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2018 Changed Self-Driving

Much has changed in the autonomous industry over the past year, and even bigger changes are coming in 2019.


January 03, 2019

2018 was an exciting year for AImotive as we secured our Series C funding round, made large strides forward in maturing our technology and opened our office in Japan. Naturally, the tragic events that transpired in March changed the industry and their effects will continue to form it in the coming year. We have seen the widespread optimism of having autonomous technology common on public roads by 2021 disappear, to be replaced by more grounded and realistic roadmaps. You may remember that over the summer we released a detailed white paper on how we endeavor to make our testing operations as safe as possible. The safe operation of our technology remains a pivotal concern to us, and we continuously re-evaluate our approach to make sure we doing as much as we can in this regard.

aiSim2, the new version of our purpose-built simulator for self-driving testing will also aid these efforts. We detailed in previous blogs why determinism, physically-based rendering and optimized hardware utilization are so important in automotive development. aiSim2 is the result of our years of experience working on aiDrive, our self-driving software stack for internal development and external automotive partners. As a result, it is a mature solution honed to solve the challenges of testing automated driving technologies.

Over the Fall we also announced aiWare3, the next generation of AImotive’s vision for automotive neural network acceleration hardware. The hardware IP boasts vital performance gains and flexibility while offering outstanding power efficiency. These characteristics are again demands of the automotive industry for a realistic vision for the future of the technologies we are building. Purpose-built automotive-grade hardware is also a safety critical component of autonomy, and one that we believe has received less attention than necessary over the past years. Naturally, both new technologies will be on display at our booth at CES, so visit us in Tech East North Hall, booth #7538 to see them in action, and more…

As our aiSim2 and aiWare3 announcements indicate, our current goal is to create an ecosystem of technologies that support and enable automated driving at automotive safety standards within well-grounded development efforts. Why? Because we believe that in 2019 the autonomous industry must move away from the walled gardens that have characterized it for the past decade and look towards collaboration and standardization. Both are vital not only to (re)build regulatory and consumer trust in possibilities self-driving holds, but to truly achieve safe autonomy.

2019 will bring widespread consolidation in the self-driving industry, which remains too fragmented for stable development. Software providers, robo-taxi companies, sensor researchers and traditional Tier1s and OEMs are heading in different directions. However, as optimism has waned in the technology, smaller companies will find it harder to secure funding for their ongoing operations. While traditional OEMs have already reorganized much of their operations and are planning a longer game than previously. By the time the technology reaches the final stages of its maturity only a handful of key players will remain.  

We believe that those companies will be the ones that were the most open to collaboration and cooperation. That’s why we’re taking the next step with aiDrive2, which we’ll be introducing at CES in. Our hope is that aiDrive2 will become a platform that enables the next generation of automated driving technologies for any providers, from robo-taxi companies to automotive OEMs.

So visit us at CES to learn more, and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with our vision for the future of automated driving.

And finally, all of us at AImotive wish you a happy and successful 2019.

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