DeepRoute.ai, a self-driving technology company backed by Alibaba Group has unveiled Driver 3.0 solution for car makers. The system, according to DeepRoute, eliminates the need for high-definition maps, thus facilitating quick and cheap adoption.
DeepRoute’s previous effort, Driver 2.0, launched in 2021 for less than $10,000 and was available in China in brands such as Ford’s Lincoln and Geometry, which is owned by Volvo parent company Geely. In Shenzhen, a fleet of 30 robotaxis powered by Driver 2.0 was deployed last year.
Driver 3.0 will be available in passenger vehicles starting this year. The company did not, however, name the automaker that will use the new solution. Without HD maps, the new 3.0 version can generate lane-level information around the car in real-time and interact safely with pedestrians and e-bikes. It can also perform adaptive cruise control, stop-and-go maneuvers, obstacle avoidance, unprotected left turns, and other complex driving situations.
There will be two versions of Driver 3.0: the high end variant is D-PRO whose hardware costs $2,000 and includes Valet Parking Assist and point-to-point navigation on all roads with no operational design domain constraints, then there is D-AIR hardware which costs $1,000 and includes automatic cruise control, lane centering control, and autonomous emergency braking.
“Both versions of the Driver 3.0 solution expedite automakers’ mass production plans as they comprehensively address concerns regarding high cost of mapping and maintenance, as well as the limitations of geo-fencing,” the company said.
“Not relying on HD maps, smart driving will be available everywhere and affordable for automakers and consumers alike,” DeepRoute.ai said. It will also reduce driving fatigue and offer a smooth and consistent driving experience, the company added.