Hyundai has announced a strategic investment in Allegro.ai, a start-up focused on developing deep learning technologies for our future cars. On Monday, the Seoul, South Korean-based firm said its interest in Allegro.ai is based in the firm's deep learning technologies used for computer vision in self-driving vehicles. Founded in 2016, Allegro.ai is the creator of a platform which supports the development of deep learning and artificial intelligence solutions, including -- but not limited to -- autonomous vehicles, drones, and security applications. The automaker has invested into Allegro.ai However, investment figures have not been disclosed.
A recent report emerging from the center of U.S. auto manufacturing rains on the AI parade with research results claiming autonomous vehicle algorithms fare poorly in bad weather. The study by researchers at Michigan State University found that even light rain or drizzle can interfere with algorithms used in self-driving car cameras. That could mean future fleets might initially be restricted to sunny states like Arizona, California and Florida. The Michigan State study determined that the core problem stems not from cameras used as primary sensors for detecting obstacles but the algorithms used to sort through computer vision data. "When we run these algorithms, we see very noticeable, tangible degradation in detection," Hayder Radha, a Michigan State University professor of electrical and computer engineering, told Automotive Newsin late November.
In the race to start the world's first driving business without human drivers, everyone is chasing Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo. The Google sibling has cleared the way to beat its nearest rivals, General Motors Co. and a couple of other players, by at least a year to introduce driverless cars to the public. A deal reached in January to buy thousands of additional Chrysler Pacifica minivans, which get kitted out with sensors that can see hundreds of yards in any direction, puts Waymo's lead into stark relief. No other company is offering for-hire rides yet, let alone preparing to carry passengers in more than one city this year. GM plans to start a ride-hailing service with its Chevrolet Bolt--the one with no steering wheel or pedals, the ultimate goal in autonomous technology--late next year, assuming the U.S. government has protocols in place by then. SoftBank Vision Fund, the gigantic Japanese tech investor, backed that plan on May 31 by dropping $2.25 billion into GM Cruise Holdings, the automaker's autonomous drive unit. Most of the others trying solve the last remaining self-driving puzzles are more cautious, targeting 2020 or later. The road to autonomy is long and exceedingly complicated. It can also be dangerous: Two high-profile efforts, from Uber Technologies Inc. and Tesla Inc., were involved in crashes that caused the death of a pedestrian (in the first known case of a person killed by a self-driving vehicle) and a driver using an assistance program touted as a precursor to autonomy. One of Waymo's autonomous vans was involved in a collision just last week.
Daimler's, the makers of Mercedes-Benz, and automotive supplies Bosch are soon to join the race of the self-driving cars market. Maria Mercedes Galuppo (@mariamgaluppo) has more. As self-driving vehicle experiments are launched in a few cities around the U.S., Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler and a prominent auto supplier are launching a new one in the place that would seem most receptive: Silicon Valley. Daimler and auto components maker Bosch will start a self-driving vehicle shuttle service in one of the cities south of San Francisco that comprises the heart of the nation's tech industry beginning in the second half of 2019. The move marks a concrete step forward for a partnership announced in April 2017 with the ultimate goal of delivering a self-driving car by 2021.
And Toyota says it's evolving into an entirely different company, one that focuses more on services that move people around. "It's a matter of surviving or dying," says Chief Executive Akio Toyoda. The global auto industry thinks it sees the future, and it will require a transformation without precedent in business history: The giant industrial sector has to turn itself into a nimble provider of software and services. This week brought yet another signal of the forces it's up against: Uber Technologies Inc., which has chalked up about $4.8 billion in operating losses over the last six quarters, is laying plans for an initial public offering that bankers think could value it at $120 billion. That's more than General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. F 2.14% and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV combined.