China-based SenseTime Group has become the world’s most valuable artificial intelligence (AI) startup following a US$600 million from Alibaba Group Holding and other investors for a valuation of more than US$3 billion.
Honda has signed a long-term agreement to develop autonomous cars with SenseTime, a China artificial intelligence (AI) company.
The partnership will leverage Honda’s vehicle control system with SenseTime’s AI algorithms to jointly create an autonomous driving solution. The two companies will also work together on robot technology.
“Safety is the number one priority when it comes to driving, and it also constitutes the core of our autonomous driving solution. By combining SenseTime’s strengths in computer vision technologies with Honda’s superior vehicle control technologies, we will together enable a safe and pleasant autonomous driving experience.,” said Lao Shihong, CEO of SenseTime Japan.
The 2015 editions of the Honda Civic, Civic Tourer and CR-V will leverage the power of the energy-efficient automotive-grade NVIDIA Tegra processor for the Honda Connect infotainment system.
Easy and intuitive to use, the Android-based system is responsive to touchscreen gestures such as pinch, zoom and swipe to give drivers the same experience that they get on their smartphones and tablets.
Featuring rich, vibrant graphics and the ability to customize screens, Honda Connect delivers a personal experience to whoever is behind the wheel. The Tegra-powered system drives a seven-inch capacitive touchscreen display for satellite navigation, AM/FM/DAB, rearview camera and vehicle information. Access to the Honda App Center enables compatible apps for use on the touchscreen, such as Aha Radio.
NVIDIA has introduced Iray Visual Computing Appliance (VCA), a GPU rendering appliance that dramatically accelerates ray tracing, enabling professional designers to interact with computer models of such high visual fidelity that it can largely replace the lengthy, costly process of building physical prototypes.
Honda Research and Development is an initial user of NVIDIA Iray VCA, with a prototype cluster made up of 25 nodes to refine styling designs on future cars.
Iray VCA combines hardware and software to greatly accelerate the work of NVIDIA Iray — a photorealistic renderer integrated into leading design tools like Dassault Systèmes’ CATIA and Autodesk’s 3ds Max. Because the appliance is scalable, multiple units can be linked, speeding up by hundreds of times or more the simulation of light bouncing off surfaces in the real world.
As a result, automobiles and other complex designs can be viewed seamlessly at high visual fidelity from all angles. This enables the viewer to move around a model while it’s still in the digital domain, as if it were a 3D physical prototype.
“Iray VCA lets designers do what they’ve always wanted to — interact with their ideas as if they were already real,” said Jeff Brown, Vice President and General Manager of Professional Visualisation and Design at NVIDIA. “It removes the time-consuming step of building prototypes or rendering out movies, enabling designs to be explored, tweaked and confirmed in real time. Months, even years — and enormous cost — can be saved in bringing products to market.”
A coalition of auto and technology companies have formed a new industry alliance to bring the Android platform to a device that’s always been mobile: the car.
Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai, and NVIDIA have joined together to form the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), a global alliance of technology and auto industry leaders committed to bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014. OAA is dedicated to a common platform that will drive innovation, and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive for everyone.
OAA is aimed at accelerating auto innovation with an approach that offers openness, customization and scale, key tenets that have already made Android a familiar part of millions of people’s lives. This open development model and common platform will allow automakers to more easily bring cutting-edge technology to their drivers, and create new opportunities for developers to deliver powerful experiences for drivers and passengers in a safe and scalable way.