Dataspeed Inc., a Michigan-based drive-by-wire provider and autonomous vehicle (AV) solution integrator, has agreed that Level Five Supplies will support the company’s sales, marketing, and engineering services in Europe.
Drive-by-wire is a key enabling technology in autonomous vehicles, allowing computers to direct electronic messages into vehicle systems to control throttle, braking, and steering, among other key processes.
Dataspeed’s systems, already well established in deployed autonomous research and development projects in the US and Europe, are used in Level Five’s own domestic UK market by organisations including Oxbotica and Five AI.
Alex Lawrence-Berkeley, of Level Five Supplies, said that Dataspeed was an ideal partner to deliver these new technologies to the company’s technology portfolio; “It’s a family owned firm with a great mission, something which underpins their desire to develop an ever-growing range of control systems for vehicles in the Ford range that are readily available in the UK and Europe.”
He continued, explaining that separating a new vehicle’s development from that of the stack was a key opportunity to simplify new service development; “Whether researchers are working on passenger vehicles, or creating their own, it makes sense to develop their autonomy system on a reliable and readily accessible, affordable vehicle – whether that’s a passenger car such as a Ford Mondeo, a last-mile cargo vehicle such as the Transit Connect, or any of the other vehicle on which Dataspeed’s systems work.”
Paul Fleck, Founder and CEO of Dataspeed, said the partnership was driven by Level Five’s growing visibility in the market, as well as his long-standing relationship with his opposite number, Alex Lawrence-Berkeley. “The UK market is important for us, it’s the most active in Europe, and working with a partner in whom we have confidence and a long-standing personal relationship makes perfect sense to increase our visibility there.”
Alex concluded by praising the company’s technical heritage as a key contribution towards the decision to represent Dataspeed – “This is a mature product, with a decade of software development and 500 vehicle systems deployed globally, with Paul’s own personal history working on drive-by-wire for more than two decades, even going back to his days working in Formula 1 – it’s a great company with a passion for safety and engineering.”