After working together on a program that will include the first deployment of lidar-enabled highly automated technology on the 7 Series later this year, the BMW Group and Innoviz Technologies are expanding their collaboration on the next generation of the technology. Under a new development agreement, they are starting a B-sample development phase on a new generation of lidar, the second-generation InnovizTwo.
“Lidar is one of the critical technologies underpinning Level 3 or even higher automated functions,” said Dr. Nicolai Martin, SVP of Driving Experience at the BMW Group. “Optimizing lidar technologies and costs are the major challenges in order to bring Level 3 highly automated driving into the mainstream.”
The result of this new phase will enable the BMW Group to decide on a serial development agreement with Innoviz that will focus on bringing a new array of advanced automated capabilities to a broader range of the OEMs lineup.
“We are excited to begin this new project on the second-generation lidar solution by working on the B-samples,” said Omer Keilaf, Innoviz Co-Founder and CEO. “BMW is at the forefront of ADAS technology, and we could not be more thrilled to have an opportunity to become an integral part of the next stage of its journey.”
In addition to the lidar solution for the 7 Series, the BMW Group and Innoviz have started this first phase to develop an all-new InnovizCore compute box and an expected first-ever lidar-based MRM (minimal risk maneuver) system in the future. The MRM acts as a secondary safety driving decision platform that will leverage the performance, reliability, and resiliency of the InnovizTwo lidar to manage real-time driving decisions.
The MRM system is part of a growing software suite from Innoviz that will include its next-generation perception software. With roughly half of its research and development investment focused on software development, the lidar developer says it has made rapid advances in deploying artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced machine learning to accelerate the development and upgrade cycles of its software suite and to expand its core software capabilities.
In May reporting of first quarter results, Innoviz said that the MRM development helps move it up the software stack. The software and hardware act as a failsafe to the primary autonomy system within a vehicle.
In the event of a complication with the primary system and a failure of the driver to take over steering control during a transition period, the MRM system can assume control of the vehicle and deliver it to safety, typically by exiting the road. Historically, this function has been performed by camera-based systems.