ZF self-driving at CES 2023

Self-driving headline news from CES 2023

Share this article

CES 2023: Self-driving advances overshadowed by Terminator hero

As has become customary at this time of year, here’s our Cars of the Future review of notable self-driving developments at CES, “the most influential tech event in the world”.

First, it would be remiss not to point out that self-driving impressively made headlines by not stealing the show! For instance, Cleantechnica ran with the headline: “CES 2023 Shies Away From Autonomous Driving Technology”.

Self-driving premiere

That’s maybe a bit harsh. For starters, ZF gave a world premiere to its next generation Level 4 autonomous shuttle, and announced an important new partnership with Beep.

ZF self-driving shuttle announced at CES 2023
ZF self-driving shuttle announced at CES 2023

Integrated into ZF’s autonomous driving system is the Virtual Driver software stack, developed in partnership with Oxfordshire-based Oxbotica. It consists of two major parts, the performance path and the safety path. The safety path monitors situations and defines ‘virtual guardrails’, while the performance path enables smooth driving.

“ZF delivers innovative technologies that contribute to sustainable mobility and help decarbonize the world,” said Dr. Holger Klein, CEO of ZF Group. “Today, we have everything to support our customers with holistic vehicle systems based on advanced high-performance controllers, intelligent sensors, smart actuators, connectivity and cloud solutions, and cutting-edge software and functions.”

The agreement with Beep includes plans for “several thousand” Level 4 shuttles in the US. Joe Moye, CEO of Beep, added: “This vehicle will help expand use cases and meet growing customer demand as we continue to pursue our vision of extending mobility equity and reducing carbon emissions with safe, efficient shared autonomous transportation.”

Self-driving AI

Then there was Korean company AIMMO’s announcement of “the world’s first AI-powered Autonomous Driving Data-as-a-Service” – ADaaS – designed “to overcome the industry-wide problem of excessive data collection that has constrained the progression and commercialisation of AV technologies”.

AIMMO AI-powered Autonomous Driving Data-as-a-Service (ADaaS) for self-driving
AIMMO AI-powered Autonomous Driving Data-as-a-Service (ADaaS) for self-driving

“Over the years, we have seen a huge amount of anticipation around when we will see autonomous vehicles commercialised, but with standards and regulations ever-changing across the world, it is an extremely complex market to navigate,” said AIMMO CEO SeungTaek Oh. ”We believe that the arrival of AIMMO ADaaS is a game-changer for many companies operating in this space.”

There was the small matter of Honda and Sony teaming up to launch a whole new brand, Afeela. It promises “the car of tomorrow”, with first deliveries scheduled for 2026.

Self-driving tech

Plastic Omnium announced the creation of a new division, OP’n Soft, focused on “mobility solutions that are more electric, more connected, more autonomous and more shared”. There’s probably an acronym for that.

“OP’n Soft will enable Plastic Omnium to offer its customers a unique range of integrated solutions and services, such as merging radar data processing software with lighting technologies,” said CEO Laurent Favre.

Plastic O also showcased a new “smart bumper” featuring embedded antennas to deliver “unequaled sensing faculties”, and announced a partnership with startup Greenerwave “to transform body panels into 4D imaging radar to give autonomous cars supervision”.

Another startup, Exwayz, unveiled SLAM – new generation software offering self-localization accurate to 2cm “to simplify and accelerate 3D LiDAR integration into autonomous systems”.

Exwayz SLAM self-localization for self-driving announced at CES 2023
Exwayz SLAM self-localization for self-driving announced at CES 2023

“We are proud to introduce Exwayz SLAM, aimed at saving years in hard software development to autonomous system manufacturers,” said CEO Hassan Bouchiba. “The reality is that autonomy can only happen with robust, accurate, reliable and truly real-time algorithms, which are the critical lacking elements in currently available solutions.”

Terminator star

Perhaps understandably, these advances were somewhat overshadowed by Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger joining BMW CEO Oliver Zipse on-stage to unveil the eye-catching BMW i Vision Dee colour-changing car.

The Dee Movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger on Youtube
Share this article

Author: Neil Kennett

Neil is MD of Featurebank Ltd. He launched Carsofthefuture.co.uk in 2019.