Visteon’s new technical center to develop AI for autonomous vehicles


Supplier of innovative cockpit electronics products and connected car systems for most of the world’s major auto makers, Visteon Corporation has announced that its new technical center in Silicon Valley in California will lead the company’s development of artificial intelligence (AI) for autonomous vehicles.

Visteon’s breakthrough autonomous vehicle (AV) program will apply machine learning technology for accurately detecting and classifying objects in a vehicle’s path and planning its movements, resulting in fully trained driving control systems. The recently opened facility in Santa Clara, California, will work closely with global Visteon technology centers to develop excellence in AI software, advanced driver awareness systems (ADAS), and deep machine learning. These efforts will support the company’s approach to autonomous driving, which encompasses three key elements:

• Creating fail-safe, centralized domain controller hardware using Visteon’s industry-first cockpit domain controller, Smartcore;

• Unlocking the innovation potential of algorithm developers through an easy-to-access open framework and test/simulation environment;

• Applying AI for object detection, classification, perception, and decision making in future AVs.

Visteon’s recently opened facility in the heart of Silicon Valley will house a team of engineers specializing in AI and machine learning. The center is located close to the West Coast offices of various auto makers and technology companies, as well as Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley, two of the leading universities for AI and deep learning in the USA. In addition to leading Visteon’s AI efforts, the Silicon Valley office will play a key role in delivering control systems, localization and vision processing; interpreting live camera data and converting it to information required for autonomous driving. Visteon is targeting launching its first autonomous driving domain controller platform in 2018.

Leading Visteon’s Silicon Valley AI research is Vijay Nadkarni, who joined the company earlier this year from Chalkzen Inc., where he developed and launched a revolutionary SaaS (software-as-a-service) and connected car services platform. Visteon has been continually expanding its resources to support next-generation ADAS development and autonomous driving. On April 1, Markus Schupfner joined the company as chief technology officer, bringing more than 20 years of experience leading software development for global automotive suppliers. Visteon recently announced that Matthias Schulze will join the company in January 2017 from Daimler, to lead the company’s ADAS development, including overseeing the Silicon Valley facility.

“Most current advanced driver assistance systems based on radar and cameras are not capable of accurately detecting and classifying objects, such as cars, pedestrians or bicycles, at a level required for autonomous driving,” explained Sachin Lawande (above right), president and CEO of Visteon. “We need to achieve virtually 100% accuracy for autonomous driving, which will require innovative solutions based on deep machine learning technology. Our Silicon Valley team, with its focus on machine learning software development, will be a critical part of our autonomous driving technology initiative.” 

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).