Tier IV partners with Ability Enterprise to produce and market automotive cameras for AVs

Tokyo, January 6, 2022 – Tier IV, an open-source autonomous driving leader, signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Ability Enterprise, the worldwide leading camera ODM manufacturer, as the strategic partner and announced they would be producing and marketing the highest quality automotive cameras specifically for autonomous vehicles.

Background & Objective

Tier IV is a Japan-based start-up company dedicated to using autonomous driving technology to facilitate research and development of new real-world services and has developed “Autoware “(*) which is the world’s first open-source software for autonomous driving.

Ability is a Taiwan-based company that specializes in camera ODM/OEM manufacture. Since 2018, Ability has been planning to enter the automotive market. Besides continuing to make efforts in this industry, Ability also co-works with several Tier 1 companies for the development of automotive cameras.

In this context, the two companies have been jointly developing automotive camera products related to autonomous driving and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The joint collaborative camera products have been installed in Tier IV autonomous vehicles for testing and have been proven to be particularly outstanding in object detection and recognition functions. As a result, those cameras have been adopted as the standard cameras for autonomous vehicles. In addition, the product is expected to be utilized not only in the field of autonomous driving and ADAS but also in various applications such as robotics and security under the external sales plan starting from 2022.

As the demands placed on autonomous driving and ADAS are constantly increasing, the ability of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide drivers with more driving information through precise image recognition and computing to enhance driving safety is in line with the needs of the entire automotive industry. Following this trend, Ability is designing, manufacturing, and supplying high-performance cameras to this market. In combination with Tier IV’s autonomous driving system, both companies provide integrated services to Autoware users and respond to industry demands together. Through this MOU, the partnership will further strengthen cooperation and accelerate the further development of high-quality automotive cameras.

* Autoware is an open source autonomous driving software based on Linux and ROS (Autoware is a trademark of the Autoware Foundation).

Future Development

Since 2020, Tier IV and Ability have been cooperating in the field of sensing cameras and have been conducting road tests. Based on this cooperation, the two companies will continue to develop products and future specifications will adapt to the needs of the automotive industry. Eventually, our goal is to introduce our automotive cameras to fit into the mass production specifications of vehicle manufacturers (OEMs). Until now, high-quality automotive cameras have been exclusively available to OEM, Tier 1, and Tier 2 manufacturers. For this reason, we are going to offer our cameras to the whole autonomous driving market without any limitation to help accelerate Tier IV’s vision of making autonomous driving accessible to everyone.

In the future, the jointly developed products will be widely offered after being evaluated and tested by both companies. And the schedule for sample offering and mass production of the jointly developed product will be announced as soon as it is ready.

Source: Tier IV, https://tier4.jp/en/media/news/odm-ability-enterprise/

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