Karma Automotive showcases SAE Level 4 autonomous van e-flex platform

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 09 Apr 2020

US-based luxury electric vehicle maker and high-tech incubator, Karma Automotive (Karma) today announced the arrival of its SAE Level 4 autonomous van with a battery electric vehicle (BEV) architecture, which it says is one of five platforms designed to offer new electric mobility solutions through highly versatile EREV (extended range electric vehicle) and BEV chassis systems.

Karma’s new L4 E-Flex Van is powered by the Nvidia Drive Agx Pegasus autonomous vehicle computing platform, which achieves an unprecedented 320 trillion operations per second of deep learning. It’s built on a scalable architecture, with two Nvidia Xavier processors and two Tensor Core GPUs. Karma says this energy-efficient, high-performance AI computer runs an array of deep neural networks simultaneously for safe, highly automated and fully autonomous driving.

The L4 van’s software platform and sensors suite are supported by WeRide, which covers full 360-degree FoV (Field of View) and provides precise, real-time localisations powered by multiple sensors including LiDar, radar, camera, GNSS and INS.

Srini Gowda, VP - Autonomous Driving/ADAS, Karma Automotive said: “Using the E-Flex platform, our goal was to create collaborative partnerships that address a wide array of applications. By working with nimble technology leaders like WeRide and Nvidia, we intend to offer unique market solutions with greater speed and efficiency.”

Rishi Dhall, vice-president - Autonomous Vehicles, Nvidia added, “The Nvidia Drive AGX Pegasus platform delivers the scalable computational horsepower and AI capabilities essential for the safe deployment of Level 4 self-driving systems, being brought to market by Karma and WeRide.”

Yan Li, co-founder and CTO, WeRide said: “WeRide’s L4 self-driving technology adapted in Karma’s E-Flex Van demonstrates our powerful solutions to bring safe and cutting-edge autonomous vehicles across different models for different purposes. The L4 van joins forces to pave the way for the future of transportation.”

The Karma L4 van is the latest in a series of platform development projects featuring the Karma E-Flex platform. It maybe recollected that last week, Karma debuted its first product in the series, an EREV E-Flex Platform based on its award-winning 2020 Revero GT. Karma says additional demonstration platforms to be revealed in coming months include autonomously driven vehicles, high-performance supercar platforms and more. In addition, the company had also showcased its SiC inverter for EV fast charging that is compatible with variety of industries including automotive, aircraft, train, agriculture and industrial applications.

Karma says its E-Flex Platform can be configured up to 22 different ways, including installation of SAE L4 technology on both BEV and EREV platforms. The L4 E-Flex Van can incorporate additional components including:

The company is betting on cities that aim to cut down on vehicular emissions, and have banned internal combustion engines. It says the L4 Van will offer a sustainable solution for last-mile transportation by using autonomy to pilot the vehicle as it completes tasks on electric power. The autonomous cargo van’s technology can also be scaled to deliver critical supplies to underserved areas or act as a first responder vehicle for future disaster relief or public health crises.