Chinese artificial intelligence start-up, Haomo.ai, has announced it has created an affordable autonomous driving assistance system that it claims is cheaper and better than the products offered by its competitors.
The Beijing-based company revealed three new ‘L2’ autonomous systems, which it has made available to motor vehicle companies starting from $411 per unit.
Each ‘Hpilot’ system offers the vehicle varying degrees of L2 autonomy depending on driver preferences and the environment in which the driver and vehicle are operating, according to a statement made by Haomo representatives.
Vehicles with L2 autonomy are self-steering, self-accelerating and decelerating, but still require active driver supervision and inputs when necessary, as per the Society of Automotive Engineers. It is the highest legal level of vehicle autonomy available in China, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communication.
Chinese authorities have yet to approve L3 autonomy, which allows for drivers to have an even more hands-off approach on the roads, but technology firms like Baidu have received permits to test the L3 systems in demarcated areas in and around certain population zones such as Beijing and Shenzhen.
Haomo intends to provide automotive assembly firms with a cost-efficient autonomous driving solution in the relatively new field, said Haomo.ai chairman, Zhang Kai, speaking at the Hpilot launch ceremony.
All three Hpilot advanced driving assistance system (ADAS) products were significantly cheaper than their rivals, yet performed better than any other alternatives.
A typical L2 autonomous driving system – made up of radar, LiDAR, sensorsory devices, CPUs, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication devices – costs at least $2 000, said Chen Jinzhu, CEO of consultancy firm, Shanghai Mingliang Auto Service.
The entry-level HP170 ADAS will cost automotive firms roughly $411 and will enable autonomous driving on highways and other major road networks, automatic emergency braking and short-distance parking assistance.
HP370 costs an estimated $683 and includes all the features that come standard in HP170 but with increased computing power, more sensory equipment and supports autonomous driving in urban areas.
Starting at $1 095, HP570 is Haomo.ai’s premium L2 system and supports autonomous driving on all road networks, as well as “all-scenario” parking assistance.
Haomo’s impressive offering and low price point should popularise L2 driver-assistance systems among Chinese automotive brands interested in integrating self-driving features into their products, said Phate Zhang, electric vehicle industry analyst and founder of CnEVPost.
Just over a third of all new energy vehicles sold in mainland China were outfitted with L2 autonomous driving functionality, according to data released by the China Passenger Car Association.
Haomo.ai’s main financial backer, Great Wall Motors is one of China’s foremost SUV manufacturers and has announced plans to establish a production plant in Vietnam. The company has not revealed which of its line-up will come standard with HPilot systems.