Mando joins Tesla to help develop ‘fail safety’ system

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Mando joins Tesla to help develop ‘fail safety’ system

Tesla Motors has been developing one of the key elements of its autopilot technology with Mando Corp., Korea’s biggest car parts producer since late last year, according to Maeil Business Newspaper, on Monday.

The technology is called “fail safety,” which automatically launches a “redundancy” system if a self-driven car has a technical failure such as an electrical malfunction.

The feature is linked to the steering system, brakes and suspension as well as sensors. An autonomous vehicle will only be allowed to run on the road after the fail safety function is officially certified by authorities.

Autopilot technology currently available allows a vehicle to drive on the road without involving the driver for some 20 seconds.

When Tesla’s autopilot feature is switched on, the car steers, brakes and even changes lanes for the driver. Within five years, Tesla aims to reach a stage where the car won’t need any human intervention.

Maeil’s exclusive report said the Silicon Valley-based electric car behemoth picked Mando ahead of other global car parts developer, such as Bosch, Continental and TWR, for the Korean company’s technological edge and its speedy and flexible customer service program.

Hyundai Motor’s latest flagship luxury sedan Genesis EQ900 is embedded with Mando-developed auto emergency breaking (AEB) and rack assist electric power steering (REPS) for its autopilot feature.

The model has received top ratings in the front crash test by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

For the joint project with Tesla, Mando hired 90 autopilot experts and technicians from the United States and Germany and scouted eight executive-level engineers from such leading car parts producers as Bosch and Continental.

The Seongnam, Gyeonggi-based company is currently looking to get involved with an autopilot software start-up or small-sized company.

Mando refused to confirm the report, citing a nondisclosure contract with the American partner.

Tesla set up a Korean office in southern Seoul in November and is in the middle of recruiting staff for the new operation.

Tesla CTO JB Straubel is visiting Jeju Island to have an on-stage conversation with Jeju Governor Won Hee-ryong about the revolutionary changes electric cars will bring on Friday.

Shares of Mando advanced 3.3 percent to end at 203,500 won ($172) on Monday on the news of its partnership with Tesla.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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