Hesai Technology and Unity Drive Announce Strategic Partnership


On August 10, Hesai Technology and Unity-Drive Innovation Technology (UDI) reached a strategic cooperation agreement. Liu Ming, Founder and Chairman of UDI, and Li Yifan, Co-Founder and CEO of Hesai, attended the signing ceremony.

According to the agreement, the two parties will jointly explore autonomous driving applications in intelligent factories, smart logistics, and intelligent parks, striving to mass produce safer and more reliable commercial autonomous vehicles.

Liu Ming, Founder and Chairman of UDI, said: "UDI is committed to building safe, reliable and mass-produced autonomous vehicles that cover diverse scenarios such as industrial logistics, terminal distribution and terminal operations. Hesai is a global leader in lidar technology, and we believe this collaboration will empower our autonomous vehicle fleet with powerful perception capabilities."

Li Yifan, Co-Founder and CEO of Hesai, said: "UDI and Hesai share the same vision of improving people's productivity through autonomous driving technology. We are proud to establish in-depth cooperation with UDI, promoting the commercialization of autonomous vehicles in various scenarios."

UDI focuses on creating an autonomous ecosystem

The traditional manufacturing industry faces issues such as complex transportation, low efficiency, high labor costs and error rates. Therefore, it is crucial to accelerate the intelligent factory transformation through artificial intelligence. UDI focuses on low-speed scenarios such as industrial and port logistics, providing autonomous vehicle solutions for point-to-point transport, significantly saving manpower and reducing costs.

Low-speed autonomous vehicle by UDI

To achieve autonomous transportation in closed areas, UDI has formed a diverse product layout, covering autonomous logistics, autonomous delivery, autonomous security, autonomous disinfection, autonomous shuttle, autonomous retail and intelligent port.

During the COVID pandemic, UDI’s self-developed autonomous logistics vehicle - the “Kuafu” series - was deployed in lockdown communities and quarantine hotels. Serving over 10,000 people and completing over 5,000 trips, UDI’s autonomous vehicles were essential support for the contactless delivery of epidemic prevention supplies.

UDI’s autonomous vehicles in operation during lockdown

With technical support from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, UDI is a world-leading provider of full-stack autonomous driving solutions. With top clients such as Foxconn, SF Express and Kaisa Group, UDI has demonstration applications in over 100 park sites, covering consumer electronics, PCB, automotive, metal and chemical industries, ports, etc. It has commercialized applications in industrial parks, universities, office buildings, ports and other scenarios, accumulating over 1 million kilometers of autonomous driving mileage.

In closed areas, the primary challenge is to ensure the safe and efficient operation of autonomous logistics vehicles on complex, high-traffic roads. In 2019, UDI became the only company to pass more than 700 driving tests within a 5-square-kilometer complex area. Today, UDI's autonomous vehicles have been safely operating in Foxconn’s Longhua Science and Technology Park, accumulating over 100,000 kilometers.

Industrial logistics solution by UDI

UDI has created the first fully automated port in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, providing IGV navigation solutions that enable intelligent container transport. These vehicles have a fixed-point charging function, which offers unlimited battery life, reducing the construction and maintenance cost of the terminal.

UDI's autonomous system has now reached the most extensive scale for port terminals. It is used in hundreds of locations, such as Foxconn’s Longhua Science and Technology Park, SF Fengtai Shanghai Logistics Center, and Huawei Songshan Lake Park.

In the future, UDI will bridge the gap between industries by providing a replicable and expandable vehicle cloud integration solution for mass production applications.

Kuafu autonomous logistics vehicle and Snow Lion autonomous shuttle by UDI

UDI leads the commercialization of domestic autonomous driving

Two decades of devotion have helped UDI to build a solid technology foundation. With the world's leading full-stack autonomous solutions, UDI ranks among the top three in various autonomous driving open dataset ratings.

Backed by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, UDI’s core team members come from world-class universities. This team has over 100 patents, particularly in laser, visual-inertial fusion based positioning systems, perceptual recognition, federal learning and cloud computing.

UDI’s self-developed TaaS (Transportation as a Service) system can achieve cloud-based remote dispatch, supporting the online synchronization of hundreds of autonomous vehicles and unified monitoring.

This system allows vehicles to collect data during operation. For example, during the pandemic, it improves automation and digitization by recording transport frequency, time, and environment. Moreover, the dispatch system can actively terminate or change tasks during transport.

UDI's autonomous vehicle in a closed park

Lidar makes autonomous vehicles more intelligent and flexible

UDI requires lidar with high accuracy, quick reaction, and strong robustness to ensure efficient operations. How does Hesai lidar do it?

Hesai’s XT lidar installed on UDI’s autonomous vehicle
Hesai's XT lidar

High precision: Hesai’s XT Lidar has a high-ranging precision (1σ) of 5 mm, taking a big lead in its class. At the same time, its detection range is up to 120m when detecting 10% reflectivity targets at 80m, with a probability of detection being over 90%. Excellent ranging precision and powerful detection range performance provide strong perception for lane changing, giving way, yielding to pedestrians, etc.

Minimum range of zero: XT Lidar can accurately capture objects in the near-field area of the lidar with even if they directly touch the sensor’s enclosure, making it possible for self-cleaning tests and block detection. It helps autonomous vehicles to operate safely and steadily.

The lasers' transmitting and receiving systems are based on Hesai’s proprietary ASIC technology, significantly improving performance, reducing costs and production complexity, and enabling mass production of UDI’s autonomous vehicles.

In the future, Unity Drive and Hesai will continue cooperating on high-performance lidar technology and system integration solutions. "Hesai’s products greatly reduce hardware costs while ensuring accuracy. We will use our strengths and jointly explore autonomous application scenarios," said Liu Ming, Founder and Chairman of UDI.

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