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By Nick Carey
LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Auto supplier Aptiv PLC on Monday unveiled its next generation technology platform for automated driving, which can be used across a range of vehicles and be updated wirelessly so carmakers can upgrade car features and fix glitches.
Aptiv chief technology officer Glen De Vos told Reuters the core of the new platform was the same whether a manufacturer was building a compact car or a full-size sedan - the larger vehicles merely require more sensors or cameras.
One of the biggest problems facing global carmakers as they develop the sensors, radars and cameras necessary for self-driving technology is the cost.
Fully self-driving vehicles are years away, but assisted-driving features such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance are becoming more common.
For carmakers "developing and validating these systems can cost many hundreds of millions of dollars," in development and testing, De Vos said. "This platform dramatically reduces the system validation costs and represents dramatic savings for manufacturers."
He added the new platform could save carmakers up to 20% or 30% over Aptiv's previous generation platform.
In 2019, Hyundai and Aptiv launched a $4 billion venture called Motional to develop self-driving technologies and be among the first to deploy fully autonomous cars on public roads.
Aptiv's new platform also allows the supplier to track vehicle problems and provides over-the-air updates so carmakers can fix issues or upgrade self-driving features in real time rather than waiting for the next version of a vehicle.
"Now that I can update that car, I can enable new features and content for manufacturers to sell into that vehicle," De Vos said.
Aptiv, headquartered in Dublin, also unveiled "zone controllers" for carmakers to break down computing functions in cars into more manageable pieces that will improve computing power and reduce vehicle weight and cost. (Reporting by Nick Carey. Editing by Mark Potter)