Acura's sleeker 2nd-gen self-driving car hides sensors for better aesthetics

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited May 2016
With Acura's launch of its second automated vehicle, the RLX, the luxury sedan manufacturer is closer to providing an attractive consumer option --?a market Apple watchers expect the company's secretive "Project Titan" is also eyeing.




Breaking free of previous clutter in its initial prototype, Acura's second version of its RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD sedan displays a more minimalist design with the option to hide sensors. This sleeker design can be more appealing to drivers as cables and wires are less visible and more neatly integrated, when compared to current self-driving cars on the road like Google's autonomous vehicle.

Featuring proprietary automated technology in a sleeker, more subtle design, the new RLX was unveiled on Wednesday in California. The updated sensors for radar, GPS, Lidar and camera work with attached high performance CPUs and GPUs to offer a wider range of testing scenarios.

Data collected from the sensors overlaps, assisting engineers to test each sensor's information more accurately. This concept, sensor fusion, is also in use in the AcuraWatch safety and driver-assistive suite for all Acuras coming out in 2016.

Acura's second automated vehicle will be tested at the Honda Research Institute USA located at GoMentum Station, a 5,000-acre former naval base for testing automated vehicles in the San Francisco Bay Area. That's the same facility where Apple is alleged to have held discussions to test its own rumored car.

GoMentum Station has over 20 miles of roadway grids, buildings and infrastructure to create a realistic environment for testing automated and connected vehicles. Acura hopes to test out new prototypes and scenarios well enough to accelerate adoption of automated driving technologies by 2020.

One of Apple's sensor-laden vans, spotted in Hawaii by AppleInsider reader matthawaii.
One of Apple's sensor-laden vans, spotted in Hawaii by AppleInsider reader matthawaii.


Apple is widely believed to be working on an electric vehicle codenamed "Project Titan" at a top-secret facility in the town of Sunnyvale, Calif. The company is also said to be interested in making an autonomous, self-driving vehicle, much like the RLX test model announced by Acura on Wednesday.

Separately, Apple has been scanning roads around the world with a fleet of vans also covered with unsightly sensors. Though the vans are confirmed to be used to improve the Apple Maps service, some have speculated that the company could also be collecting data for a self-driving car.

Whether it's a full-fledged self-driving car like Google's autonomous vehicle, or a mapping van such as Apple's, a vehicle adorned in unattractive sensors is focused on practicality. But as Acura's new RLX shows, those aesthetics will undoubtedly need to change once car and tech companies begin to sell autonomous vehicles to image-conscious consumers.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    ... the luxury sedan manufacturer is closer to providing an attractive consumer option — a market Apple watchers expect the company's secretive "Project Titan" is also eyeing. ...
    All auto manufacturers are "eyeing" the self-driving car market.  Some tech companies too.

    Apple - to disrupt yet another industry (and profit massively from it).
    Ford, Acura etc. - to survive the 21st century.
    Google - to track everywhere you go, then spam you with hyper-precisely targeted ads.

    Speaking of Google, I got partially blocked by a Google self-driving last Friday (the 13th) in Mountain View.
    It was stuck, trying to make an easy right turn from Villa to Castro southbound.
    The thing started the turn against a red light, stopped, then stayed still after the light had turned green.
    No pedestrians, no obstructions, just a clear shot onto Castro.
    But it just stayed there, brakes on, partly blocking cross-traffic in my lane.
    We all just casually drove around it.

    Good luck with that self-driving car thing, Google.
    It could be the next Google Wave.  Remember that?
    edited May 2016 pscooter63repressthis
  • Reply 2 of 5
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,550member
    Volvo is very serious about this - http://www.volvocars.com/intl/About/Our-Innovation-Brands/IntelliSafe/IntelliSafe-Autopilot And as a warning, here is an early fail of a self driving Volvo parking -
    repressthis
  • Reply 3 of 5
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,622member
    I thought the Dephi Audi was nicer looking with virtually no protruding sensors and it drove all the way across the US autonomously.

    Images for self driving Delphi Audi cross country
  • Reply 4 of 5
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    paxman said:
    Volvo is very serious about this - http://www.volvocars.com/intl/About/Our-Innovation-Brands/IntelliSafe/IntelliSafe-Autopilot And as a warning, here is an early fail of a self driving Volvo parking -
    Jesus!!

    This is why I suggested Apple collect sensor data on the first few Apple Cars before going autonomous.
    repressthis
  • Reply 5 of 5
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,008member
    cali said:
    paxman said:
    Volvo is very serious about this - http://www.volvocars.com/intl/About/Our-Innovation-Brands/IntelliSafe/IntelliSafe-Autopilot And as a warning, here is an early fail of a self driving Volvo parking -
    Jesus!!

    This is why I suggested Apple collect sensor data on the first few Apple Cars before going autonomous.
    Love how the fucking idiot lets the car ram into him without reacting, even though he had a shitload of time to get out of the way.
    repressthis
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