Visteon Corporation said its new technical centre in Silicon Valley would lead the company's development of artificial intelligence for autonomous vehicles.

The cockpit electronics and autonomous driving systems supplier said its claimed break-through autonomous vehicle programme will apply machine learning technology for accurately detecting and classifying objects in a vehicle's path and planning the vehicle's movements, resulting in fully trained driving control systems.

The recently opened facility in Santa Clara, California, will work closely with global company tech centres to develop artificial intelligence software, advanced driver awareness systems (ADAS) and deep machine learning. These efforts will support the suppliers approach to autonomous driving, which encompasses three key elements:

  • Creating fail-safe, centralised domain controller hardware leveraging the industry-first cockpit domain controller, Smartcore.
  • Unlocking the innovation potential of algorithm developers through an easy-to-access open framework and test/simulation environment
  • Applying artificial intelligence for object detection, classification, perception and decision-making in future autonomous vehicles

"Most current advanced driver assistance systems based on radar and cameras are not capable of accurately detecting and classifying objects – such as cars, pedestrians or bicycles – at a level required for autonomous driving," said Sachin Lawande, Visteon president and CEO. "We need to achieve virtually 100% accuracy for autonomous driving which will require innovative solutions based on deep machine learning technology. Our Silicon Valley team, with its focus on machine learning software development, will be a critical part of our autonomous driving technology initiative."

The recently opened facility, in the heart of Silicon Valley, will house a team of engineers specialising in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The centre is located close to the west coast offices of various automakers and tech companies, as well as Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley – two of the leading universities for artificial intelligence and deep learning in the US.

In addition to leading artificial intelligence efforts, the Silicon Valley office will play a key role in delivering control systems, localisation and vision processing – interpreting live camera data and converting it to information required for autonomous driving. The suppplier is targeting launching its first autonomous driving domain controller platform in 2018.   

Heading the artificial intelligence effort based in Silicon Valley is Vijay Nadkarni, who joined Visteon earlier this year from Chalkzen, where he developed and launched a revolutionary SaaS (software as a service) and connected car services platform.

Visteon has been continually expanding its resources to support development of next-generation ADAS development and autonomous driving. On 1 April, Markus Schupfner joined the company as chief technology officer, bringing more than 20 years of experience leading software development for global suppliers. Visteon recently announced that Matthias Schulze would join the company in January 2017 from Daimler; he will head ADAS development, including overseeing the Silicon Valley facility.