Argo.ai has closed a $2.6 billion investment from Volkswagen to strengthen the self-driving startup's presence across Europe. Commentary: Please join our sister sites in fundraising to help address racism. Pittsburgh-based Argo.ai said in a blog post on Tuesday that the funding, initially invested in July 2019, will be used to bolster its position in Europe with the addition of VW Group's Munich-based Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) team. AID is working on the development of intelligent self-driving car technology for use in urban areas and potential applications such as robotic taxis and autonomous shuttles. Now due to be rebranded as Argo Munich, the team's base will also become Argo.ai's
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A company working to make open-source self-driving software reliable enough to be used in commercially available vehicles said it had hired a former German car boss as it seeks to expand its reach. Palo Alto, California-based Apex.AI has added Karl-Thomas Neumann, an industry veteran who in the past served as the chief executive of Continental AG and led Volkswagen AG's China business, to its board. "Karl-Thomas is a great fit for us as we're trying to learn off what worked in the past and reach out to more industry players," Apex.AI co-founder Jan Becker told Reuters in an interview this week. The U.S. firm is expanding to Europe, opening an office in Munich, Germany in July. Founded by Becker and Dejan Pangercic, two longtime self-driving car engineers formerly at automotive technology supplier Bosch Corp, Apex.AI plans to make a safer and more reliable version of the so-called Robot Operating System, or ROS.
Germany is taking on the U.S. (and China) when it comes to autonomous vehicles. On Wednesday, Volkswagen and Hamburg announced a self-driving pilot program on the city's streets. While many cities and states in the U.S. have been testing robo-cars for years, Germany only recently approved testing. Munich has been an autonomous hot spot thanks to BMW's research center, but now a nearly 2-mile stretch of Hamburg will allow a fleet of five e-Golf vehicles to drive the streets. SEE ALSO: Microsoft partners with BMW to build car systems in'smart factories' There will be safety drivers behind the wheel testing out Level 4 automation, which is almost fully autonomous, but still requires a human in some rare instances, such as unplanned street closures or severe weather.
On Feb 14, winners of the MOBI Grand Challenge Phase I were announced at the first MOBI Colloquium held at the BMW Group IT Centre in Munich, Germany. For the last four months, 23 teams across 15 countries have competed to create distributed ledger technology solutions that address some of today's greatest urban mobility issues. A cornerstone partner working to solve data challenges for automated vehicles (AV), Ocean proudly pledged $1,000,000 in Ocean tokens over the 3-year period–with $100,000 going to this round's winning teams. "The goal of the MOBI Grand Challenge is to accelerate the adoption of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies for transportation," says Ocean Advisor and MOBI Founder and CEO, Chris Ballinger. "By bringing blockchain solutions to a global stage we are igniting worldwide interest in solving the problems of urban mobility."
It's easy to think that once cars start driving themselves most of our traffic woes will be eliminated. Robocars are supposed to be better drivers and better driving should mean less gridlock. Unfortunately, that drop in bumper to bumper hell won't be as big as we all hoped, according to Audi's research. At Audi's Charged event (where it will unveil the E-Tron), the automaker gave Engadget a sneak peek at its latest 25th Hour Flow research. The company (along with Karlsruhe Institute for Technology and Munich's MobilityPartners) peered into the future to see how drivers and passengers can reclaim time thanks to autonomous driving and mobility options.
Munich, Germany – 25 May 2018 – The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project. Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems.
Europe continues to be among the leaders in developing ground vehicles capable of real-time vision. At Bundeswehr University Munich (UniBwM), researchers are investigating "scout-type" vision for autonomous cars, which--unlike popular systems in use now--does not rely on accurate maps, GPS positioning, or databases of previously observed objects.
They are, it seems safe to say, just about everywhere--roaming the streets of San Francisco, New York City, Phoenix, Boston, Singapore, Paris, London, Munich, and Beijing. And as Waymo (Google's self-driving car project) launches the world's first fleet of truly driverless cars in Arizona, nearly every automaker, all serious tech companies, and a flock of startups are rushing to colonize an industry that has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives--and generate trillions of dollars. What retains its shock value is how quickly we've gotten here. Ten years ago, there was no reason to think the idea of being whisked about town by a collection of zeroes and ones while you napped or texted or watched TV was anything but the province of science fiction. Namely, the folks watching a group of robots roam an abandoned Air Force base outside Los Angeles, moving through intersections, merging into traffic, finding their own parking spaces, and more.
Nvidia wants to make it easier for automotive companies to build self-driving cars, so it's releasing a brand new supercomputer designed to drive them. The chipmaker claims its new supercomputer is the world's first artificial intelligence computer designed for "Level 5" autonomy, which means vehicles that can operate themselves without any human intervention. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang unveiled the new automotive computing platform at the GPU Technology Conference in Munich. The new computer will be part of Nvidia's existing Drive PX platform, which the GPU-maker offers to automotive companies in order to provide the processing power for their self-driving car systems. Pegasus could be a huge breakthrough for Nvidia and its 25-plus partners.
Consumer demands keep businesses constantly chasing faster, more convenient and more impressive ways to improve our everyday lives. Driverless vehicles are becoming our closest touchpoint to the potential future that we could experience, with many businesses, such as Amazon and Google, testing ways to allow cars to drive themselves across entire countries. Of course, blue-sky thinking is all well and good but what are the real-world implications of autonomous vehicles and how do we get there? NVIDIA thinks they are close to opening up the world to the possibility of smart driving. At GTC Europe 2017 in Munich, Germany, NVIDIA today has announced the Drive PX Pegasus, a new entry to the Drive PX family of computing modules for self-driving cars.