This handy van is the first commercial vehicle from Karma.

Karma Automotive does not waste time during the coronavirus slowdown and today unveiled an all-new vehicle built on the Karma E-Flex Platform: the all-electric van, with Level 4 autonomous driving capability.

It's actually the second out of five example applications for the E-Flex Platform. The first was EREV E-Flex Platform used in the Karma Revero GT. The other three will be an autonomously driven vehicle, a high-performance supercar and maybe also an ‘every-day’ driver vehicle.

Karma’s E-Flex Platform can be configured up to 22 different ways, including installation of SAE L4 technology on both BEV and EREV platforms. The L4 E-Flex Van can incorporate additional components including:

·      Scalable Output Onboard Charger (for fast battery charging) ·      I-shaped Battery Pack / BMS / Control Unit, etc.
·      Bi-directional Charger ·      Karma Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) Inverter
·      Engine-agnostic Extended Range ·      1-4 motor flexibility REV ·      Karma Silicon Carbide (SiC) Inverter  
·      Dual Motor & Quad motor powertrain (affects cargo hauling abilities) ·      Advanced EE System
·      Flat Battery Pack + BMS ·      5-Star NCAP Ready

L4 E-Flex Van

Karma has not revealed any details about the new L4 E-Flex Van in terms of range or power, but those are configurable elements. The main point of interest was the autonomous driving capability (SAE Level 4), developed in partnership with WeRide, using NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus.

"Karma’s new L4 E-Flex Van is powered by the NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus™ autonomous vehicle computing platform, which achieves an unprecedented 320 trillion operations per second of deep learning. It’s built on a scalable architecture, with two NVIDIA Xavier™ processors and two Tensor Core GPUs. This energy-efficient, high-performance AI computer runs an array of deep neural networks simultaneously for safe, highly automated and fully autonomous driving. The L4 van’s software platform and sensors suite are supported by WeRide, which covers full 360-degree FoV (Field of View) and provides precise, real-time localizations powered by multiple sensors including LiDar, radar, camera, GNSS and INS."

 

Here is a reminder of what the SAE Level 4 really means:

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Srini Gowda, Karma Automotive’s VP of Autonomous Driving/ADAS said:

“Using the E-Flex Platform, our goal was to create collaborative partnerships that address a wide array of applications. By working with nimble technology leaders like WeRide and NVIDIA, we intend to offer unique market solutions with greater speed and efficiency.”

Rishi Dhall, Vice President of Autonomous Vehicles at NVIDIA, added:

“The NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus platform delivers the scalable computational horsepower and AI capabilities essential for the safe deployment of Level 4 self-driving systems, being brought to market by Karma and WeRide.”

Yan Li, Co-founder and CTO of WeRide said:

“WeRide’s L4 self-driving technology adapted in Karma’s E-Flex Van demonstrates our powerful solutions to bring safe and cutting-edge autonomous vehicles across different models for different purposes. The L4 van joins forces to pave the way for the future of transportation,” .

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KARMA AUTOMOTIVE DEBUTS ALL-NEW LEVEL 4 AUTONOMOUS VAN E-FLEX PLATFORM

  • Karma E-Flex Platform Supports Multiple Powertrain, Packaging and Vehicle Configurations
  • The Second of Five E-Flex Platforms, SAE Level 4 Autonomous Van System Compatible with Both Two and Four Motor Propulsion
  • Collaboration with WeRide and Selection of NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus Enables Autonomous Last Mile Transportation

Irvine, Calif. (April 9, 2020) – Karma Automotive today announced the arrival of its SAE®[1] Level 4 autonomous van with a battery electric vehicle (BEV) architecture, one of five platforms designed to offer new electric mobility solutions through highly versatile EREV (extended range electric vehicle) and BEV chassis systems.

Karma’s new L4 E-Flex Van is powered by the NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus™ autonomous vehicle computing platform, which achieves an unprecedented 320 trillion operations per second of deep learning. It’s built on a scalable architecture, with two NVIDIA Xavier™ processors and two Tensor Core GPUs. This energy-efficient, high-performance AI computer runs an array of deep neural networks simultaneously for safe, highly automated and fully autonomous driving. The L4 van’s software platform and sensors suite are supported by WeRide, which covers full 360-degree FoV (Field of View) and provides precise, real-time localizations powered by multiple sensors including LiDar, radar, camera, GNSS and INS.

“Using the E-Flex Platform, our goal was to create collaborative partnerships that address a wide array of applications,” said Srini Gowda, Karma Automotive’s VP of Autonomous Driving/ADAS. “By working with nimble technology leaders like WeRide and NVIDIA, we intend to offer unique market solutions with greater speed and efficiency.”

Rishi Dhall, Vice President of Autonomous Vehicles at NVIDIA, added, “The NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus platform delivers the scalable computational horsepower and AI capabilities essential for the safe deployment of Level 4 self-driving systems, being brought to market by Karma and WeRide.”

“WeRide’s L4 self-driving technology adapted in Karma’s E-Flex Van demonstrates our powerful solutions to bring safe and cutting-edge autonomous vehicles across different models for different purposes. The L4 van joins forces to pave the way for the future of transportation,” said Yan Li, Co-founder and CTO of WeRide.

The Karma L4 van is the latest in a series of platform development projects featuring the Karma E-Flex Platform. Last week, Karma debuted its first product in the series, an EREV E-Flex Platform based on its award-winning 2020 Revero GT. Additional demonstration platforms to be revealed in coming months include autonomously driven vehicles, high-performance supercar platforms and more.

Karma’s E-Flex Platform can be configured up to 22 different ways, including installation of SAE L4 technology on both BEV and EREV platforms. The L4 E-Flex Van can incorporate additional components including:

·      Scalable Output Onboard Charger (for fast battery charging) ·      I-shaped Battery Pack / BMS / Control Unit, etc.
·      Bi-directional Charger ·      Karma Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) Inverter
·      Engine-agnostic Extended Range ·      1-4 motor flexibility REV ·      Karma Silicon Carbide (SiC) Inverter  
·      Dual Motor & Quad motor powertrain (affects cargo hauling abilities) ·      Advanced EE System
·      Flat Battery Pack + BMS ·      5-Star NCAP Ready

In cities where internal combustion engines are banned, the L4 Van will offer a sustainable solution for last-mile transportation by using autonomy to pilot the vehicle as it completes tasks on electric power. The autonomous cargo van’s technology can also be scaled to deliver critical supplies to underserved areas or act as a first responder vehicle for future disaster relief or public health crises.