June 25th, 2020 by Zachary Shahan
Maybe you’re more with it than me, but it seems like every week I’m learning about another autonomous driving firm — or relearning about one. How many are out there now — 200? 300? This week we’ve got news from Phantom AI — which says it is “democratizing the use of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to reduce accidents, save lives and make driving more enjoyable, while delivering tomorrow’s self-driving technology.” I thought I hadn’t heard of the firm, but it vaguely rang a bell. Turns out we had a nice dive into the company in 2018 when it was called Phantom Auto.
Phantom AI has teamed up with Renesas Electronics Corporation, another company I thought I had never heard of but we’ve covered three times — in 2017 in connection to a partnership with Mahindra & Mahindra for Formula E, in 2018 in connection with Baidu autonomous buses, and in 2018 again in the article “Chipmaker Renesas Makes Plans For Autonomous Vehicles With $6.7 Billion Deal.” Plans indeed. Nearly two years later, the company describes itself as a company that “delivers high computer vision performance and AI processing at industry-leading low power levels.”
As the title of this article notes, Phantom AI and Renesas have partnered in order to offer “full stack Level 2 advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) solutions” for automakers.
“Phantom AI offers a flexible, automotive-grade ADAS solution on Renesas’ single, low-power R-Car V3H system-on-chip (SoC), which provides enough computing power to enable a Level 2 ADAS feature set and meets functional safety needs. This industry-leading full stack solution consists of three core products:
- PhantomVision: a highly scalable deep learning-based computer vision system that supports vehicle, pedestrian, bicyclist, free-space, traffic sign and traffic light detection.
- PhantomFusion: a platform-independent sensor fusion and object tracking system that makes use of camera, radar and LiDAR and helps vehicles to keep track of anything surrounding them.
- PhantomDrive: a complete ADAS control system that enables features such as adaptive cruise control, lane centering and automatic lane change.”
The offering is aimed at getting ADAS into more of the market, not just high-end cars. The features could be very helpful in cutting down on automobile accidents, but the tech is inequitably distributed to wealthy people who can afford relatively expensive cars — hence Phantom AI saying that it is “democratizing” the tech.
Let’s jump into some of the technical details. “Phantom AI’s software provides OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers an opportunity to deploy ADAS solutions across various low- to mid-end vehicle platforms where development cost is a big concern for manufacturers. The software provides a reliable, cost-effective NCAP 2020 compliant solution with no impact on the system performance. Functional safety is a key ADAS requirement from vehicle manufacturers and collaboration with Renesas enables Phantom to deliver ISO26262-compliant solutions. Renesas provides a fully optimized and validated SOC / PMIC / timing chip set to reduce development efforts and bill of materials (BOM). The integration of real-time core integration in an SoC, including full AUTOSAR support removing the need of external MCU, contributes to further BOM reduction.”
“Phantom AI’s full stack L2 ADAS solution on Renesas’s system-on-chip is a powerful combination that customers are demanding,” said Hyunggi Cho, co-founder and CEO of Phantom AI. “Renesas’ R-Car V3H provides a perfect balance between deep learning and traditional computer vision hardware acceleration and is an ideal complement to our computer vision technology.”
We should see soon if customers are indeed demanding this solution. It sounds compelling. It sounds like it fits a useful niche. But I’m not an OEM or Tier 1 supplier, so I don’t know what I don’t know. Hopefully it won’t take another two years for CleanTechnica to cover each of these companies.
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