Tata Elxsi and AEye to reveal autonomous robotaxi at CES 2020

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 02 Jan 2020


Representational image courtesy: AEye

Tata Elxsi, the leading design and technology services company, and USA-based artificial perception pioneer AEye have announced successful completion of RoboTaxi, Tata Elxsi’s in-house concept demonstrator vehicle developed using AEye’s iDAR platform and Tata Elxsi’s autonomous stack.

The iDAR from AEye is the first fully software-definable smart sensor that supports dynamic ROI (region-of-interest) and cueing of sensors, which the company says improves the reliability of detection and classification, while extending the range at which objects can be detected, classified and tracked to enhance safe, reliable vehicle autonomy. 

Tata Elxsi’s RoboTaxi, built on top of its software middleware platform Autonomai, with deep learning and AI capabilities has been used to conceptualise the RoboTaxi feature. The feature allows the user to travel in a RoboTaxi from their current location to the user’s selected destination with the press of a button on the screen.  The fully autonomous vehicle, fitted with AEye’s iDAR, encounters various scenarios, such as cross-traffic detection at a junction and round-about, follow the road ahead, and cueing the sensor with HD maps and V2X information. 

Tata Elxsi says it is responsible for iDAR integration into the vehicle, interfacing with the AD stack, simulation, vehicle testing and demonstration for AEye.

Abhijit Thatte, vice-president - AI and Software, AEye said: “Tata Elxsi has been a wonderful development partner, helping us to extend the software capabilities of the iDAR platform and integrate iDAR into a fully realised autonomous driving stack. Building a reference autonomous system from the ground up, based on iDAR as the artificial perception platform, is a fantastic achievement for the AEye and Tata Elxsi’s AD/ADAS team.   We are excited to be demonstrating some of the unique capabilities of iDAR and how they can accelerate the deployment of autonomous features in vehicles.”

AEye says its system is unique in the sense that it can scale for 'Autonomy on-demand' - allowing for any hardware implementation, from low-cost ADAS to fully integrated 360deg RoboTaxi functionality. The company also recently announced the ability to move selective perception capabilities to the edge of the network, onto the sensor itself.

Shaju S, general manager and head of transportation business unit, Tata Elxsi said: “iDAR is a powerful perception platform, and it has been an exceptional opportunity to work with iDAR and the AEye team to realise our shared vision of how to implement autonomous driving. We look forward to continue to work together to deliver exciting new capabilities in 2020.”

The partners will demonstrate the advanced RoboTaxi software framework that helps car makers accelerate their autonomous development initiatives at CES in Las Vegas, January 7-10, 2020.

AEye is an artificial perception pioneer and creator of iDAR, perception system that acts as the eyes and visual cortex of autonomous vehicles. The company based in San Francisco Bay Area, is backed by world-renowned investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Taiwania Capital, Hella Ventures, LG Electronics, Subaru-SBI, Aisin, Intel Capital, and Airbus Ventures.