Oncoming eyes-off SAE Level 3 systems will not be suited to everyone.
The subsidiary brand of Volvo has made no secret of its intention to equip its automobiles with advanced ADAS features. In the near future, the Polestar 4 will be equipped with Mobileye’s new Chauffeur autonomous driving system as a result of its latest collaboration.
What is the promise of Chauffeur?
The Polestar 4 is already equipped with Mobileye’s SuperVision-based ADAS system, which consists of 11 cameras and radar to enable autonomous lane changes, adaptive cruise control, highway and traffic congestion assist, and a variety of other features.
Mobileye’s Chauffeur will offer what the company refers to as “eyes-off, point-to-point autonomous driving on highways,” as well as eyes-on driving on other types of roads and in other environments.
“Chauffeur upgrades SuperVision with the newest EyeQ6 system-on-chip as well as next-generation active radar and lidar sensors, providing the additional sensing layer required for eyes-off autonomous operation,” notes Mobileye, demonstrating how existing eyes-on systems build a bridge to fully autonomous driving.
If this sounds like a combination of SAE Level 2 and Level 3 systems, that’s precisely where the industry is headed in terms of ADAS operational rollouts.
Eyes (On and off the road)
On highways, these systems aim to provide eyes-free driving, known in the industry as SAE Level 3, whereas more complex environments will require drivers to constantly monitor the car’s behavior in traffic with extant Level 2 systems like Tesla’s Autopilot.
It is a peculiar compromise that offers a progressive development of automated driving capabilities. And this is where manufacturers and developers will increasingly attempt to take their capabilities, at least in vehicles equipped with cameras, LiDAR, and radar.
However, Polestar does not reveal when the Polestar 4 and other Polestar models will receive Chauffeur.
As usual, some global markets (that aren’t comprised of fifty separate jurisdictions, each with its own ADAS and autonomous driving regulations) are considerably more receptive to Level 3 systems and may receive them before others.
In the near future, more U.S. states may decide to permit Level 3 systems, but the lack of a uniform approach will undoubtedly complicate matters for manufacturers and consumers, as it already does with Level 3 systems.
European manufacturers have generally refrained from making concrete promises to US consumers regarding such systems; consequently, much of what is said in the autonomous industry today is tempered by regulatory realities, some of which may be strongly opposed to eyes-off, hands-off systems.
Meanwhile, automakers are competing to offer drivers the ability to multitask while driving.
“A collaboration with Mobileye can significantly advance innovation in our Polestar 4 electric performance SUV coupé,” stated Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. “We recognize that driving yourself is not always a pleasurable experience; with this technology, our customers will be able to enable autonomous driving on demand, making all future journeys enjoyable.”
Regarding the Polestar 4, the electric crossover with up to 544 horsepower and a range of 351 miles has just gone on sale in China. However, we will not obtain it until 2024.
It is unknown when and where Polestar will be able to offer Level 3 systems in the United States.