Ficosa and indie Semiconductor Partner on AI-based Automotive Camera Solutions for Enhanced Safety

Ficosa AI Camaras ADAS
  • The collaboration will offer scalable neural network-based camera solutions for object detection and improved external element protection performance
  • It will also offer best-in-class imaging and detection to meet the latest automotive safety regulations and improve road safety
  • The first smart camera solutions using these combined technologies will be tested in 2024 and in full-scale production in 2025

Ficosa International, a leading global company dedicated to the research, development, production, and marketing of advanced vision, safety, and efficiency solutions for the automotive industry, and indie Semiconductor (Nasdaq: INDI), an Autotech semiconductor solutions innovator, have executed a collaboration agreement to develop and commercialize automotive camera solutions deploying neural network-based (NN) artificial intelligence (AI) processing.

The partnership will leverage Ficosa’s near decade-long expertise as a high-volume vision solution supplier, and indie’s field-proven, proprietary vision processing technology to deliver breakthrough imaging and in-camera object detection performance, particularly for challenging edge sensing applications. The companies intend to sample the first smart camera solutions employing their combined technologies in 2024, and expect to ramp into volume production by 2025.

Government regulators and new car safety assessment programs (like US and Euro NCAP) are increasingly seeking to specify protection for vulnerable road users (VRU) such as pedestrians and cyclists, especially for back-up and eMirror scenarios.  In fact, Euro NCAP has implemented VRU safety test protocol since 2020, and in the United States the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has this year proposed updates to NCAP to provide consumers with information about crashworthiness and pedestrian protection of new vehicles.  As a result, Automakers are demanding volume scalable camera-based Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) solutions that provide not just passive viewing capability, but also intelligent sensing to actively detect pedestrians.  According to S&P Global, shipments of surround view and park assist camera electronic control units (ECUs) are projected to grow from 134 million units in 2023 to 240 million units by 2033.

“As a leading supplier of cameras to the world’s largest vehicle OEMs, Ficosa brings deep expertise and industrialization capabilities to this exciting collaboration with Indie to develop the next generation of smart cameras deploying NN-based detection, and improve safety levels for both vehicle occupants and other road users” said Josep Maria Forcadell, CTO of Ficosa. “Ficosa’s relentless focus on developing robust camera solutions with the highest image quality and volume scalability is well matched to Indie’s innovative vision processing technologies.”

“Indie is thrilled to partner with Ficosa, leveraging our next generation of Computer Vision solutions that integrate not only high performance image signal processing but also the dedicated AI elements required for neural networks,” said Abhay Rai, EVP and GM of indie’s Vision Business Unit. “The camera solutions of today either deploy classical vision algorithms, with limited detection performance across challenging environmental conditions, or rely upon power-hungry host processing for object detection. Indie’s NN-based AI vision solutions can enable improved detection with ultra-low power in a compact form factor for these real-world edge sensing scenarios. As a result, Ficosa and Indie are well positioned to capitalize on the rapid proliferation of smart cameras solutions around the vehicle.”

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