Monday, November 21, 2022

Sony to make self-driving sensors that need 70% less power


Sony is developing its own electric vehicles. (Asia Nikkei)
July 19, 2022

TOKYO -- Sony Group will develop a new self-driving sensor that uses 70% less electricity, helping to reduce autonomous systems' voracious appetite for power and extend the range of electric vehicles.
The sensor, made by Sony Semiconductor Solutions, will be paired with new software to be developed by Sompo Holdings-backed startup Tier IV with the goal of cutting the amount of power used by EV onboard systems by 70%. The companies hope to achieve Level 4 technology, allowing cars to drive themselves under certain conditions, by 2030.

Electric vehicles will make up 59% of new car sales globally in 2035, the Boston Consulting Group predicts. Over 30% of trips 5 km and longer are expected to be made in self-driving cars, which rely on large numbers of sensors and cameras and transmit massive amounts of data.

Existing autonomous systems are said to use as much power as thousands of microwave ovens, hindering improvements in the driving range of EVs. Combined with the drain from air conditioning and other functions, EVs could end up with a range at least 35% smaller than on paper, according to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. If successful, Sony's new sensors would limit this impact to around 10%.

Sony plans to lower the amount of electricity needed in self-driving systems through edge computing, processing as much data as possible through AI-equipped sensors and software on the vehicles themselves instead of transmitting it to external networks. This approach is expected to shrink communication lags as well, making the vehicles safer. 

[Thanks to the anonymous blog comment for sharing the article text.]


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