The Swiss mobility visionary uses an ingenious trick to disentangle the different lifecycles of various automotive components: The skateboard carries the durable mechanical and the fast-aging IT components. They are recycled after a few years of intensive use once they have reached the end of their design life, while the much less stressed pod is able to remain in service for much longer, before it also must be sent to recycling. This benefits the environment because it plays a significant role in conserving natural resources.
Almost as an aside, the innovative Swiss solve a problem that many know from the navigation systems in their own vehicles: they no longer find the way, because software and map data are outdated. What is merely annoying here can quickly become a safety issue in self-driving cars in the near future.
Optionally, there is even a ‘personal assistant’ in the form of an autonomous, intelligent robot to accompany the occupants. It will also be happy to help with running errands, carrying purchases, or handle other tedious tasks.
The city runabout is brimming with sensors. For example, US company Gentex is contributing the Iris scanner for occupant detection and dimmable front and rear glass elements, which can also be found on the Boeing Dreamliner. The sophisticated Lidar sensors from Ibeo in Hamburg ensure that obstacles on the road are detected by means of real-time measurement of the light reflections. The Harman Autonomous Drive Platform that is part of the skateboard makes safely moving through city traffic possible. It uses the NXP BlueBox, a sensor fusion solution. In turn, the Smart Antenna, jointly developed by NXP and Harman, ensures safe communication to the world outside as well as a high-speed connection to the Harman Ignite Cloud Platform.
With 5G, Car2X, radio tuner, BT, and WiFi, it covers the entire spectrum of wireless networking possibilities. Sprint, a leading US telecommunications company, is committed to ensuring stable networks. Moreover, with highly-sensitive pod recognition and its customised Smart Access solution, the chip giant NXP offers a broad range of technologies that show promise for the future. Europe’s leading business software company SAP contributes by enabling the digitised ecosystem through innovative technologies and software solutions in the areas of smart cities, connected health, connected mobility, and transportation. And TomTom provides HD maps for autonomous driving and navigation technologies that enable predictive driving for passengers’ comfort. Finally, the Israeli start-up Valens’s HDBaseT Automotive connectivity technology connection is responsible for the fast and secure transmission of even ultra-high-definition, high-resolution multimedia signals between the numerous vehicle components.
Harman developed the ‘True Level 5’ HMI, an operating concept perfectly tailored to the needs of changing passengers in a fully autonomous vehicle. The goal of the development: maximum possible individualisation paired with optimal protection of personal data. To this end, there is three-level user authentication, depending on the desired personalisation. A token unlocks the vehicle and customises the displays. Personal cloud content is available after identification by face recognition. As a result, the voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant knows the preferences and habits of each passenger and suggests, for example, a suitable restaurant for every passenger, depending on personal preferences. In addition, a third level of biometric identification is required if health data of the passenger are to be recorded and analysed.