RJ Scaringe says Rivian will focus on driver assists before complete autonomy

rivian ocean coast
Credit: Rivian

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe has revealed the company’s blueprint for driver assist. The EV maker does plan to eventually roll out fully autonomous driving, but it will first focus on driver assistance technology.

Scaringe was a speaker at the recent TechCrunch Disrupt event. He revealed that Rivian aims to become more than just a manufacturer of electric vehicles. The US-based company is working on autonomous driving to compete with Tesla.

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However, Rivian will concentrate on driver assist features before complete vehicle self-driving becomes feasible.

The CEO mentioned that the autonomous vehicle scene is divided into two.

One section uses expensive sensors and computing hardware costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The other section includes companies that are hardware constrained. They make do with less costly sensors and limited computing power.

While the former allows the vehicle to ship without a steering wheel, the latter requires the driver to be on standby to step in when necessary.

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Rivian’s current offering, Driver+, falls in the second category. It cannot go beyond SAE Level 3 in the current iteration. However, Rivian plans to upgrade it to Level 4, which requires no human intervention.

It would achieve this by adding more sensors and increasing the computing power.

Meanwhile, new Rivian R1T buyers will be unable to use the powered tonneau cover as the company has switched to manual covers.