SUZHOU – WeRide, China’s leading L4 autonomous driving company, launched the first ALL-IN-ROOF integrated suite for autonomous driving – WeRide Smart Suite 3.0 – at GTC China, the annual tech event hosted by NVIDIA here on December 18.
Zhong Hua, WeRide Senior Vice President of Engineering, introduced WeRide’s recent progress in developing the Robo-Taxi service from perspectives of policy, hardware, perception, data, operation and planning.
The WeRide Smart Suite 3.0 was jointly developed by WeRide and its strategic partners NVIDIA and Johnson Electric. The brand new ALL-IN-ROOF design comprises three important units, including an integrated computing unit, a sensor suite and cooling & cleaning systems, all of which are located on the top of the car. It is a major breakthrough towards auto-grade autonomous driving and for the operation of Robo-Taxi fleet.
WeRide’s Smart Suite 3.0 leverages the NVIDIA DRIVE AGX PegasusTM platform, which is designed for Level 4 autonomous driving. Addressing auto-grade requirements for anti-vibration, water- and dust-resistance, DRIVE AGX Pegasus builds in redundancy and diversity to ensure a functionally safe self-driving system.
By moving the computing unit from trunk to rooftop, WeRide Smart Suite 3.0 saves 50 percent space compared to the previous version, returning trunk space to passengers. The new design also reduces noise levels in the cabin. It pushes autonomous cars to meet the requirements for Robo-Taxi operation and provide a more comfortable experience for passengers.
The suite’s cooling and cleaning system is tailor made for auto-grade applications, jointly built with Johnson Electric. The cleaning solution, which is mainly driven by water and air pump motors, can evenly cover all the optical sensor lenses and cameras. There are systems in place for protection from reverse currents, overcurrent, under/overvoltage and high temperatures.
The in-house designed camera tower can achieve 6DoF active alignment for better image sharpness and contrast. With its spatial and real-time awareness system and specially designed all-in-one calibration field, the camera provides more accurate real-time detection, thus ensuring safe operation. It is also designed for manufacturing.
WeRide Smart Suite 3.0 also includes other sensors like LiDARs, radars, GPS, and others. All wavelength detection on the roof rack has 360-degree FoV (Field of View), with a front detection range of up to 250 m.
Making full use of the NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus platform, the huge amount of data collected from all sensors is efficiently synchronized in real time, pre-processed and stored. This will enhance detection in order to cover all urban scenarios for Robo-Taxi operation.
Zhong said in his speech that deployment at scale is the main goal for Robo-Taxi development in 2019.
“WeRide has released a series of products to pave the way for Robo-Taxi operation, including the Robo-Taxi ride-hailing app WeRide Go, the visualization product WeRide Viz, and now WeRide Smart Suite 3.0.”
WeRide has been developing strategic partnerships to push forward Robo-Taxi mass production and operation.
Under Alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (RNM) ‘s leading strategic investment, two Nissan car models have joined WeRide’s autonomous vehicle fleet, becoming the first ever Robo-Taxi fleet in China’s Tier-1 city of Guangzhou. NVIDIA and Johnson Electric are also strategic investors of WeRide in earlier rounds. The two are global leaders in AI computing and electromechanical components.
“WeRide highly values our strategic partnerships. We are focusing on building industry-leading autonomous driving operation systems with more partners”, said Tony Han, co-founder and CEO of WeRide. “WeRide Smart Suite 3.0 is designed for commercial operation and built for mass production. We will continue to expand the ecosystem for autonomous driving and empower our Robo-Taxi fleet to facilitate a safer, more comfortable and convenient service.”
“Leading autonomous driving companies all over the world are building on the NVIDIA platform. In particular, WeRide has made outstanding achievements in the research and development of L4 technology,” said Rishi Dhall, vice president of Autonomous Vehicles, NVIDIA. “We look forward to seeing where they will go next on the road to deploying safe Robo-Taxi operation.”
WeRide RoboTaxi, the joint venture launched by WeRide and its partners, recently deployed its first operating Robo-Taxi fleet in Guangzhou. The operation covers 144.65 square km of open urban roads in the Huangpu and Guangzhou Development districts in Guangzhou, providing the locals with RoboTaxi services on their daily commute.
WeRide Smart Suite 3.0 will significantly upgrade WeRide’s Robo-Taxi fleet in both size and quality of operation services, boosting WeRide’s capacity to expand its smart mobility services in more regions.