b'38SOPHISTICATED TECHNOLOGYOur fourth-generation SDSis loaded with sensors and com-puters to enable autonomous operation. These serve as the eyes, ears,A team of test specialists gives Argo vehicles a thorough and brain of the vehicle and allow it to detect static and dynamic objects;cleaning inside the test-fleet assess the speed and trajectory of vehicles and other road users in thegarage in Palo Alto.vicinity; and enable it to react to ever-changing road dynamics. For this generation, Argo developed the custom specifications for each compo-nent working with suppliers and our in-house engineers to test and ver-ify that everything meets the needs of our system:LidarThe new SDS boasts lidar sensors that enable the system to better see where it is in relation to other vehicles, road users, and infrastructure. The new long-range lidar is now a single integrated unit for easier main-tenance, improved thermal controls, and denser coverage at longer dis-tances. The new lidar base contains water jets for cleaning and fans for cooling, allowing the sensors to operate efficiently in extreme tempera- A FOCUS ON SAFETYtures and the optical windows to be automatically cleaned if theyre ob- Building from the lessonsof the first three generations, our structed by rain or dirt. efforts to build this current self-driving system continued to refine our methods to design, model, and evaluate system and component per-Radar formance. Through Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, or FMEA, we Another big advancement is in the radar devices. Our new radar hasworked with Ford to diagnose hardware issues and identify all the ways nearly double the range of detection from the previous generations sys- an individual module might fail. We identified mechanisms to assess the tem, an improvement that, when coupled with the expanded detectionseverity or risk of each failure. capabilities of the long-range lidar, allows our vehicles to travel safely atFromthere,wecollaboratedwithFordtoimproveperformance higher speeds.overall and built diagnostic checks into the SDS to identify, isolate, and, in some cases, solve problems on the fly. We also teamed up with chip Cameras and Image Processing manufacturers to ensure that the hardware in our on-board computers The new SDS incorporates a host of high-resolution far-field and near- is optimized for use in self-driving vehicles that will operate in a wide field cameras loaded with new custom image sensors that offer morerange of road conditions. That means both computers are built to au-advanced pixel technology. This improved vision capability is crucial intomotive-grade standards and have been strengthened to withstand the high-dynamic range scenes, for instance when a vehicle is emerging fromrigors of operating in an urban environment, such as the bumps and jolts a dark tunnel and into bright sunlight. Now, the cameras pixel technolo- along potholed roads. Another aspect of safety and digital security is the gy, combined with a custom image-processing pipeline, can handle chal- fact that the computers use different detection algorithms so the backup lenging lighting scenarios, providing accurate perception without losscomputer has a unique perception ability that improves the robustness of visibility. of response in an unexpected situation. The computing systems also have independent communications pathways and power sources that Audio Detection maintain their operational independence.The addition of three microphones allows our SDS to effectively listenWe also addressed reliability, since our self-driving cars have so many foremergencyrespondervehiclesandreactaccordinglyastheyap- software systems on board. Our new SDS comprises dedicated features proach, even when those vehicles are not yet visible to cameras, lidar,and processes that monitor for faults in hardware and measure the be-or radar.havior and performance of mission-critical operations. In addition, we conducted extensive reliability and environmental testing in several of On-Board Computers our test cities across the United States, engineered specifically to the The SDS embraces a redundant computer design with two indepen- climate and particularities of each market. For example, we ran the new dent compute systems that maintain safe operations. The main com- hardware through effects of salt spray to make sure it did not fail in the puter, called the Autonomous Vehicle System (AVS), controls all of thecoastal conditions of Miami. We also ran the SDS through extreme tem-self-driving software. The AVS is what drives the vehicle by process- perature conditions that mirrored the cold of a Midwestern winter in ing data from the sensors that constantly scan the road ahead and allPittsburgh or Detroit, as well as the heat of an Austin summer.around the vehicle and performing emergency or evasive maneuvers, ifFinally, we focused on internal temperature management, installing necessary. There is also a separate computer called the Complementaryfans and cooling systems to make sure our sensors and computers do Autonomous Vehicle System (CAVS). Running in parallel with the AVSnot overheat even during extreme daytime temperatures. The results are and always active, the CAVS is designed to perform collision-mitigationincreased safety and expanded performance on the hottest or coldest functions if required, and to offer critical backup in case of a main sys- days of the year.tem failure.All of these efforts exemplify Argos commitment to ensuring our SDS performs optimally in a variety of driving conditions in different cities. We believe this advancement moves Argo another step closer to its goal of making a smarter and safer self-driving system that is both reliable and enjoyable for people in cities all over the world. FullBook_Mar24.indb 38 4/25/21 6:42 PM'