Aptiv is a new name for many people, but Delphi is different. On Dec 5th, 2017, Delphi spun off its powertrain business and reappeared with its new brand name, Aptiv, which is focused on electrification and autonomy. Soon, Aptiv and Lyft had a cooperation and provided automated driving taxi service at Las Vegas in CES 2018. The self-driving route in Las Vegas was fixed and developed by Aptiv in 2017, including cities street and highways. CES 2018 was the first show of Aptiv after changing its name from Delphi.
Aptiv was very active in the autonomous driving sector in past three years.
- 2015 Aug Quanergy Strategic Investment, LiDAR
- 2017 Sep Innoviz, Solid-State LiDAR
- 2017 Sep LeddarTech, Solid-State LiDAR module, ASIC development
- 2015 Aug Ottomatika, CMU spin-off company that provides software and systems development for self-driving vehicles.
- 2015 Nov Control Tec, a SaaS-based provider of telematics and analytics software.
- 2017 Jan Movimento, over-the-air (OTA) software lifecycle and data management services
- 2017 Apr otonomo, a cloud-based platform enabling car manufacturers, drivers and service providers to be a part of a connected ecosystem.
- 2017 Oct Nutonomy, a software startup developing vehicle-to-passenger information systems for robot-taxi service
From the investments and acquisition, we can see that:
1. LiDAR is indispensable in Aptiv autonomous driving solution
2. Aptiv aims to be an L4 and L5 smart traveling solution provider
3. Aptiv are also targeting future mobility services providers
Now, Aptiv has two business divisions: Advanced Safety & User Experience and Signal & Power Solutions. Advanced Safety & User Experience is the brain of the car. It provides centralized computing platforms, advanced safety systems, and automated driving technologies. Signal & Power Solutions is the nervous system of the car. It includes vehicle electrical system design, manufacturing, and assembly solutions.
Aptiv is good at system integration. The acquirement of autonomous driving software development companies like Ottomatika and NuTonomy help fix the shortcomings in automated driving. In CES 2018, the cooperation partner Lyft was also a strategic partner of NuTonomy. The prototype vehicle was neither Audi SQ5 nor Renault. It was replaced with the new BMW 5 series.
Electronically scanning radars (ESR) is developed to detect obstacles such as cars, pedestrians, and bicycles at long distances. There are 6 ESR in the prototype vehicle. 3 in the front side, 2 in the side, 1 in the rear. ESR perform well especially when targets are right in front of the sensors. Suppose, 3 ESR need to cover 180 deg. They need to cover 60 deg per ESR. And usually, it will work better in a mid-range ( <100m).
Here, 4 short-range radars(SRR) are deployed in the corner for protection. SRR mainly enables multiple safety features including blind spot detection, lane-change merge aid, cross- traffic alert and lateral collision avoidance .
Short-range and long-range LiDAR are paired in the front and rear of the car. LiDAR can help detect and identify small objects such as pillar, fence and traffic signs since its higher resolution than radar. Short-range LiDAR looks like Velodyne VLP-16 according to the picture. Long-range LiDAR is unclear, but it might be Ibeo product.
Aptiv prototype car also has a trifocal camera that can provide color and contrast information. It can help spot suddenly appearing objects. A trifocal camera has a narrow/mono camera, main camera, and fisheye camera to detect different range. For example, Tesla Autopilot uses trifocal camera solution. The narrow/mono camera is around 250 m, the main camera is about 150 m and the fisheye camera is about 60m. Aptiv trifocal camera possibly is from Mobileye.
Aptiv prototype car is a typical L4 class car. The appearance is natural. It doesn’t like a scientific lab car after sensor integration. However, totally 9 LiDAR is still a high-grade configuration for car model nowadays. L4 and further L5 are still in the way.