Autonomous

Startup Drive.ai gets license to test autonomous vehicles in California

Published: April 25, 2015

Another self-driving car startup, Drive.ai is about to hit the roads. The Silicon Valley startup that received $12 million in funding last year, has been granted a license to test autonomous vehicles on California roads. In the list of various companies to have acquired this license, Drive.ai is the 13th company to receive permission.

Drive.ai reportedly says that it’s working to bring “deep learning” to autonomous car tech. Rather than programming a car so that it knows exactly what to do, Drive.ai hopes to allow its driving AI to learn on its own. That means, like a human, the more time it spends driving and the more scenarios it encounters, the better it’ll get at responding to them.

While the auto makers have huge research budgets and access to capital, the expertise in robotics required for vehicle autonomy pulls from a small pool of people. These startups may be able to advance the technology more quickly than the large auto makers on the basis of the specialized talent they possess.

Attention on these small companies has been amplified after General Motors Co. agreed to purchase San Francisco-based Cruise Automation, which was also working on autonomous-vehicle technology, for more than $1 billion. GM’s move set off a swarm of attention by venture capitalists and other car companies aiming to bolster their efforts to build robot-controlled cars.

It’s not stated how far along Drive.ai’s technology is; at the moment, its website is just a splash page that says it’s hiring. But given that it’s been granted a license to hit the road, it seems likely enough that it has stable self-driving tech ready to put on a vehicle.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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