Robotics

Kodiak emphasizes redundancy in sixth-generation autonomous semi truck

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The Kodiak sixth-generation driverless truck includes redundant features for safety.

Kodiak’s sixth-generation driverless truck. | Supply: Kodiak Robotics

Kodiak Robotics Inc. launched its sixth-generation, driverless-ready semi truck at CES in Las Vegas this week. The corporate mentioned its self-driving truck is designed for scaled deployment and builds on 5 years of real-world testing. This testing included 5,000 masses carried over greater than 2.5 million miles. 

The Mountain View, Calif.-based firm mentioned it’ll use the brand new truck for its personal driverless operations on roadways between Dallas and Houston this yr. 

“Over the course of two.5 million miles, we’ve efficiently demonstrated that our self-driving vans can stand up to the tough atmosphere of long-haul trucking from each a platform integrity and a software program perspective,” mentioned Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak, in a launch.

“This truck basically demonstrates that we’ve carried out the work mandatory to soundly deal with driverless operations,” he added. “Whereas we proceed to work with main truck producers, the know-how we developed is deployment-ready, uncoupled from OEM timelines and truck manufacturer-agnostic, which permits us to maneuver quick whereas holding security on the forefront.”

Kodiak mentioned the most recent version of its autonomous semi-trucks has all the mandatory redundant safety-critical {hardware}. These embrace braking, steering, and sensors, in addition to the software program required for driverless operations at scale. 

Redundancy is the important thing to security, says Kodiak

Kodiak famous that its newest autonomous semi-truck contains redundancy throughout all safety-critical features. These embrace a redundant braking system, redundant steering, and redundant energy.

Whereas conventional semi-trailer vans have redundant braking techniques, Kodiak mentioned it wished to take this additional. Its vans’ pneumatic braking techniques encompass three particular person brake actuators.

All three actuators are concurrently managed by Kodiak’s system. Because of this if any of them fail, the backup techniques can forestall lack of management and produce the truck to a secure cease. 

The corporate has additionally geared up its vans with a dual-redundant steering system that features two redundant ZF actuators managed by Kodiak’s security system. 

Based mostly on the firm‘s security evaluation, if the first steering actuator experiences any sort of failure, then the steering system switches to the secondary actuator. This enables the system to take care of full management and transfer the automobile right into a secure state with out compromising the automobile dynamics.

The vans have a redundant energy system that powers the computer systems, sensors, actuators, and all different electrical techniques. Kodiak mentioned its energy system is break up into two totally remoted subsystems. These subsystems be certain that all security techniques can nonetheless carry out a secure “fallback” ought to both fail. 

As well as, Kodiak asserted that every one of its vans, not simply the latest technology, are geared up with its custom-designed Actuation Management Engine (ACE). The ACE system is a high-integrity security pc liable for making certain that the Kodiak Driver can information the truck to a fallback out of the movement of visitors ought to a important system failure happen. 

Lastly, the truck features a redundant LTE communications hyperlinks, permitting the truck to determine dependable communications with Kodiak’s redundant command facilities in Lancaster, Texas, and Mountain View, Calif.

Kodiak truck.

Kodiak’s newest technology of vans options upgraded SensorPods and extra. | Supply: Kodiak Robotics

Contained in the sixth-generation truck

Like its earlier vans, Kodiak’s sixth-generation automobile options its Kodiak Driver, a vehicle-agnostic self-driving system and driverless-ready {hardware} platform. The vehicle-agnostic features of the driving force will turn out to be useful as a result of the corporate plans to roll out its sixth-generation platform to a number of automobile sorts. 

Kodiak claimed that its newest vans function twice the GPU processor cores, 1.6 instances better processing pace, thrice extra reminiscence, and a couple of.75 instances better bandwidth to run software program processes than its first-generation truck. 

This newest technology of vans additionally options upgrades to Kodiak’s proprietary SensorPods, which home the sensors and are pre-calibrated and pre-built for quick and straightforward repairs. Kodiak improved its SensorPods with two higher-resolution lidars, which are actually automotive-grade. It additionally has two extra facet radar sensors to enhance long-range detection. 

In whole, Kodiak geared up its vans with 12 cameras, 4 lidar sensors, and 6 radar sensors. To course of this elevated sensor information, the self-driving truck maker depends on NVIDIA GPUs. 

The corporate additionally added top-mounted, extra-bright hazard lights to its SensorPods. Kodiak designed these lights to adjust to the autonomous trucking business’s utility for an exemption to Federal Motor Automobile Security Regulation 392.22. This regulation requires conventional truck drivers to position warning units on a roadway after a breakdown. 

Since driverless vans gained’t be capable to place highway flares or different units alongside the roadway, Kodiak mentioned these lights shall be used to alert different drivers to the presence of a truck on the facet of the highway, pending Federal Motor Provider Security Administration approval. 

Kodiak additionally geared up its vans with microphones, in order that its vans can detect and establish the presence of emergency automobiles and different suspicious sounds that would signify a hazard.

Kodiak’s sixth-generation truck follows the corporate’s partnership with Pilot to open a truckport for launching and touchdown autonomous vans. It has additionally teamed up with LoadsmithC.R. England and Tyson, Ahead and extra.

Kodiak plans to proceed bettering its self-driving vans. As an illustration, it plans to combine an Ambarella CV3-AD AI area management system on chip (SoC).

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