Acer to use government test area for driverless car development

2018/12/17 20:18:27 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Acer to use government test area for driverless car development

Taipei, Dec. 17 (CNA) Taiwan-based PC brand Acer will begin using a government facility in an industrial park in Tainan in the first quarter of 2019 to further test its research and development capabilities for driverless cars.

The company signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Monday with the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) to make use of the 1.75-hectare test site NARLabs runs in the Shalun Green Energy Science City.

Acer, which unveiled a self-driving concept car in September in collaboration with Yulon Group, said the test area can help it integrate its expertise in artificial intelligence and the cloud with Yulon's self-developed open vehicle platform.

The complex environment, which simulates real road conditions and street views in Taiwan to provide 13 types of driving scenarios, will enable its AI-powered cars to collect more diverse data from real-time positioning, cameras, and Lidar (light detection and ranging) sensors to allow better decision-making, Acer said.

That testing process and subsequent efforts to get certification are necessary steps for driverless car developers such as Acer before they launch commercial sales of such vehicles, the NARLabs said.

Stan Shih (施振榮), founder and honorary chairman of Acer, said during the MOU signing ceremony that he looked forward to seeing Taiwan play a key role in the autonomous vehicle industry, especially in the supply chain of automotive subsystems and components.

Taiwan is well-established in the electronics field and has great potential to push for autonomous vehicle development, which would support industrial upgrades in other sectors in Taiwan, Shih said.

Science and Technology Minister Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) agreed, saying that autonomous vehicles pose an opportunity for Taiwan, as about 30 percent of the vehicles on the road will be driverless by 2030.

The concept car Acer is working on with Yulon car brand Luxgen and automotive electronics provider Haitec is a "level 4-ready" self-driving car based on the Luxgen S3 electric vehicle platform, Acer said.

It uses Acer's autonomous driving system for sensing, decision-making and control.

Based on the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) definition of levels of automated driving for on-road vehicles, level 4 is defined as high automation, meaning the vehicle's automated driving system can be activated even if a human driver fails to respond appropriately to a request to intervene.

The SAE scale ranges from 0-5, with zero being defined as no automation and five standing for full automation.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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