Autonomous Vehicle concept demonstrated by AVATAR Consortium


Demonstration marked conclusion of three years of development showcasing capabilities and latest developments in the field of autonomous vehicles and sensors.

Sensor Fusion based Autonomous Vehicle concept demonstrated by AVATAR Consortium, financed by the Israel Innovation Authority and the Department of Smart Transportation at the Ministry of Transportation 

Demonstration marked conclusion of three years of development and showcased the capabilities of the consortium members including latest developments in the field of autonomous vehicles and sensors. 

Following three years of development and tests, the AVATAR Consortium (Autonomous Vehicle Advanced Technologies for Situational Awareness) conducted a full-scale demonstration (DAY), exhibiting its capabilities in building a detailed and accurate holistic picture for the benefit of decision-making during driving in autonomous vehicles. It has achieved this by fusing synergistic information from various sensors on top of an efficient embedded system combined with innovative algorithms.    
The AVATAR Consortium is designed as an organized framework for collaboration in formulating and implementing the periodic R&D plans of its constituent members. In addition, the gathering of industry partners and research institutions will facilitate research and development of generic technologies for autonomous vehicles in urban environments. The organization works to create a framework for the development of advanced and vital generic technologies that cannot be viably sourced from abroad owing to commercial conditions; provide joint supervision over generic R&D programs based on the long-term interests of its members; ensure ongoing technological cooperation between its members; and provide joint representation of its members before authorities and other entities or parties, in implementing periodic R&D programs.          
Participating in the consortium – which was financed by the Israel Innovation Authority and the Smart Transportation Department in the Ministry of Transportation – were seven leading tech companies and seven leading academic entities in Israel. The leading tech participants in the auto-tech field included: Cognata, a leading global supplier of large-scale vehicle simulation for the ADAS and automotive markets; Elbit Systems, a world leader in the development of advanced autonomous tools for land, sea and air use, and developer of complex, computer-vision-based systems; VayaVision (LeddarTech Israel) that develops environmental sensing solutions for autonomous vehicles and advanced driver support systems; Opsys which produces a unique, advanced LiDAR without moving parts for the automotive industry; ThirdEye Systems, an artificial intelligence and computer vision company that manufactures and markets electro-optical systems; Ceva DSP Ltd., a publicly listed Israeli company that provides technology for signal processing and AI processors for the automotive, cellular, electronics and IoT markets; and Rafael that develops and manufactures cutting-edge operational and technological systems for the IDF and the defense establishment and is a significant contributor to the security of the State of Israel. 
Members of the consortium also included leading researchers from the most prominent academic institutions in Israel: The Technion, Tel Aviv University, Bar-Ilan University, Ben Gurion University, Haifa University, Ariel University and the Weizmann Institute. 
Aviv Zeevi, VP of the Technological Infrastructure Division at the Israel Innovation Authority: “The Israel Innovation Authority is deeply committed to empowering and integrating key players in academia and the industry in the ecosystem that deals with sensors, connection and visualization of data in autonomous vehicles, enabling them to maximize their technological and economic value. This is exactly the purpose of this consortium, and we await the groundbreaking industry-related news that we are confident we will hear from them.” 
Daniella Gera Margaliot, Deputy Managing Director, Smart Mobility Initiative: “After three years of activity, the AVATAR Consortium demonstrated a variety of autonomous vehicle decision-making technologies. The particularly successful collaboration between seven companies and seven leading research establishments in Israel is another layer in the Ministry of Transportation’s practice of promoting advanced technological solutions with a view to improving the safety of road users and streamlining traffic.” 
As part of the demonstration, various sensors and computer systems developed by the participating companies were installed on one of the innovation laboratory’s test vehicles. After the demonstration, the experimental vehicle with all the systems installed will be transferred to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Innovation Lab in Tel Aviv, where some of the technologies will be tested.  
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Innovation Lab in Israel promotes collaboration between the three international automotive companies and the Israeli ecosystem. The laboratory’s mission is to identify and test Israeli technologies to integrate them into the three companies’ vehicles and future services. 
The following demonstrations were undertaken: 

  1. Sensory systems (cameras, thermal camera, LiDAR) that were installed on an experimental vehicle of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Innovation Lab in Israel. 
  2. Perception abilities and real-time driving on a simulator in a variety of challenging scenarios. 
  3. The autonomous driving systems installed on a test vehicle that drove in various scenarios in real-time on a physical test surface at the Shlomo Group Arena in Tel Aviv.  
Photo Credit: Omri Reftov