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Karma Level 4 Autonomous Van E-Flex platform
- April 16, 2020
Karma Automotive has launched an SAE Level 4 autonomous van with a battery electric vehicle (BEV) architecture. It is one of five platforms from the company designed to offer electric mobility through EREV (extended range electric vehicle) and BEV chassis systems.
The Karma E-Flex platform supports multiple powertrain, packaging and vehicle configurations, and is the second of five e-Flex platforms, an SAE Level 4 autonomous van system designed to be compatible with both two and four motor propulsion. Collaborations with WeRide and NVIDIA have produced a van designed for autonomous last mile transportation.
California based Karma’s L4 E-Flex Van is powered by the NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus autonomous vehicle computing platform, which achieves 320 trillion operations per second of deep learning.
It’s built on an architecture with two NVIDIA Xavier processors and two Tensor Core GPUs. Designed to be energy-efficient, the AI computer runs an array of deep neural networks simultaneously for safe, highly automated and fully autonomous driving.
The L4 van’s software platform and sensors suite are supported by WeRide, which covers full 360-degree FoV (Field of View) and provides precise, real-time localisations powered by multiple sensors including LiDar, radar, camera, GNSS and INS.
“Using the E-Flex Platform, our goal was to create collaborative partnerships that address a wide array of applications,” said Srini Gowda, Karma Automotive’s VP of Autonomous Driving/ADAS. “By working with nimble technology leaders like WeRide and NVIDIA, we intend to offer unique market solutions with greater speed and efficiency.”
Rishi Dhall, Vice President of Autonomous Vehicles at NVIDIA, said, “The NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus platform delivers the scalable computational horsepower and AI capabilities essential for the safe deployment of Level 4 self-driving systems, being brought to market by Karma and WeRide.”
“WeRide’s L4 self-driving technology adapted in Karma’s E-Flex Van demonstrates our powerful solutions to bring safe and cutting-edge autonomous vehicles across different models for different purposes. The L4 van joins forces to pave the way for the future of transportation,” said Yan Li, Co-founder and CTO of WeRide.
The Karma L4 van is one of a series of platform development projects featuring the Karma E-Flex Platform. Karma launched the first product in the series a week before, an EREV E-Flex Platform based on its 2020 Revero GT. Additional demonstration platforms will be revealed in coming months include autonomously driven vehicles, and high-performance supercar platforms.
Karma’s E-Flex Platform can be configured up to 22 different ways, including installation of SAE L4 technology on both BEV and EREV platforms. The L4 E-Flex Van can incorporate additional components including:
The L4 Van is designed to provide a sustainable vehicle for last mile transportation in cities where internal combustion engines are banned. The van uses autonomy to pilot the vehicle as it completes tasks on electric power. The autonomous cargo van’s technology can also be scaled to deliver critical supplies to underserved areas or act as a first responder vehicle for future disaster relief or public health crises.