Vietnam’s leading information technology company FPT, Japanese motorcycle maker Yamaha Motor (Yamaha) and urban developer Ecopark have entered into a memorandum of understanding to develop self-driving electric vehicles through FPT’s autonomous technologies.
According to the MoU, FPT will develop autonomous driving software on a Yamaha electric vehicle based on a golf car, powered by Artificial Intelligence and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technologies. Yamaha will provide technical support and vehicle consulting during the road tests while Ecopark provides logistics and efficient infrastructures. The collaboration seeks to accelerate the adoption of autonomous vehicles technologies and realise the vision of smart public transportation in Vietnam.
The trio has set to improve the autonomous vehicle’s capabilities over time. On its first demo in April, the vehicle will hit the road with original features such as traveling on a predetermined route; identifying lanes, returning to the starting point to complete a journey; stopping, parking, dropping off passengers as requested; or detecting and avoiding obstacles on the way.
By the end of 2019, having been integrated with FPT’s autonomous technologies, the vehicle should be able to detect objects and vehicles on the road, slow down at sight of obstacles ahead, or handle the auto-parking function without passengers on board. At this stage, the users could also book autonomous vehicles via mobile apps.
“This partnership reflects our commitment to make a positive impact on the community through innovation”, said FPT Software’s Chairman Hoang Nam Tien. “We announced the launch of autonomous technologies in 2017, based on our in-depth research and capabilities in Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Internet of Vehicles, Cloud computing, and Image Processing, etc. The past two years has seen made-by-FPT autonomous technologies integrated into vehicles and successfully tested at high-tech zones. We hope this collaboration could bring us to the day where autonomous cars using our technologies could be adopted across urban areas, luxury resorts, factories and warehouses.”
FPT has to date acquired Level 3 in driving automation and sought to upgrade one more notch by the end of 2019. The Southeast-Asia leading IT services provider looks to obtain level 5, the highest level of driving automation, and ISO 26262, an international safety standard for the automotive industry, within a few years.
“We chose FPT as the first partner in Vietnam to integrate advanced autonomous technologies into our latest electric cars based on their proven capabilities in digital transformation. We’re also confident that the Ecopark green city is one of the most suitable places for our vehicles to hit the road. Following two decades of research and development, we aspire to build low-speed, clean and smart vehicles that could shape the future of mobility, and the success of this collaboration would surely help validate our vision”, said Mr. Shoji Shiraishi, Fellow and Senior General Manager of New Venture Business Development Section, Advanced Technology Centre at Yamaha Motor.