Accelerating the Aerospace Industry

Jacqueline Davidson

At Aerospace Xelerated, we’re in the scouting phase for our third cohort and we’re looking forward to kicking off the program in January 2022. I spoke to Jacqueline Davidson, Program Director, to find out about the AI and Autonomy technologies she’s most excited about, her journey into the aerospace sector and work at The Boeing Company — she also acts as the Investment Principal for Global Accelerators & Innovation Programs.

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The role of Artificial Intelligence in future technology

AI and Robotics

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is unquestionably one of the most disruptive technologies of today’s world as it creates vast changes in our daily activities [1]. According to a report of Valuates Reports, AI market size is growing fast and it is projected to reach just below $170 Billion in 2025 [2]. The power of AI has offered many solutions in numerous industries so far, including finance, marketing, media, advertising, IT, robotics. Also, AI technology has already proven itself in many research fields such as natural language processing, computer vision, and recommendation engines. These fields and AI consequently cannot be considered separately in most cases.

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Why regulators love Nuro’s self-driving delivery vehicles

Nuro R2

Nuro’s delivery autonomous vehicles (AVs) don’t have a human driver on board. The company’s founders Dave Ferguson (president) and Jiajun Zhu’s (CEO) vision of a driverless delivery vehicle sought to do away with a lot of the stuff that is essential for a normal car to have, like doors and airbags and even a steering wheel. They built an AV that spared no room in the narrow chassis for a driver’s seat, and had no need for an accelerator, windshield or brake pedals.

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Ahead of AI day Tesla’s in-house Dojo chip teased by a professor, who possibly provided insights during developments

Tesla Dojo

The teaser of Tesla’s in-house Dojo chip came from a former professor at the University of California, Dennis Hong. He later added to the post that he signed an NDA and is waiting for Musk’s announcements, saying that he has no intention of ruining the fun. It is most likely that the Dojo chip released is the same as the one Elon musk is going to talk about on AI day, August 19.

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4 Self-driving Semi-truck Stocks for Investors

Autonomous truck stocks

Less than four months ago, we did a deep dive into the first pure play in self-driving semi-truck stocks with a profile on TuSimple (TSP). We found the business to be intriguing but opted to sit on the sidelines for now until the company puts more miles on the road and money into its bank account. We’re bullish on the self-driving theme in general – the technology is there – but it’s going to be a long haul to gain regulatory approvals, mainstream adoption, and profitability. That’s not stopping the race to the public markets. Two more self-driving semi-truck startups are headed in that direction through reverse mergers with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs): Embark Trucks and Plus. Is either one worth putting on our watchlist?

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Computer Vision software startup Algolux brings in $18.4M in Series B Funding

Algolux

Algolux, a computer vision startup that builds software for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and for autonomous vehicles, has secured $18.4 million in new Series B funding from a group of investors that includes General Motors’ investment division, GM Ventures.
The new funding, which raises the Montreal, Canada-based company’s total funding to $36.8 million so far, was co-led by investors Forte Ventures and Drive Capital. Other investors include Investissement Quebec, Castor Ventures, Nikon-SBI Innovation Fund, GM Ventures, Generation Ventures and Intact Ventures.
The fresh influx of cash will be used by Algolux to help promote and grow the company’s computer vision and image optimization technologies with vehicle makers so they can use them with their future vehicles, according to the company. Algolux will also use the money to expand its engineering and marketing teams, while also exploring additional vertical markets for its technologies. The latest funding round was announced by Algolux on July 12 (Monday).
The company’s computer vision software is used with in-vehicle cameras as part of ADAS and autonomous vehicles in a market that is continuing to grow in use and popularity.
Image courtesy: Algolux
“Unfortunately, vision – the most widely deployed component of the overall perception stack – is still hampered by performance issues in low light and poor weather conditions making SAE Levels 2 and above more challenging to support,” the company said in its press release.
To battle this problem, Algolux uses computational imaging to design algorithms that treat the camera as part of the overall perception stack, which is a departure from the traditional siloed approach, according to the company. This approach resolves problems such as low light, low contrast and obstructions for object detection, imaging and geometric estimation, which provides clearer images and resolution. The use of the physical camera models also reduces training data needs by an order of magnitude, resulting in Algolux technologies outperforming commercial solutions by as much as 60 points in mean average precision (mAP), according to the company.
“We are thrilled to be taking this next step in the company’s trajectory and to do so with the trust and support of outstanding investors,” Allan Benchetrit, the CEO of Algolux, said in a statement. “Algolux is actively engaged with leading OEMs, Tier 1s, and Tier 2s globally. The consistent theme is a desire from customers to significantly improve the performance of their driving and parking vision systems in even the most challenging real-world situations.”
Shelly Kramer, analyst
Shelly Kramer, a founding partner and lead analyst with Futurum Research, told EnterpriseAI that Algolux’s latest funding news is an indicator of just how important computer vision is and how it will continue to move forward in the automotive sector.
“The fact that camera-based advanced driver assistance systems are table stakes when it comes to driving experiences today – both driver-led and autonomous – combined with the fact that camera tech still has a long way to go in terms of functionality and accuracy, means this is good news for the industry,” said Kramer. “Algolux’s computational imaging as part of the algorithm design process bodes well for all those days when my car’s camera tells me it can’t see because of weather conditions — and for the computer vision industry and the automotive industries. This is especially good news for the trucking industry and autonomous vehicles. This is an industry, and a company, to watch.”
James Kobielus, senior research director for data communications and management at TDWI, a data analytics consultancy, said the computer vision market today is “extraordinarily overcrowded” and that its use for automotive safety still has a long way to go before it is ready for primetime deployment.
James Kobielus, analyst
“I am impressed with Algolux’s focus on AI-powered cameras for robust perception in all conditions,” said Kobielus. “It approaches visual imaging as an integral, but not self-sufficient, component of the automotive perception stack. Without supplementary sensing inputs–such as radar, LiDAR, infrared, and ultrasound—and the composite AI to tie it all together in real time, automotive computer vision systems are extremely prone to mistakes from ever-present visual phenomena, such as low lighting, low contrast, and obstructed sightlines.”
The larger trend in the marketplace is the deployment of AI-driven perception stacks in which computer vision is essentially the sum of all sensor inputs that can be rendered as visual patterns, said Kobielus.
“Through sophisticated AI, it is increasingly possible to infer a highly accurate visual portrait from the radio frequency signals that people and objects reflect, the pressure and vibrations they generate, and the heat patterns that they radiate,” he said. “Algolux will need the funding to invest in the R&D necessary to improve its composite AI and to work with industry partners to build it into the ASICs necessary for ADAS safety applications.”

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Tags:
ADAS,AI,Algolux,artificial intelligence,autonomous driving,autonomous vehicles,computer vision,GM Ventures,IT investment,Machine Learning,self-driving cars,startup,venture capital

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AI startups plateau, AI SoCs soar, and the Edge diverges

Semiconductor market growth

While the tech industry continues to tout a “renaissance” of artificial intelligence, the number of AI chip startups has begun to plateau. AI startups are finding that the entry barriers to datacenters, once a promising market, are high — perhaps prohibitively so. Their problem traces to hyperscalers such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook now developing their own AI processors and accelerators that fit their specific needs.

To be clear, machine learning (ML) continues to advance. More variations of neural networks are popping up. AI is becoming intrinsic to every electronics system.

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Domino’s, Nuro to begin autonomous pizza deliveries in Houston

Nuro Dominos robotic pizza delivery

Starting this week, some Domino’s customers in Houston can have a pizza delivered without ever interacting with a human. The pizza delivery giant said Monday it has partnered with autonomous delivery vehicle startup Nuro to allow select customers to have their pizzas dropped at their door via Nuro’s R2 robot.

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Humans and AI: Should we describe AI as autonomous?

Man talking to a car

Beware the hype about AI systems. Although AI is powerful and generates trillions of dollars of economic value across the world, what you see in science fiction movies remains pure fiction. In this blog post, I will focus on the use of the word autonomous, the dangers of using it with stakeholders, and, in the context of customer experience, the inaccurate perception that all things can be automated, eliminating the need for interactions between employees and customers.

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Cruise acquires Driverless Vehicle startup Voyage to tackle dense urban environments

Autonomous cars

GM-backed Cruise today announced it is acquiring Voyage, following Bloomberg’s early March report of a potential deal. Terms of the buyout weren’t disclosed, but Voyage CEO Oliver Cameron said “key members” of the Voyage team will join Cruise when the purchase is finalized in the coming months. Cameron will take on a new role as vice president of product.

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Toyota AI Ventures fund, $200 M Fund Driving New Investments in AI-based Robotics

Toyota badge

One of the world’s largest car makers is mapping out an AI strategy that extends beyond autonomous vehicles to include industrial robots… Toyota AI Ventures, which launched in 2017, is now looking to fund innovative startups working on AI-based systems ranging from spatial intelligence for robots to navigating autonomous vehicles through crowded city centers.

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Why women are more interested in driving trucks

Emina Nilsson - Woman truck driver

Emina Nilsson is a very social person. So when an opportunity arrived in her native Sweden to drive a truck for a living, she didn’t immediately embrace it. Sitting by herself all day behind the wheel? Not exactly her idea of fun. “I never saw myself as the type of girl who would drive a truck,” she told FreightWaves.

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Recogni raises $48.9 million for AI-powered perception chips

Prism Chip

Recogni, a startup designing an AI-powered vision recognition module for autonomous vehicles, today announced it raised $48.9 million. The company says the funds will help it bring its perception product to market while expanding the size of its engineering and go-to-market teams.

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Apple’s self-driving car strategy may be stuck in neutral

KIA Motors factory

After weeks of confusion and contradictory news, it has almost become confirmed that Hyundai-Kia will start manufacturing Apple’s mysterious self-driving electric vehicle at one of its factories in 2024. Or later. Or not at all.
As is with nearly all news coming from Apple, the report is shrouded in secrecy, unconfirmed facts, and lots of quotes from anonymous sources. But this latest news does have some key points that, if true, paint a clearer picture about Apple’s self-driving plans — and leave many more questions unanswered about the future of the company.

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$400M in C2 funding raised by automotive AI Chip vendor Horizon Robotics

Horizon Robotics, a Chinese automotive AI chip startup that is developing specialized, complex chips for use in autonomous vehicles, has raised another $400 million in its latest C2 round of funding. That’s on top of $150 million in C2 funding that it secured earlier in December, according to the company, bringing its total C2 funding so far to $550 million. Horizon Robotics had announced late in 2020 that it was pursuing a total of $700 million in C2 round funding.

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Oxbotica raises $47 million to bring autonomy to vehicles in challenging environments

Oxbotica, a U.K.-based developer of autonomous vehicle software, today announced it has raised $47 million in a series B round led by BP Ventures. The startup says the funding will be used to accelerate commercial deployment of its software platform across key industries and markets.

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IDC: 90% of enterprises are planning for fully autonomous datacenters

Enterprise datacenters were traditionally manually operated and maintained, demanding both constantly available personnel and persistent vigilance for potential maintenance needs. But AI advancements are changing that…

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Understanding the different types of Autonomous Vehicles

With the emergence of drones, quadcopters, hybrid and electric aircraft and more flying technical solutions comes the need to discover how the world can benefit from these innovations. But before we dive into their unique purposes, we have to understand their capabilities and what they are. How do they fly? What technology do they utilize?

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