Next week, Magna will begin public demonstrations of an all-new autonomous vehicle technology platform it says can be easily built into any new vehicle to give it self-driving capabilities.
The Canadian automotive supplier calls its new self-driving system Max4, a name derived from the fact it can handle up to Level 4 autonomy. Key among the suite’s attributes is that it was conceived to be easy to incorporate into any vehicle, so as to not force any design compromises or impact on the vehicle’s interior space.
But while the system is designed to allow the car to look after virtually all driving tasks in both urban and highway environments, Magna says an automaker using its technology can scale the system’s capabilities for semi-autonomous driving, such as the lane-keep assist and radar-based cruise control and automatic braking systems available in many cars now.
As with current semi-autonomous systems, Max4 uses cameras and radar and lidar sensors to communicate with a central computer processor about the vehicle’s environment, warning it of other nearby vehicles, pedestrians, and traffic signals.
Magna says Max4 was designed for easy, one-button activation and deactivation by the driver; a touch of the brake pedal or twist of the steering wheel would also turn the system off.
All of this sounds impressive, but Magna is hardly the first automotive supplier to develop self-driving tech; its advantage will be that it has strong relationships with numerous automakers, who may be keen to stick with a proven partner as they move to build more autonomous capabilities into their vehicles.
The company also claims Max4 is ready for high-volume production, and is “fully functional with a fraction of the power requirements as compared to alternative solutions.”
Magna will show off its new autonomous driving technology at the Frankfurt auto show, which opens September 14.