Autonomous vehicle race opens door to agile, ambitious startups

X Scalper

Increasing pressure to get autonomous vehicles ready for the road has created an open invitation for innovative startups to show what they can do.

Two of the companies that made some noise at the Frankfurt auto show this month were China’s Horizon Robotics and OSR Enterprises of Switzerland.

Both startups are working with global premium brands. OSR last week announced a collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover that includes advanced driver assistance systems and automated driving.

Horizon Robotics, meanwhile, has deals with Audi, which it has helped secure open-road AV testing licenses in Beijing and Wuxi, Faurecia and Robert Bosch.

One thing both startups have in common is they offer open solutions.

“By offering customers this flexibility they can develop their own software and put it on our processor,” Horizon Robotics Senior Business Development Manager Jerry Zhang told me.

At Horizon Robotics it comes via the Journey 2 processor that was specifically developed for artificial intelligence computing.

OSR says its Evolver solution is a “hardware- and software-centralized supercomputer” that can help give a car AI capabilities.

“Automakers get all the computing power they need to develop their own algorithms on this open platform,” said Sam Hazak, who is an AI engineer at OSR.

Added OSR founder and CEO Orit Shifman, who was named an Automotive News Europe Rising Star in 2018: “The Evolver acts as a brain by bringing all of the data from the car’s ECUs together.”

Like Nvidia proved years ago with its multi-talented graphics processor units, which continue to play a key role in the progression toward fully autonomous driving, companies with game-changing products will continue to earn a place at the table with the world’s most powerful automakers.

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