PSA Group and self-driving startup AImotive are partnering to develop technology capable of level 4 autonomy, which requires no human intervention in defined conditions.
The venture will use the Hungarian company's artificial intelligence software and hardware in PSA vehicles to test adaptive cruise control, automated lane changes, changeovers between human and autonomous driving and collision avoidance. The pilot will be deployed on French highways at speeds up to 129 km/h (80 mph). The companies did not say when the pilot would launch or how many vehicles will be involved.
"Testing artificial intelligence for future Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous vehicles is a priority for Groupe PSA," said Carla Gohin, senior vice president of innovation at PSA, in a statement. "The collaboration with AImotive gives us the opportunity to make these experimentations in real life conditions."
The companies began work on the project in May, installing AImotive's hardware and software in a Citroen C4 Picasso. The technology has already undergone preliminary testing in a proving ground in Hungary. The pilot will also use simulations to virtually test the platform.
As it gears up to enter the U.S., PSA is focusing heavily on mobility and transportation technologies, hoping to offer new, high-tech services to American customers before selling cars in the market.
AImotive, which launched in 2015 and has offices in Mountain View, California and Helsinki, Finland, is developing an artificial intelligence-powered platform for fully driverless cars. Since the startup is not building cars on its own, it will need partners such as PSA to conduct real-world testing.
"As AImotive continues to move toward fully autonomous, level 5 driving, delivering driver-assisted autonomous functionality is a necessary part of the process," said Laszlo Kishonti, AImotive CEO, in a statement.