Patrick Pérez appointed as scientific director of VALEO.AI

Patrick Pérez has been appointed Scientific Director of Valeo.ai, the first global research center in artificial intelligence and deep learning dedicated to automotive applications, founded in Paris in June 2017.

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He will start his new role at Valeo.ai in early March.

Patrick Pérez is an internationally renowned expert in machine learning and computer vision research. With nearly 300 co-authored publications and around 30 filed patents to his name, he has a total of 27 years of experience including top positions in the public research sector (research director at the French National Institute for Computer Science and Applied Mathematics – INRIA) as well as the private sector (a combined 12 years at Microsoft Research and Technicolor Research).

In line with Valeo’s open innovation strategy, Patrick Pérez will continue to build the Group’s connections with the global academic and scientific community, both in artificial intelligence and the automotive industry, while ensuring that Valeo.ai works closely with Valeo’s application centers worldwide. Valeo.ai will also become a platform for exchanging ideas and developing future applications with start-ups in these fields.

In this role, Patrick Pérez will be supported by a scientific committee that will include, in particular, Stéphane Mallat, Professor and Data Science Chair at the Collège de France, in order to assist Valeo in its strategic thinking and research projects in artificial intelligence.

Alongside the appointment of a Scientific Director and the establishment of a scientific committee at Valeo.ai, the Group also announced that it has entered into strategic partnerships and strengthened academic ties with INRIA, Telecom ParisTech, Mines ParisTech and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).

Jacques Aschenbroich, Valeo’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The challenges relating to autonomous cars position Valeo, a technological leader, at the scientific forefront of artificial intelligence and deep learning. The arrival of a world-renowned expert of Patrick Pérez’s caliber at Valeo.ai and the signing of academic partnerships with leading scientific institutes attest to our ambitions and to our accelerating pace on this technological journey.

Via Valeo Press Release

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Ridecell introduces the first complete autonomous new mobility solution with acquisition of Auro and the launch of the Ridecell Autonomous Operations Platform

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San Francisco, Calif – October 9, 2017 – Ridecell,™ Inc., the leading global platform for carsharing and ridesharing operators, today announced the acquisition of Auro, a California based developer of autonomous vehicle technology, in an all-stock transaction. Ridecell also announced the public availability of its autonomous operations platform which has successfully been used in autonomous pilot programs. With these two initiatives, Ridecell now offers the industry’s first complete autonomous new mobility solution that enables on-demand autonomous shuttle mobility service in low-speed, private-road settings.

The Auro acquisition will bring the expertise to accelerate the capabilities of the Ridecell autonomous operations platform. The Auro team will become the Ridecell Autonomous Driving Division. Ridecell will be able to extensively test its autonomous operations platform in real world environments through integration of Auro-enabled driverless shuttles in private road environments. Ridecell will continue to collaborate with autonomous leaders to apply the Ridecell platform to the world’s leading self-driving vehicles for automated management of operational tasks such as cleaning, refueling, and emergency response situations.

“The Auro acquisition and the launch of our autonomous operations platform represent the next phase of our strategy to provide a complete autonomous solution for Ridecell customers,” said Aarjav Trivedi, CEO of Ridecell. “We can now provide even more value for our autonomous customers and help mobility operators launch new carsharing, ridesharing, and on-demand shuttle services today that will accommodate the addition of autonomous vehicles without the need to change the underlying platform. The acquisition makes it possible to launch a proven autonomous shuttle service today in settings such as corporate and college campuses.”

Auro Acquisition 
Auro’s autonomous technology is the leading self-driving platform for low speed deployments. Auro partners with shuttle manufacturers to add self-driving capabilities to leading shuttle and neighborhood electric vehicle platforms. These shuttles can safely drive people around within campuses, theme parks, resorts, business parks, and retirement communities.

Private environments with low-traffic, low-speed roads provide the perfect setting for deploying autonomous vehicles today. Auro-enabled shuttles were among the first driverless shuttles put into daily operation on the Santa Clara University campus in California and have already provided safe transportation to thousands of riders.

“The technology behind Auro-enabled driverless shuttles, together with the Ridecell on-demand mobility platform, will help campuses and other private environments prove that autonomy can be an integral part of an urban transportation experience today, rather than just a short, fixed- route showcase,” said Nalin Gupta, CEO of Auro. “We are excited to join forces with Ridecell to make even bigger strides in autonomous new mobility.”

Auro was founded in 2013 by roboticists from Indian Institutes of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University, who have worked together on autonomous vehicles since 2011, and is backed by investors including Y Combinator and Motus ventures.

Ridecell Autonomous Operations Platform
Ridecell also announced the availability of its new autonomous operations platform. The platform is designed to automate vehicle and operations management for autonomous fleets.

The platform gives autonomous vehicle fleets the intelligence to manage their own operational tasks, in both routine and emergency situations. The platform can direct autonomous vehicles to operations depots for maintenance and route support vehicles to the autonomous vehicle for routine operational tasks such as cleaning as well as on-demand assistance in exceptional situations. The platform also automates vehicle access so service personnel are able to enter the vehicle. Additionally, the platform automates reporting for autonomous compliance and risk data.

Today’s announcement cements Ridecell as the leading new mobility company with a platform that scales from driven to driverless new mobility services.

About Ridecell:
Ridecell is on a mission to empower new mobility operators, including OEMs, car rental companies, auto clubs, cities, transit agencies, dealer groups, and private fleets to launch,expand, and maximize the utilization of their own ridesharing and carsharing services. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company provides an intelligent software platform that runs new mobility services, such as carsharing, ridesharing, and autonomous fleet management. End-to-end integration and automation accelerate time to market, enabling Ridecell customers to launch mobility services quickly, operate efficiently, and scale revenues as business grows. Founded in 2009, Ridecell has already processed over 20 million rides and rentals and has a team of more than 100 professionals in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia. The company now powers new mobility offerings, including BMW’s ReachNow, VW’s OMNI and AAA’s GIG Carsharing service. In addition, Ridecell powers dynamic shuttle services for campuses such as Georgia Tech, UC Berkeley, UCSF, 3M, and transit agencies like SouthWest Transit.

Source: Ridecell

Drive.ai raises $50 million in new funding

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SAN FRANCISCO — Self-driving startup Drive.ai said on Tuesday it raised $50 million in a second round of funding as the Silicon Valley company prepared to deploy its technology in pilot vehicles later this year.

The company, one of a handful of startups building fully autonomous systems for cars, also said it had added to its board Andrew Ng, a prominent figure in the artificial intelligence industry.

Ng formerly led AI projects at Baidu and Alphabet’s Google. Ng is the husband of Drive.ai’s co-founder and president Carol Reiley, a roboticist.

The latest round of funding — led by New Enterprise Associates, Inc., GGV Capital and existing investor China-based Northern Light Venture Capital — came as investor interest in autonomous vehicles continued to intensify.

Drive.ai is aiming to build an after-market software kit powered by artificial intelligence to turn traditional vehicles operated by businesses into self-driving models.

The company said existing business fleets would deploy its kits in pilot tests by year-end.

Drive.ai plans to distinguish itself through the team’s expertise in robotics and deep learning, a subset of AI in which massive amounts of data are fed into systems until they can “think” for themselves.

Drive.ai, which received $12 million in an initial funding round last year, also named to its board the head of Asia for New Enterprise Associates, Carmen Chang.

Reblogged from Automotive News

 

Ford invests in Argo AI, An artificial intelligence startup,In drive for autonomous vehicle leadership


San Francisco, Feb. 10, 2017 – Ford Motor Company today announces it is investing $1 billion during the next five years in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence company, to develop a virtual driver system for the automaker’s autonomous vehicle coming in 2021 – and for potential license to other companies.

Founded by former Google and Uber leaders, Argo AI is bringing together some of the most experienced roboticists and engineers working in autonomy from inside and outside of Ford. The team of experts in robotics and artificial intelligence is led by Argo AI founders Bryan Salesky, company CEO, and Peter Rander, company COO. Both are alumni of Carnegie Mellon National Robotics Engineering Center and former leaders on the self-driving car teams of Google and Uber, respectively.

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“The next decade will be defined by the automation of the automobile, and autonomous vehicles will have as significant an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago,” said Ford President and CEO Mark Fields. “As Ford expands to be an auto and a mobility company, we believe that investing in Argo AI will create significant value for our shareholders by strengthening Ford’s leadership in bringing self-driving vehicles to market in the near term and by creating technology that could be licensed to others in the future.”

The current team developing Ford’s virtual driver system – the machine-learning software that acts as the brain of autonomous vehicles – will be combined with the robotics talent and expertise of Argo AI. This innovative partnership will work to deliver the virtual driver system for Ford’s SAE level 4 self-driving vehicles.

Ford will continue to lead on development of its purpose-built autonomous vehicle hardware platform, as well as on systems integration, manufacturing, exterior and interior design, and regulatory policy management.

Argo AI will join forces with Ford’s autonomous vehicle software development effort to strengthen the commercialization of self-driving vehicles. Argo AI’s agility and Ford’s scale uniquely combine the benefits of a technology startup with the experience and discipline of the automaker’s industry-leading autonomous vehicle development program.

“We are at an inflection point in using artificial intelligence in a wide range of applications, and the successful deployment of self-driving cars will fundamentally change how people and goods move,” said Salesky. “We are energized by Ford’s commitment and vision for the future of mobility, and we believe this partnership will enable self-driving cars to be commercialized and deployed at scale to extend affordable mobility to all.”

The collaboration supports Ford’s intent to have a fully autonomous, SAE level 4-capable vehicle for commercial application in mobility services in 2021.

“Working together with Argo AI gives Ford a distinct competitive advantage at the intersection of the automotive and technology industries,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, Global Product Development, and chief technical officer. “This open collaboration is unlike any other partnership – allowing us to benefit from combining the speed of a startup with Ford’s strengths in scaling technology, systems integration and vehicle design.”

Also complementing the relationship will be Ford Smart Mobility LLC, which will lead on the commercialization strategy for Ford’s self-driving vehicles. This includes choices for using autonomous vehicles to move goods and people, such as ride sharing, ride hailing or package delivery fleets.

Ford will be the majority stakeholder in Argo AI. Importantly, Argo AI has been structured to operate with substantial independence. Its employees will have significant equity participation in the company, enabling them to share in its success. Argo AI’s board will have five members: Nair; John Casesa, Ford group vice president, Global Strategy; Salesky; Rander; and an independent director.

The $1 billion investment in Argo AI will be made over five years and is consistent with the autonomous vehicle capital allocation plan shared last September as part of Ford Investor Day.

By the end of this year, Argo AI expects to have more than 200 team members, based in the company’s Pittsburgh headquarters and at major sites in Southeastern Michigan and the Bay Area of California.

Argo AI’s initial focus will be to support Ford’s autonomous vehicle development and production. In the future, Argo AI could license its technology to other companies and sectors looking for autonomous capability.

Also Read:

Ford & Toyota join hands to establish ‘Smart Device Link’ Consortium; To accelerate industry driven standards for In-Vehicle Apps

Ford survey concludes that consumers are embracing new technologies in transportation services

Via: The Ford Motor Company-Mediacenter