Magna to develop driver assistance technology with Fisker

Canadian auto supplier Magna International Inc. said on Monday it would work with Fisker to develop an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) for the EV maker’s Ocean SUV, expected to launch in late 2022.

The ADAS technology will use digital imaging radar technology in addition to cameras and ultrasonic sensors, Magna said in a statement. The supplier said the ADAS package includes “a unique and first-to-market digital imaging radar technology.” Co-developed with Austin, Texas-based technology startup Uhnder, Icon Radar is being called by Magna “the first digital imaging, single-chip radar solution for the automotive marketplace.”

In December, Fisker said Magna would initially be the exclusive manufacturer of its Ocean SUV in Europe, finalizing a deal originally signed with the auto supplier in October.

“One of our strategic goals is to pursue new business in areas where Magna’s unique strengths can be deployed with an advantage compared to our peers,” said Swamy Kotagiri, Magna CEO. “Our collaboration with Fisker is a great example – we can provide a new OEM like Fisker with a flexible and scalable EV platform, complete ADAS package, joint vehicle engineering and manufacturing.”

Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker said the collaboration with Magna is essential to develop systems for a vehicle that is due to go into production in less than two years.

“In normal supplier relations you can spend a year negotiating with everyone,” Fisker told Reuters. “We don’t have time.”

Magna can purchase up to a 6 percent stake in Fisker as part of that agreement.

Kotagiri told Reuters on Monday the driving assistance, or ADAS, system developed with Fisker is “a great base for other opportunities” with other EV customers.

Kotagiri said Magna now has “all the fundamental building blocks” to bring EVs to market for startups or established automakers. Magna agreed in December with South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc to form a joint venture to produce electric motors, inverters and other electric drive technology.

Kotagiri said Magna is talking with other companies but declined to address “speculation” that Magna is talking with Apple Inc. about assembling an Apple brand EV.

Fisker said the system for the Ocean will not use lidar, at least initially, because of the cost. Lidar is a method using laser light to measure distances.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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