LAS VEGAS -- Being called a back seat driver may soon become a compliment rather than an insult.
Veoneer's autonomous test car, LIV, short for Learning Intelligent Vehicle, can be driven from anywhere in the car using a smartphone.
It is possible to accelerate and steer the car with the phone, which I did from the back seat with limited success -- (it was more difficult than it sounds!) -- at the CES in Las Vegas this week.
The green dot on the left in the photo above accelerates and decelerates the car while the right circle steers the vehicle.
Veoneer, which was formed when Swedish supplier Autoliv spun off it active-safety business into a new publicly traded company last year, used the CES to showcase all of LIV’s advanced systems, which included facial recognition to identify the driver so that it could make sure all of that person’s preferences were ready upon entry.
LIV can also park itself using a system called Autonomous Valet Parking, which includes Veoneer’s hardware and software from Zenuity, which is a joint venture between Volvo Cars and Veoneer.
The suppliers aim to offer a system that allows the driver to exit the car near a store entrance and send the vehicle off to find a space on its own. The system can also be used to have the car retrieve the driver at the store’s entrance.
Zenuity says it doesn’t have any customers yet for the valet parking system but once it does it will take two to three years to have it production ready.
When ask whether Zenuity has expanded its customer portfolio beyond Volvo and its sister brand, Geely Automotive CEO Dennis Nobelius said the company also has won work with one German and one U.S. automaker. He wouldn't name the automakers but he was proud to mention that Zenuity’s German customer chose the up-and-coming company over a very well-established German supplier.
When I asked him whether that supplier’s name started with a B, for Bosch, he smiled widely.