June 13, 2022
Chinese self-driving company WeRide has released a new, upgraded version of its automated tech, the Sensor Suite 5.0.
The Guangzhou-based firm says WeRide SS 5.0 brings not only superior performance but, crucially, greater flexibility. This will allow the tech to be more compatible with more models from more companies and at a lower cost, accelerating the mass production and commercialization of its Robotaxi.
WeRide SS 5.0 comprises 12 cameras and seven solid-state lidars – rather than mechanical units – which constitute six sensor sets that are installed on different parts of a car’s body.
The company has gone to great lengths to ensure all six are as discreet as possible, so they are fully integrated with the body, ensuring the original shape of the car is retained. The seven solid-state lidars are located on the roof, rear wing and around the body, with the size of the suite dramatically reduced – and also delivering better reliability.
While there has been an obvious focus on improving the aesthetics, there is no compromise in functionality. WeRide SS 5.0 can still deliver full 360-degree sensing capability, and object detection can stretch to 656 feet – both necessities in China’s increasingly complex urban traffic.
And thanks to further enhancements, WeRide can run stably on computing platforms with 250-500 TOPS of power, achieving lower power consumption and maximum performance.
WeRide believes the upgrade can help it build on its success to date, which has seen it use its WeRide One autonomous driving platform on five different products – the Robotaxi, Robobus, Robovan, Robosweeper and SAE Level 2-4 advanced driving solutions – which are operational in 23 cities including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Zhengzhou, Nanjing and Wuhan.
Earlier this year, the purpose-built driverless Robosweeper made its debut in Guangzhou, where a fleet of 50 has been tasked with keeping the city’s streets clean.
And with its array of self-driving products having accumulated more than 6.8 million miles of public road mileage, of which over 1.7 million miles were driverless, the company received a strategic investment from Bosch last month that was geared toward accelerating mass production of Level 2-3 tech across China.
Now it’s hoped the release of WeRide SS 5.0 – which has been fully tested and is already in operation – can unlock the potential of Level 4 tech, bringing forward large-scale deployment.
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