GM says Qualcomm’s computer chips will power its next-gen ‘hands-free’ driving mode

Basic Motors fully redesigned the compute structure that powers its next-generation “hands-free” driving system because of US semiconductor firm Qualcomm.

The automaker’s Extremely Cruise system, which will make its debut within the 2024 Cadillac Celestiq electrical sedan, will be the primary superior driver help system (ADAS) to make use of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Journey Platform. The scale of “two laptops stacked collectively,” GM claims the brand new structure will have the processing power equal to “a number of hundred” private computer systems.

“two laptops stacked collectively”

GM first introduced Extremely Cruise throughout an investor occasion final yr, describing it as a large leap over the corporate’s Tremendous Cruise system, which permits for hands-free driving on mapped, divided highways. In distinction, Extremely Cruise will cowl “95 %” of driving situations on 2 million miles of roads within the US, the corporate claimed.


“We’re trying to have this characteristic be kind of a door-to-door driverless operation,” stated Jason Ditman, chief engineer at GM, in an interview with The Verge. “When the car will get onto a succesful street, Extremely Cruise will mechanically interact and deal with nearly all of the work, hands-free. Cease indicators, stoplights, turns, splits, merges, freeways, subdivision… all of these domains.”

That’s because of Qualcomm’s new high-powered processors, Ditman stated. Final yr, Qualcomm entered into an settlement with GM to supply computer chips for the automaker’s subsequent era of electrical automobiles. When it comes out in 2023, the Cadillac Celestiq will be one of many first automobiles to characteristic the chipmaker’s new ADAS platform, which incorporates Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SA8540P system-on-a-chip and SA9000P synthetic intelligence accelerator.

These two SoCs will ship “low-latency management features on 16-core CPUs and high-performance AI compute of greater than 300 Tera Operations Per Second for digicam, radar, and lidar processing,” GM says. However extra importantly, it saves the automaker a variety of room.

“It lets us be actual environment friendly with area”

“It lets us be actual environment friendly with area,” Ditman stated. “It offers us the throughput that we’d like. And it allow us to take what was initially architected to be distributed modules all through the automotive and transfer all that performance into the one field.”

Consolidating modules for driver monitoring, mapping, and video processing into one field has additionally improved the system’s latency, Ditman stated, as a result of it permits GM to bypass the earlier system routed by the car’s CAN community. Extremely Cruise will use sensors like cameras, radars, and lidar to regulate the car’s steering, acceleration, and braking. GM hasn’t introduced all the main points across the sensor suite, however Ditman famous that the system depends on a complete of 20 totally different units.

Regardless of its enhanced capabilities, GM says it nonetheless considers Extremely Cruise a Degree 2 system, as outlined by the Society of Automotive Engineers. At Degree 2, the car can management each steering and acceleration and deceleration, in addition to monitor blind spots and even change lanes mechanically. However the driver wants to remain vigilant and maintain their eyes on the street; in the event that they don’t, the car’s infrared sensors will detect it, and the system will ship a number of warnings to the driving force earlier than disengaging.

Ditman stated GM discovered lots about driver habits from monitoring their habits and made applicable modifications for Extremely Cruise primarily based on these findings. Some research have proven that drivers are sluggish to take again management from a Degree 2 system, a troubling signal that would undermine the security case for extra superior driver help. However Ditman stated GM’s sturdy driver monitoring system serves as a “good coaching device to get folks to concentrate.”

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