UPDATE: We have received an e-mail from Tesla Motors informing us that is story is inaccurate and should be disregarded.
Mando Corporation, Korea’s largest auto parts manufacturer with more than $4.3 billion in billings, has been selected by Tesla Motors to help it develop the fail safe backup systems that regulators are sure to require before they permit fully autonomous cars to drive on public roads. Redundancy is common in the aircraft industry but is a fairly new concept for auto companies. Backup systems are activated in the event of a failure in the primary control system.
Mando won out over major global competitors such as Bosch, Continental, and TRW. Mando has recently hired almost 100 top flight engineers from the US and German, many of whom previously worked at Continental and Bosch. It has also added 8 senior executives with engineering experience to manage the expansion of its plans.
Mando has been working with Tesla since the last half of 2015. Its backup systems cover almost every function of a car that can be computer controlled. That includes steering, brakes, suspension settings, and making sure that critical sensors are operating properly. Those are the sorts of backup capabilities that will be needed to allow Stage 3 and Stage 4 autonomous driving capability.
The Tesla Autopilot system is a modern marvel, but it is only a Stage 2 system. Although it can guide the car by itself, maintain a safe distance from the car ahead, and even bring the car to a halt it necessary, it still requires drivers to be ready to take over control at a moment’s notice at all times.
Stage 3 systems are expected to be ready for the road by 2020. They will do many of the same things that Autopilot does today, but will require human drivers to become involved much less frequently. Stage 4 autonomous systems will operate cars completely on their own with no human input whatsoever. They may not even have a steering wheel or pedals to control basic functions. Mando is expected to contribute heavily to the development of Stage 3 and Stage 4 autonomous systems.
Elon Musk claims computer controlled cars will be so safe in the near future, humans may be legally barred from driving because they are too accident prone to be allowed to drive. He thinks self driving cars will be as common as automatic elevators in the near future. It is Mando’s job to help Musk and Tesla get to that point.
Source: Pulse News