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Autonomous driving startup Pony.ai raises $462 million in Toyota-led funding

The Japan Times

HONG KONG/BEIJING – Autonomous driving firm Pony.ai said it raised $462 million in its latest funding round, led by an investment by Toyota Motor Corp. Toyota invested around $400 million (¥44.2 billion) in the round, Pony.ai said in a statement Wednesday, marking its biggest investment in an autonomous driving company with a Chinese background. The latest fund raising values the three-year-old firm, already backed by Sequoia Capital China and Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., at slightly more than $3 billion. The investment by Japan's largest automaker comes at a time when global carmakers, technology firms, start-ups and investors -- including Tesla, Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo and Uber -- are pouring capital into developing self-driving vehicles. Over the past two years, 323 deals related to autonomous cars raised a total of $14.6 billion worldwide, according to data provider PitchBook, even amid concerns about the technology given its high cost and complexity. The Silicon Valley-based startup Pony.ai -- co-founded by CEO James Peng, a former executive at China's Baidu, and chief technology officer Lou Tiancheng, a former Google and Baidu engineer -- is already testing autonomous vehicles in California, Beijing and Guangzhou.


Autonomous driving startup Pony.ai raises $462 million in Toyota-led funding

The Japan Times

HONG KONG/BEIJING – Autonomous driving firm Pony.ai said on Wednesday it has raised $462 million in its latest funding round, led by an investment by Japan's largest automaker Toyota Motor Corp. Toyota invested around $400 million (¥44.2 billion) in the round, Pony.ai said in a statement, marking its biggest investment in an autonomous driving company with a Chinese background. The latest fund raising values the three-year-old firm, already backed by Sequoia Capital China and Beijing Kunlun Tech Co, at slightly more than $3 billion. The investment by Toyota comes at a time when global car makers, technology firms, start-ups and investors -- including Tesla, Alphabet Inc's Waymo and Uber -- are pouring capital into developing self-driving vehicles. Over the past two years, 323 deals related to autonomous cars raised a total of $14.6 billion worldwide, according to data provider PitchBook, even amid concerns about the technology given its high cost and complexity. The Silicon Valley-based startup Pony.ai -- co-founded by CEO James Peng, a former executive at China's Baidu, and chief technology officer Lou Tiancheng, a former Google and Baidu engineer -- is already testing autonomous vehicles in California, Beijing and Guangzhou.


Your Tesla could explain why it crashed. But good luck getting its Autopilot data

#artificialintelligence

On Jan. 21, 2019, Michael Casuga drove his new Tesla Model 3 southbound on Santiago Canyon Road, a two-lane highway that twists through hilly woodlands east of Santa Ana. He wasn't alone, in one sense: Tesla's semiautonomous driver-assist system, known as Autopilot -- which can steer, brake and change lanes -- was activated. Suddenly and without warning, Casuga claims in a Superior Court of California lawsuit, Autopilot yanked the car left. The Tesla crossed a double yellow line, and without braking, drove through the oncoming lane and crashed into a ditch, all before Casuga was able to retake control. Tesla confirmed Autopilot was engaged, according to the suit, but said the driver was to blame, not the technology.


'AI to surpass new age technologies'

#artificialintelligence

Hyderabad: The future is going to be heavily dependent on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and more than 1,000 companies in India claim to be working on AI in some form, according to Suman Reddy, Managing Director, Pegasystems India. Speaking to Telangana Today on emerging technologies, Reddy said major industries in banking, government and automobile manufacturing would use AI to stay competitive while everything would gradually be powered by AI, right from televisions to home appliances. "Everyone from consumer internet, technology, e-commerce, finance, healthcare companies to financial services and automakers are betting big on AI and other new age technologies," he said. With AI expected to fuel almost everything that helps and empowers daily lives, the demand for AI is going to multiply manifold and India will do well to fill this demand and achieve leadership positions by having captive tech talent at the global stage. On the present situation in IT sector, he said one would have to keep an eye on the prevailing industry trends along with constantly testing their skills.


Driver Assistance Technologies And Levels Of Autonomy Explained: Viable For India?

#artificialintelligence

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is a continuously-on system which detects proximity with obstacles ahead. If the system detects an imminent crash, it warns the driver and primes the braking system. If the driver fails to respond, the car applies the brakes with as much force as necessary to prevent collision. Some AEB systems can also detect cyclists and pedestrians which may be hidden behind a blind spot until its too late. However, this isn't an assistance system -- you can't use an AEB-equipped car to take your foot off the brake in traffic.


All autonomous cars should have these capabilities

#artificialintelligence

Tesla Motors Club LLC (TMC) is an independent enthusiast organization and is not affiliated with Tesla Motors, Inc. or its subsidiaries. TESLA, TESLA MOTORS, TESLA ROADSTER, MODEL S, MODEL X, and the "TESLA," "T" and "TESLA and T in Crest" designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of Tesla Motors, Inc. in the United States and other countries.



Jaguar and Land Rover unveil 'autonomy ready' electric shuttle concept that may be released in 2021

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A new electric shuttle unveiled by Jaguar Land Rover will look to hit a happy medium between autonomous and manual driving. On Tuesday, the company announced'Project Vector', a futuristic-looking electric shuttle that they say is being built to transition into an autonomous vehicle if and/or when the technology arrives. While it has a traditional steering wheel and gas/brake pedals, it's interior is designed to accommodate private or shared use as well as use as a last-mile delivery vehicle. Jaguar Land Rover want'Project Vector' to function on multiple planes. The concept measures just four meters in length and is designed for urban use according to the companies.


Honda to reorganize development operations in bid to increase efficiency

The Japan Times

Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday it will reorganize its vehicle development operations on April 1 in a bid to boost efficiency. The automaker will take over vehicle development functions from its Honda R&D Co. unit and absorb another unit engaged in development of machine tools and others. The move is part of Honda's efforts to streamline operations related to each process, from planning to sales. The company also said it has established Honda Mobility Solutions Co., a new company in charge of planning and operation of cutting-edge businesses such as those related to autonomous driving and robotics.


Top 10 Internet of Things (IoT) Trends that will rule in 2020

#artificialintelligence

Technology and trends, go hand in hand these days. From automation to connectivity, artificial intelligence to virtual reality, the decade had it all. As we are about to step in the last year of the decade, we drift our focus from many to the one that is expected to disrupt the global business industry, IoT! Gartner report's that there would 4.8 billion devices installed in work infrastructure towards the end of 2019 and around more than 20 billion interconnected devices would ply across the globe. The gamut of IoT seems to be huge and it would not be wrong to state that IoT is the new norm penetrating deep in organizational infrastructure and across all business verticals. However, technology never remains the same or it never stagnates.