BMW i Ventures is a 500 million dollar fund with a focus on startups, especially in the fields of autonomous driving and artificial Intelligence.
Most recently, BMW i Ventures has invested in Recogni, a company which concentrates in artificial intelligence systems for self-driving cars. In the future, every self-driving car on the road will need to make 100s of decisions each second, and it is up to AI like those being developed by Recogni to make those important choices.
The problem with current systems is the amount of processing power and energy required to run the computer responsible for running the AI system. “These vehicles need datacenter-class performance while consuming minuscule amounts of power,” said RK Anand, CEO of Recogni.
The goal at Recogni is to engineer a new processing system which will be incredibly efficient and require very low power consumption. The less power needed, the more efficient the vehicle can be on the road.
WHY THIS MATTERS
While the buzz today is centered around the ethical and legal implications of fully self-driving cars, the fact is that designers are still not yet able to truly make them a reality. Yes, we do have Tesla’s and Cadillac’s which can pilot themselves on the highway with little to no input from the driver, but moving to the next level of autonomy will require a significant improvements in vehicle software and AI systems that interpret the driving data to make decisions.
It is through the work of companies like Recogni that autonomous vehicles will become mature enough to fulfil the promise people today can still only dream about. BMW is wise to invest in the next wave of innovative software and hardware solutions in this still embryonic market.