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Press Level 4 Autonomous Vehicles Operating without Need of Driver Thrills the Visitors: Autonomous Mobility Companies Share their Techs and Trends at the 2023 DIFA Expo

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작성자 Autonomous a2z 조회 91 작성일 2023-10-22


Visitors listening to an explanation of the autonomous mobility platform ‘Project MS’ at the Autonomous a2z booth at the 2023 DIFA Expo held from October 19 (Thursday) to 21 (Saturday) at Exco in Daegu | Photo courtesy - AVING News

Companies specializing in autonomous driving technology development unveiled their latest trends and technological advancements at the “2023 Daegu & Korea International Future Auto & Mobility Expo (2023 DIFA Expo),” held from October 19 to 21 at Exco in Daegu, South Korea.

The 2023 DIFA Expo, marking its 7th iteration since its debut in 2017, is an exhibition introducing the entire future mobility industry, encompassing electric and autonomous vehicles, electric power components such as motors, batteries, chargers, and urban air mobility (UAM). This year’s exhibition is the largest ever, with the participation of government departments such as the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, as well as over 230 domestic and international companies, including Hyundai, Kia, LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI, Tesla, GM, Audi, BMW, Lexus, SK Telecom, and Hanwha Systems, showcasing new products and technologies.

Fostering the Autonomous Driving Industry to Realize Safe and Convenient Lives for People

This year, autonomous driving-related companies garnered significant attention. The booth of the Korea Autonomous Driving Development Innovation Foundation(KADIF), a cross-government department formed in March 2021 by South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and the National Police Agency, attracted crowds throughout the exhibition. The team aims to achieve level 4+ autonomous driving capability, encompassing unstructured objects (traffic signals, unpaved roads, etc.), by 2027.

View of the Korea Autonomous Driving Development Innovation Foundation(KADIF)’s booth. | Photo courtesy - AVING News 

View of the Korea Autonomous Driving Development Innovation Foundation(KADIF)’s booth. | Photo courtesy - AVING News

During the exhibition, KADIF presented technologies related to one of their five strategic areas, “ICT Convergence Innovative Technologies.” Its booth included national-level autonomous driving R&D achievements, such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) software, vehicle communication and security technology, and autonomous driving simulators.

Visitors who experienced riding in vehicles prepared by KADIF expressed their amazement at the prospect of such convenient vehicles. This exhibition served as a platform to convey the team’s determination to lead in autonomous driving core technology and industrial ecosystem expansion by actively supporting critical infrastructure development, including legal regulations, communication, precise maps, roads, and control in preparation for level 4+ autonomous driving, aiming for the world’s first commercialization of such technology.

Leading Autonomous Driving Company Autonomous a2z Enjoyed Popularity.

The highlight of this DIFA was undoubtedly the production-ready, fully autonomous mobility by Autonomous a2z, represented by Han Ji-Hyeong. At this year’s event, Autonomous a2z unveiled “Project MS” and “Project SD” for the first time.

MS, “Middle Shuttle,” is an autonomous mobility platform targeting buses, while SD, “Small Delivery,” is a vehicle platform designed for independent delivery mobility. MS is a 12-passenger shuttle equipped with autonomous driving solutions, aiming for level 4 fully autonomous mobility.

View of the Autonomous a2z booth. | Photo courtesy - AVING News 

View of the Autonomous a2z booth. | Photo courtesy - AVING News

On the other hand, SD comprises two vehicles capable of carrying over 300 kg of cargo, targeting mid-to-last-mile delivery. Both vehicles presented by Autonomous a2z have a redundancy design, equipped with multiple sensors to prepare for sensor failures or malfunctions, and they feature their own developed autonomous driving controller for safe level 4 technology implementation, as well as dual braking and steering systems.

This design ensures safety for performing multi-level autonomous vehicle operations, including contingency procedures based on ISO 23793 in the event of unexpected malfunctions and emergencies. Among the crowds of visitors who observed the autonomous shuttle, there was a palpable sense of excitement. Autonomous a2z stated its plans to introduce pilot vehicles by 2025 and to produce over 1,000 vehicles annually through OEM (original equipment manufacturer) production by 2030. They also expressed their intent to expand production through in-house manufacturing, outsourced manufacturing, and collaborative production with complete vehicle companies, considering the consistency of system stability, quality, and market scalability.

View of the FutureDrive booth. | Photo courtesy of AVING News 

View of the FutureDrive booth. | Photo courtesy of AVING News

Autonomous Driving Customization as a Trend

FutureDrive presented “D-U-A (Design-yoUr-Autonomy),” a customer-oriented autonomous driving platform, at the DIFA. FutureDrive is a deep tech startup with AI and autonomous driving technology experts. They aspire to establish an open technology ecosystem and contribute to future independent driving technology innovation.

“D-U-A” is highly appreciated as it reflects FutureDrive’s efforts to pursue innovation in collaboration with customers. The platform suggests customized configurations based on customer requirements, provides consultation based on those combinations, and offers customizable autonomous driving platforms. It allows easy execution and modification of the basic autoware algorithm and supports adding various application services and algorithms.

Korea’s first bi-folding electric bus shown at the Woojin Industrial Systems booth | Photo courtesy of AVING News. 

Korea’s first bi-folding electric bus shown at the Woojin Industrial Systems booth | Photo courtesy of AVING News.

Korea’s First Bi-Folding Electric Bus Has Arrived in Daegu

Woojin Industrial Systems, an electric bus manufacturing company, set up a large booth in the exhibition venue and showcased South Korea’s first bi-folding and the high-end electric bus, “Apollo 1200.” The bi-folding electric bus features doors on both sides of the bus, allowing the use of center bus lanes and island-type bus stops.

It is equipped with high-efficiency Samsung SDI batteries and uses aluminum body technology. Visitors were seen boarding and disembarking from the bus, getting a glimpse of the future of public transportation. The “Apollo 1200,” the only high-end electric bus in South Korea equipped with Samsung SDI batteries, also attracted attention. While its exterior resembled a standard bus, the driver’s seat offered a significantly different experience. It featured a color multi-display, a passenger-type tumbler remote control switch, built-in CCTV, an air purifier, and more. It was composed of a battery with outstanding performance and could provide data, location information, and vehicle diagnostics through “EV-RMS,” as explained by a company representative. One visitor said, “With advanced technology integrated, it seems like an unimaginable future is unfolding.”

Since 2017, Daegu has hosted the Future Auto & Mobility Expo (DIFA Expo), now in its 7th edition. This year’s event encompasses various aspects of the mobility industry, from eco-friendly cars (electric and hydrogen) to electric components, autonomous driving, and urban air mobility (UAM). The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy of the Republic of Korea co-hosted the event. They have focused on presenting the technological achievements made over the years and introducing the latest policy directions in preparation for the era of fully autonomous driving services and commercialization of UAM, expected between 2027 and 2030.

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