Aurora, Ontario-based tech and automotive parts giant Magna International Inc. is making major waves in the rapidly growing field of autonomous-vehicle development.
On Thursday Magna unveiled its latest product, MAX4, an autonomous vehicle platform it claims "can be integrated into any vehicle without compromise to vehicle design and styling."
MAX4 can reportedly enable up to Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities, which is defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE) as "high automation," capable of performing all aspects of the driving task, even when a human driver doesn't respond appropriately to an intervention request. For reference, most vehicles on the road today that have been equipped with any sort of automation features don't receive more than a Level 1 or Level 2 rating from SAE.
What's also notable about the product, though, is its adaptability and non-bulkiness.
"Crucially, integration of MAX4 remains an automaker's existing design and styling freedom for their vehicle, including not taking up cardo space in the rear of the vehicle and personal space in the main compartment," read Magna's press release.
Chief Technology Officer Swamy Kotagiri echoed that same sentiment.
"At the heart of this development is a desire to show the market Magna's breadth of capabilities and an autonomous driving enabling platform with subsystems that do not compromise the interior and exterior of a vehicle," he said. "Our focus is on developing production-ready solutions that offer flexibility to integrate and the framework to enable Level 4 technology for when the market is ready."
Indeed, there is a lot to be settled before the market is fully ready for this sort of technology—including who takes the blame insurance-wise when things go wrong: the driver or the self-driving car?