It’s perhaps not surprising that the Lotus Engineering team is getting more and more clients asking us to develop products with integrated autonomous systems.

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The trend towards mobility as a service and on-demand delivery of goods to the home has driven huge demand across the industry, to create connected products that will fulfil a growing consumer need in a way that is both environmentally sustainable and commercially attractive.

We at Lotus Engineering are at the forefront of the delivery of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), the name commonly given to groups of electronic technologies that assist drivers in driving and parking functions. These are the building blocks of autonomous driving.

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I spoke to our Paolo Foglino, our Head of ADAS, to understand more about the advances being made in the industry, his thoughts on the future of ADAS, and how Lotus Engineering is embracing the challenge of integrating these systems. 

What are the major trends in the industry?

The industry is in a period of continuous change. ADAS systems are today coming at customers with different packages, different options, different interfaces, different ways to deliver updates. There is a risk of confusion. Also, OEMs are very focused on delivering systems that are reliable and balanced, so they can keep the driver in the loop while reducing annoyance and unreliability.

What are the developments from L1 through to L4, and ultimately L5?

Of course, safety is the most important thing. Most OEMs are now able to deliver a L2 system. Where we see inconsistency is L3; systems like Traffic Jam Pilot suffer from usability issues and excessive cost of development to resolve that. The ADAS roadmap is focused now on L4 which requires Government involvement, harmonised international standards, and potentially new infrastructures too. L5 is a complete revolution of the usage of vehicles to become a transportation service. That is a way off yet.

When do you think we’ll see L4 autonomous vehicles in the hands of customers?

It is coming and I believe in 2023. By 2024 there will be a few dedicated driving scenarios/locations where L4 could be enabled.

What is driving the speed of innovation to deliver L4?

The pursuit of innovative technology. OEMs are looking for that adrenaline rush that comes with being the first to demonstrate to the world that it is possible.

How quickly do you see L4 being adopted by legislators across the world?

Germany and China have started this discussion already and it is now at the doorstep of each country as a topic to review. The UK is also moving closer to a self-driving revolution campaign with the recent publication of relevant reports.

There has been a step change in ADAS at Lotus with the launch of the Eletre SUV. Can you tell us more on the new features in Eletre?

When I look at the Eletre, the LIDAR tech and its world-first deployable sensors on a road car is an incredible engineering masterpiece. These sensors accurately perceive space and distance to enable L4 driving. End-to-End autonomous navigation with Auto Lane Change and Valet Parking are part of an astonishing development journey.

Lotus is synonymous with sports cars How do you see the integration of ADAS in to sports cars?

Sports cars are a challenge for ADAS, particularly when it comes to packaging and location, for example, because of the lower ride height. Most ADAS systems are developed for sedans/SUVs, so, the right vehicle parameters need to be integrated for the ADAS sensors to work optimally in a sports car. We work closely with Lotus Design to minimise styling impact; thermal influences and contamination are also a critical external factor to consider. This, with the added challenge of lower volumes and subsequent development costs, makes it very challenging but it’s something we’re tackling head on.

What unique capabilities do you think Lotus has with regards to integrating these technologies into vehicles?

The unique level of experience of our engineers is a key advantage. We have a high degree of expertise in the ADAS area, with wide capability and flexibility. We deliver true end-to-end systems engineering, with hardware and software, so we can turn our hand easily to many aspects of the engineering process as required.

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Vehicle integration is a great strength we have here at Lotus Engineering, and it’s one of many services we can offer to our clients. They come to us, not only for the technology we are rapidly developing and have access to as part of the Geely group of companies, but also for our services as an integrator.

For more information get in touch direct on LinkedIn, or via

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