside and inside the car. This data is used to activate vehicle functions without the need for user intervention. For example, the car can select the best route for a given journey and suggest calls and messages without requiring direction or action from the driver. It can set the vehicle cabin mood on the basis of habitual user preferences. It can detect complex situations and suggest driving assistance features accordingly. All told, the Valeo My Mobius demonstrator, implementing CloudMade technologies, can produce made-to-measure journeys for individual users.
Close-up on the Valeo XtraVue innovation, an integral part of My Mobius
Valeo XtraVue uses a telematics antenna installed on the car, combined with a laser scanner and Valeo’s computer-vision camera system to show drivers what is happening on the road even outside their line of sight. Video from other connected vehicles and roadside infrastructure cameras is shown on the car’s display. Leveraging existing public 4G and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) networks, the technology merges this data and creates a simple, enhanced view of the road. For drivers, it is like being able to see right through the obstacles in front of the vehicle. Enhanced visibility and fuller information affords reassuringly safe conditions for overtaking.
On the way to automated driving in complex environments
One of the challenges for “all-conditions” automated driving is locating the vehicle’s exact position on the road, especially in complex environments such as cities. Urban centers are more difficult to analyze than highways, beltways and bypasses with their clearly marked traffic lanes. City roadway systems abound in less clearly delimited features such as crossroads, roads without markings and intersections without signs. For this reason, one of the technological challenges for automated driving in cities concerns the ability of sensors to identify all other vehicles in the immediate vicinity and anticipate their trajectories in order to ensure the safety of all road users.
Valeo is developing technologies that will make automated driving possible in all such complex situations.
Valeo Drive4U.aiTM, learning in action
The Drive4U.aiTM (artificial intelligence) demonstrator is fitted with cameras for analyzing the roadway environment. Working from the all-round 3D view produced by the cameras, Drive4U.aiTM identifies all aspects of the vehicles in the immediate vicinity: shape, size, orientation and direction of motion. In this way, it can anticipate the trajectory of the vehicles, even if one of them slips out of view momentarily, merge the captured data, and make virtually instantaneous decisions on the basis of the analysis. Instead of relying on algorithms alone for achieving such rapid decision-making ability, the Valeo car uses a learning-capable neural network. Valeo, central to the emergence of digital mobility
The digital revolution is paving the way for new forms of mobility. Serving this trend, Valeo’s innovations enable mobility operators to deliver new services, imagine new functionalities and generally simplify their business, as illustrated by the following example:
Autonom Cab, the first urban robo-taxi, featuring the market’s first mass-produced LiDAR
Visitors to CES 2018 will be able to witness two market premières in one, as France’s Navya presents its all electric, driverless Autonom Cab. As well as being the first robo-taxi, the vehicle is fitted with seven Valeo SCALA® laser scanners. The first and only mass-produced LiDAR on the market, the affordably priced ValeoSCALA® provides the three-dimensional vision the vehicle needs (over a distance of more than 200 m) to maneuver in total safety. The technology delivers guaranteed obstacle detection and accurate vehicle positioning by creating a 3D map of the surrounding environment. Valeo acquired a stake in Navya in October 2016 to help the company achieve its goal of implementing groundbreaking mobility solutions. In line with ambition, Autonom Cab provides a response to the major challenges of driving in the city, where traffic congestion, population densification and the need to reduce CO2 emissions combine.