Kodiak emphasizes redundancy in sixth-generation autonomous semi truck


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Kodiak’s sixth-generation driverless truck. | Supply: Kodiak Robotics

Kodiak Robotics Inc. launched its sixth-generation, driverless-ready semi truck at CES in Las Vegas this week. The corporate mentioned its self-driving truck is designed for scaled deployment and builds on 5 years of real-world testing. This testing included 5,000 hundreds carried over greater than 2.5 million miles. 

The Mountain View, Calif.-based firm mentioned it’ll use the brand new truck for its personal driverless operations on roadways between Dallas and Houston this 12 months. 

“Over the course of two.5 million miles, we’ve efficiently demonstrated that our self-driving vans can face up to the cruel atmosphere of long-haul trucking from each a platform integrity and a software program perspective,” mentioned Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak, in a launch.

“This truck basically demonstrates that we’ve accomplished the work vital to soundly deal with driverless operations,” he added. “Whereas we proceed to work with main truck producers, the expertise we developed is deployment-ready, uncoupled from OEM timelines and truck manufacturer-agnostic, which permits us to maneuver quick whereas retaining security on the forefront.”

Kodiak mentioned the most recent version of its autonomous semi-trucks has all the mandatory redundant safety-critical {hardware}. These embrace braking, steering, and sensors, in addition to the software program required for driverless operations at scale. 

Redundancy is the important thing to security, says Kodiak

Kodiak famous that its newest autonomous semi-truck contains redundancy throughout all safety-critical capabilities. These embrace a redundant braking system, redundant steering, and redundant energy.

Whereas conventional semi-trailer vans have redundant braking programs, Kodiak mentioned it needed to take this additional. Its vans’ pneumatic braking programs include three particular person brake actuators.

All three actuators are concurrently managed by Kodiak’s system. Which means that if any of them fail, the backup programs can stop lack of management and convey the truck to a secure cease. 

The corporate has additionally geared up its vans with a dual-redundant steering system that features two redundant ZF actuators managed by Kodiak’s security system. 

Based mostly on the firm‘s security evaluation, if the first steering actuator experiences any kind of failure, then the steering system switches to the secondary actuator. This permits the system to keep up full management and transfer the car right into a secure state with out compromising the car dynamics.

The vans have a redundant energy system that powers the computer systems, sensors, actuators, and all different electrical programs. Kodiak mentioned its energy system is cut up into two totally remoted subsystems. These subsystems be sure that all security programs can nonetheless carry out a secure “fallback” ought to both fail. 

As well as, Kodiak asserted that every one of its vans, not simply the newest technology, are geared up with its custom-designed Actuation Management Engine (ACE). The ACE system is a high-integrity security pc accountable for guaranteeing that the Kodiak Driver can information the truck to a fallback out of the circulate of site visitors ought to a crucial system failure happen. 

Lastly, the truck features a redundant LTE communications hyperlinks, permitting the truck to determine dependable communications with Kodiak’s redundant command facilities in Lancaster, Texas, and Mountain View, Calif.

Kodiak truck.

Kodiak’s newest technology of vans options upgraded SensorPods and extra. | Supply: Kodiak Robotics

Contained in the sixth-generation truck

Like its earlier vans, Kodiak’s sixth-generation car options its Kodiak Driver, a vehicle-agnostic self-driving system and driverless-ready {hardware} platform. The vehicle-agnostic facets of the driving force will turn out to be useful as a result of the corporate plans to roll out its sixth-generation platform to a number of car varieties. 

Kodiak claimed that its newest vans function twice the GPU processor cores, 1.6 occasions larger processing velocity, 3 times extra reminiscence, and a couple of.75 occasions larger bandwidth to run software program processes than its first-generation truck. 

This newest technology of vans additionally options upgrades to Kodiak’s proprietary SensorPods, which home the sensors and are pre-calibrated and pre-built for quick and simple repairs. Kodiak improved its SensorPods with two higher-resolution lidars, which at the moment are automotive-grade. It additionally has two extra facet radar sensors to enhance long-range detection. 

In complete, Kodiak geared up its vans with 12 cameras, 4 lidar sensors, and 6 radar sensors. To course of this elevated sensor information, the self-driving truck maker depends on NVIDIA GPUs. 

The corporate additionally added top-mounted, extra-bright hazard lights to its SensorPods. Kodiak designed these lights to adjust to the autonomous trucking business’s utility for an exemption to Federal Motor Automobile Security Regulation 392.22. This regulation requires conventional truck drivers to position warning units on a roadway after a breakdown. 

Since driverless vans received’t be capable of place highway flares or different units alongside the roadway, Kodiak mentioned these lights can be used to alert different drivers to the presence of a truck on the facet of the highway, pending Federal Motor Service Security Administration approval. 

Kodiak additionally geared up its vans with microphones, in order that its vans can detect and determine the presence of emergency automobiles and different suspicious sounds that would symbolize a hazard.

Kodiak’s sixth-generation truck follows the corporate’s partnership with Pilot to open a truckport for launching and touchdown autonomous vans. It has additionally teamed up with LoadsmithC.R. England and Tyson, Ahead and extra.

Kodiak plans to proceed enhancing its self-driving vans. As an illustration, it plans to combine an Ambarella CV3-AD AI area management system on chip (SoC).

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