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BMW partners with Seoul Robotics to launch ‘Level 5’ control tower

Seoul Robotics, a robotics perception company, has introduced what it describes as a “Level 5 Control Tower” (LV5 CTRL TWR), a mesh network of sensors and computers on infrastructure that guides vehicles autonomously rather than having to place any sensors on an individual vehicle.

This “revolutionary technology” – which is said to enable non-autonomous vehicles to be controlled autonomously – is in the final stages of testing with automaker BMW and preparing for implementation to automate last-mile fleet logistics at their manufacturing facility in Munich.

Beyond original equipment manufacturers, the system has the potential to transform operations for a wide range of business applications ranging from vehicle distribution centers to car rental companies and trucking logistics.

Autonomous mobility faces several barriers to entry: it’s cost-prohibitive, not yet safe enough to achieve Level 5 autonomy, and lacks the ability to both perceive and anticipate obstacles effectively.

To mitigate these challenges, Seoul Robotics is taking a groundbreaking approach to achieve Autonomy through Infrastructure.

By placing sensors equipped with 3D perception software around vehicles – like on traffic lights, buildings, and highway overhangs – the system can fully capture the environment and communicate with other sensors and the 4/5G systems that come standard on vehicles today.

Level 5 Control Tower is the brains of this mechanism, collecting all the 3D data and then automating vehicles accordingly using V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communications.

HanBin Lee, CEO of Seoul Robotics, says: “Level 5 mobility has been proven to be more challenging to achieve than expected – until now.

“Level 5 Control Tower has massive potential to fuel autonomous mobility, and we are thrilled to continue expanding upon the implementation of this technology with BMW and other partners.

“Ultimately, these systems will be deployed in additional public and business settings, powering aspects of our everyday lives, such as autonomously navigated parking and public transit. With the Level 5 Control Tower, this future is closer and more accessible than ever.”

While autonomous mobility is exciting for the everyday consumer, the Level 5 Control Tower is already proving to have a tremendous impact on business operations.

The collaboration with BMW, which is the largest-ever implementation of this type of technology, leverages hundreds of connected LiDAR sensors on infrastructure to automate newly manufactured vehicles within factories and vehicle distribution centers without any human involvement.

By making this process autonomous, OEMs like BMW can increase operational efficiencies and safety within automotive logistics.

The Level 5 Control Tower is able to automate vehicles from multiple vantage points, such as behind a truck and around corners, as well as predict trajectories, thus eliminating blind spots, a current challenge for on-vehicle LiDAR systems.

This broad understanding of the environment and surrounding activity reduces collisions and creates a more reliable process.

Furthermore, this system is sophisticated enough to handle the movement of hundreds of vehicles simultaneously without any added cost, ensuring vehicles can drive slower or take longer, safer routes which can further prevent accidents.

The Level 5 Control Tower is made possible because of SENSR, Seoul Robotics’ industry-leading 3D perception software. SENSR is the only 3D perception platform on the market that is both sensor-agnostic and able to leverage deep learning AI for enhanced tracking, detection, and prediction capabilities within centimeter accuracies.

The system is highly flexible and can mix and match different makes and models of 3D sensors to ensure that the Level 5 Control Tower has the most robust dataset possible.

Seoul Robotics will be showcasing the Level 5 Control Tower and its full suite of 3D perception-based solutions at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 5-7, 2022.

Visit Booth #6559 at the Las Vegas Convention Center to learn more about the company’s field-proven technology for smart cities, ITS, autonomous mobility, and more.

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